Translation:Constitution of the German Democratic Republic (1974)

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Constitution of the German Democratic Republic  (1974) 
East Germany/SED, translated from German by Wikisource
The Constitution of the German Democratic Republic was the basic law of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). East Germany adopted its original constitution on October 7, 1949 and originally intended it for use by a united Germany. As such, the original constitution was heavily based on the Weimar Constitution and provided for a federal and democratic republic guaranteeing numerous individual rights. However, as the Cold War progressed, a united Germany became increasingly impossible to achieve and the authorities ignored the rights protected by the constitution as a centralized political order similar to that of other communist countries emerged. Following a series of amendments codifying the centralization of the state, a new constitution was adopted on April 9, 1968 at the request of Walter Ulbricht, the leader of the ruling SED. While the original constitution was at least superficially a democratic document, the new constitution was a fully communist document. Modeled closely on the 1936 Soviet Constitution, it integrated all the constitutional changes that had taken place since 1949 into a new "socialist" framework, but it reduced certain rights provided in the earlier version. While the old document made no mention of the SED, Article 1 of the new constitution unequivocally declared that "the leadership of the state is to be exercised through the working class and its Marxist-Leninist party"—the SED. The original constitution had declared Germany a "democratic republic", whereas the new one described East Germany as a "socialist state of the German nation". Under the original constitution, power derived from "the people", while Article 2 of the new constitution stated that power emanated from "the worker in city and country". The new document effectively codified the actual state of affairs that had prevailed in the East Germany for nearly two decades. It was one of Ulbricht's last significant victories before his ouster in 1971. With the rise of Erich Honecker in May 1971 and the increasing international recognition of East Germany, the regime attempted to abandon the concept that it was the sole legitimate government of the entire German nation. As a result, the constitution was amended by the Volkskammer on 27 September 1974 to delete the reference to the German nation; indeed, the use of the word "German" was cut back almost to a bare minimum. The amended document increased the emphasis on solidarity and friendship with the Soviet Union. In practice, however, ties between East Germans and their West German countrymen increased, in part due to the policies of Ostpolitik and détente followed by both East and West during the 1970s.
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Constitution of the German Democratic Republic of 6 April 1968 (as amended on 7 October 1974)

Constitution of the German Democratic Republic[edit]

Preamble[edit]

In continuation of the revolutionary Tradition of the German working class and based on the liberation from fascism, the people of the German Democratic Republic has carried out in Accordance with the processes of historical development of our era, the right to social-economic, state, and national self-determination and designed in a developed socialist society. Imbued with the will to determine its fate freely, to continue undeterred on the path of socialism and communism, of peace, democracy and friendship with peoples, the people of the German Democratic Republic have given themselves this socialist Constitution.

Section I Foundations of the socialist social and state order[edit]

Chapter 1 Political Foundations[edit]

Article 1[edit]

The German Democratic Republic is a socialist state of workers and peasants. It is the political organization of the urban and rural working people under the leadership of the working class and its Marxist-Leninist party. The capital of the German Democratic Republic is Berlin. The state flag of the German Democratic Republic consists of the colors black-red-gold and carries on both sides in the middle the state coat of arms of the German Democratic Republic. The coat of arms of the German Democratic Republic consists of hammer and compass, surrounded by a grain wreath, which is wrapped in a black-red-gold band in the lower part.

Article 2[edit]

(1) All political Power in the German Democratic Republic is exercised by the working people in town and country. Man is at the centre of all the efforts of socialist society and its state. The further increase of the material and cultural standard of living of the people on the basis of a high rate of development of socialist production, the increase of effectiveness, scientific and technical progress and the growth of labor productivity is the decisive task of the developed socialist society.

(2) The solid Alliance of the working class with the class of cooperative farmers, the members of the intelligence and the other layers of the people, the socialist ownership of the means of production, the management and planning of the development of society to the most advanced knowledge of science inviolable foundations of the socialist order of society.

(3) The exploitation of man by man is eliminated forever. What the hands of the people create is the people's own. The socialist principle" Each according to his abilities, each according to his performance " is realized.

Article 3[edit]

(1) The alliance of all the forces of the people finds its organized expression in the National Front of the German Democratic Republic.

(2) In the National Front of the German Democratic Republic, the parties and mass organizations unite all the forces of the people to act together for the development of socialist society. In this way they realize the coexistence of all citizens in the socialist community on the principle that everyone bears responsibility for the whole.

Article 4[edit]

All power serves the good of the people. It secures his peaceful life, protects the socialist society and guarantees the socialist way of life of the citizens, free development of the human being, preserves his dignity and guarantees the rights guaranteed in the Constitution.

Article 5[edit]

(1) The citizens of the German Democratic Republic exercise their political power through democratically elected representatives of the people.

(2) The representation of the people is the basis of the system of state organs. Their activities are based on the active participation of citizens in the preparation, implementation and control of their decisions.

(3) At no time and under no circumstances can state power be exercised by bodies other than those provided for by the constitution.

Article 6[edit]

(1) The German Democratic Republic, faithful to the interests of the people and to the international obligations on its territory, has exterminated German militarism and Nazism. It pursues a foreign policy that serves socialism and peace, international understanding and security.

(2) The German Democratic Republic is forever and irrevocably allied with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The close and fraternal alliance with it guarantees the people of the German Democratic Republic the further progress towards socialism and peace. The German Democratic Republic is an inseparable part of the socialist community of states. It faithfully contributes to the strengthening of the principles of socialist internationalism, cultivates and develops friendship, all-round cooperation and mutual continuity with all states of the socialist community.

(3) The German Democratic Republic supports the states and peoples who fight against imperialism and its colonial regime, for national freedom and independence, in their struggle for social progress. The German Democratic Republic advocates the implementation of the principles of the peaceful coexistence of states of different social systems and maintains cooperation with all states on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

(4) The German Democratic Republic is committed to security and cooperation in Europe, to a stable peace order in the world and to general disarmament.

(5) Militarist and revanchist propaganda in all forms, incitement to war and expression of hatred of faith, race and people are punished as crimes.

Article 7[edit]

(1) The organs of state shall ensure the territorial integrity of the German Democratic Republic and the inviolability of its borders, including its airspace and territorial waters, as well as the protection and use of its continental shelf.

(2) The German Democratic Republic organises national defence and the protection of the socialist order and the peaceful life of its citizens. The National People's Army and the other organs of national defense protect the socialist achievements of the people against all attacks from outside. The National People's Army maintains close brotherhood of arms with the armies of the Soviet Union and other socialist states in the interests of peace and security of the socialist state.

Article 8[edit]

(1) The generally accepted rules of international law serving the peace and peaceful cooperation of peoples shall be binding on state power and on every citizen.

(2) The German Democratic Republic will never wage a war of conquest or use its armed forces against the freedom of another people.

Chapter 2 Economic foundations, science, education and culture[edit]

Article 9[edit]

(1) The economy of the German Democratic Republic is based on socialist ownership of the means of production. It develops according to the economic laws of socialism on the basis of the socialist relations of production and the purposeful realization of socialist economic integration.

(2) The national economy of the German Democratic Republic serves to strengthen the socialist order, to constantly improve the satisfaction of the material and cultural needs of its citizens, to develop its personality and its socialist social relations.

(3) In the German Democratic Republic, the principle of managing and planning the national economy and all areas of society applies. The economy of the German Democratic Republic is a planned socialist economy. The central state management and planning of the basic questions of social development is connected with the individual responsibility of the local state organs and enterprises as well as the initiative of the working people.

(4) The determination of the monetary and financial system is a matter for the socialist state. Duties and taxes are levied on the basis of laws.

(5) The foreign economy, including foreign trade and the value economy, is a state monopoly.

Article 10[edit]

(1) The socialist property as a collective public property, as co-operative common property of working collectives and as property of social organizations of citizens.

(2) Protecting and increasing socialist property is the duty of the socialist state and its citizens.

Article 11[edit]

(1) The personal property of the citizens and the right of inheritance are guaranteed. Personal property serves to satisfy the material and cultural needs of citizens.

(2) The rights of authors and inventors enjoy the protection of the socialist state.

(3) The use of the property as well as of copyright and invention rights must not be contrary to the interests of the company.

Article 12[edit]

(1) Mineral resources, mines, power stations, reservoirs and large bodies of water, natural resources of the continental shelf, industrial enterprises, banks and insurance institutions, national goods, transport routes, means of transport by rail, maritime and aviation, postal and telecommunications facilities are national property. Private ownership of it is inadmissible.

(2) The socialist state guarantees the use of public property with the aim of achieving the highest result for society. This is served by the socialist planned economy and socialist economic law. The use and management of the national property is basically carried out by the national enterprises and state institutions. The state may transfer its use and management through contracts to cooperative or social organizations and associations. Such a Transfer has to serve the interests of the General public and the increase of social wealth.

Article 13[edit]

The equipment, machinery, installations, buildings of the agricultural, artisanal and other socialist cooperatives as well as the livestock of the agricultural production cooperatives and the result obtained from cooperative use of the land and means of production are co-operative property.

Article 14[edit]

(1) Private sector associations for the purpose of establishing economic power are not permitted.

(2) The small craft and other commercial enterprises based mainly on personal work are active on a legal basis. In exercising their responsibility for socialist society, they are promoted by the state.

Article 15[edit]

(1) The soil of the German Democratic Republic is one of its most precious natural treasures. It must be protected and used rationally. Land used for agriculture and forestry may only be withdrawn from its intended purpose with the consent of the responsible bodies.

(2) In the interest of the well-being of citizens, the state and society take care of the protection of nature. The purifying of the waters and the air as well as the protection of the flora and fauna and the scenic beauty of the homeland are to be ensured by the competent bodies and beyond that also a matter for every citizen.

Article 16[edit]

Expropriations are only permitted for charitable purposes on a legal basis and against appropriate compensation. They may only take place if the intended charitable purpose cannot be achieved in any other way.

Article 17[edit]

(1) The German Democratic Republic promotes science, research and education with the aim of protecting and enriching society and the lives of its citizens. The unification of the scientific-technical revolution with the advantages of socialism serves this purpose.

(2) With the unified socialist education system, the German Democratic Republic ensures a high level of education for all citizens in line with the ever-increasing social requirements. It enables citizens to shape socialist society and to participate creatively in the development of socialist democracy.

(3) Any abuse of science directed against peace, international understanding, against the life and dignity of man is prohibited.

Article 18[edit]

(1) The socialist national culture is one of the foundations of socialist society. The German Democratic Republic promotes and protects socialist culture, which serves the peace, humanism and development of socialist society. It fights the imperialist unculture, which serves the psychological warfare and the degradation of man. Socialist society promotes the cultural life of the working people, cultivates all humanistic values of national cultural heritage and world culture, and develops socialist national culture as a matter of the whole people.

(2) The promotion of the arts, the artistic interests and abilities of all working people and the dissemination of artistic works and achievements are obligations of the state and all social forces. Artistic creation is based on a close connection between cultural workers and the life of the people.

(3) Physical culture, sport and tourism as an element of socialist culture serve the all-round physical and mental development of the citizens.

Section II Citizens and communities in socialist society[edit]

Chapter 1 Fundamental rights and obligations of citizens[edit]

Article 19[edit]

(1) The German Democratic Republic guarantees all citizens the exercise of their rights and their participation in the management of social development. It guarantees socialist legality and legal certainty.

(2) Respect for and protection of the dignity and freedom of personality are a requirement for all state bodies, all social forces and every individual citizen.

(3) Free from exploitation, oppression and economic dependence, every citizen has equal rights and many opportunities to develop his abilities to the full and to develop his powers freely for the benefit of society and for his own benefit in the socialist community. Thus he realizes the freedom and dignity of his personality. The relations of the citizens are marked by mutual respect and help, by the principles of socialist morality.

(4) The conditions for the acquisition and loss of citizenship of the German Democratic Republic shall be determined by law.

Article 20[edit]

(1) Every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the same rights and obligations, irrespective of his nationality, race, ideological or religious creed, social origin and position. Freedom of conscience and belief are guaranteed. All citizens are equal before the law.

(2) Men and women have equal rights and equal legal status in all areas of social, state and personal life. The promotion of women, especially in vocational training, is a social and governmental task.

(3) Youth is particularly encouraged in its social and professional development. It has every opportunity to participate responsibly in the development of the socialist social order.

Article 21[edit]

(1) Every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the right to participate fully in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the socialist community and the socialist state. The principle "Work with, plan with, govern with!".

(2) The right to co-determination and co-shaping is guaranteed by the fact that the citizens democratically elect all organs of power, participate in their activities and in the management, planning and design of social life; Can demand accountability from the representatives of the people, their deputies, the heads of state and economic bodies about their activities; using the authority of their social organizations to express their wishes and demands; to address their concerns and proposals to the social, state and economic bodies and institutions; express their will in referendums.

(3) The realization of this Right of co-determination and participation is at the same time, a high moral obligation for every citizen. The exercise of social or state functions is recognized and supported by society and the state.

Article 22[edit]

(1) Every citizen of the German Democratic Republic who has reached the age of 18 on election day is entitled to vote.

(2) Every citizen may be elected to the People's Chamber and to the local representatives of the people if he or she has reached the age of 18 on election day.

(3) The conduct of elections by democratically constituted electoral commissions, the popular debate on the fundamental questions of politics and the establishment and examination of candidates by voters are indispensable socialist electoral principles.

Article 23[edit]

(1) The protection of peace and the socialist Fatherland and its achievements is the right and duty of honour of the citizens of the German Democratic Republic. Every citizen is obliged to serve and perform services for the defense of the German Democratic Republic in accordance with the laws.

(2) No citizen may take part in acts of war and their preparation for the oppression of a people.

(3) The German Democratic Republic may grant asylum to citizens of other states or stateless persons who are persecuted for political, scientific or cultural activities in defence of peace, democracy, the interests of the working people or for their participation in the social and national liberation struggle.

Article 24[edit]

(1) Every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the right to work. He has the right to a job and its free choice according to social requirements and personal qualifications. He has the right to pay according to quality and quantity of work. Men and women, adults and young people have the right to equal pay with equal work performance.

(2) Socially useful activity is an honorable duty for every citizen capable of work. The right to work and the duty to work form one unit.

(3) The right to work is guaranteed through socialist ownership of the means of production; through the socialist direction and planning of the social reproduction process; through the steady and planned growth of the socialist productive forces and labour productivity; through the consistent implementation of the scientific-technical Revolution; through continuous education and training of citizens and through the uniform socialist labour law.

Article 25[edit]

(1) Every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the same right to education. The educational institutions are open to everyone. The unified socialist education system guarantees every citizen a continuous socialist education, education and further training.

(2) The German Democratic Republic ensures the progress of the people towards a socialist community of all-round educated and harmoniously developed people, imbued with the spirit of socialist patriotism and internationalism, with a high level of general education and special education.

(3) All citizens have the right to participate in cultural life. It is becoming increasingly important under the conditions of the scientific-technical revolution and the increase of intellectual requirements. For the full expression of the socialist personality and for the growing satisfaction of cultural interests and needs, the participation of citizens in cultural life, physical culture and sport is promoted by the state and society.

(4) In the German Democratic Republic there is a general ten - year compulsory secondary education, which is completed by attending the ten-class general polytechnic secondary school in the institutions of vocational training or the training and further education of the working people. All young people have the right and the duty, to learn a profession.

(5) Special education and training facilities exist for children and adults with psychological and physical impairments.

(6) The solution of these tasks is ensured by the state and all social forces in joint educational and educational work.

Article 26[edit]

(1) The state ensures the possibility of Transition to the next higher level of education up to the highest educational facilities, universities and colleges, according to the performance principle, the social needs and taking into account the social structure of the population.

(2) There is no tuition fee. Training allowances and freedom from learning aids are granted according to social considerations.

(3) Direct students at universities, colleges and technical schools are exempt from tuition fees. Scholarships and study grants are granted according to social aspects and performance.

Article 27[edit]

(1) Every citizen of the German Democratic Republic shall have the right to express his or her opinion freely and publicly in accordance with the principles of this Constitution. This right is not limited by any employment or employment relationship. No one may be disadvantaged if he makes use of this right.

(2) Freedom of the press, broadcasting and television is guaranteed.

Article 28[edit]

(1) All citizens have the right to assemble peacefully within the framework of the principles and objectives of the Constitution.

(2) The use of the material conditions for the unhindered exercise of this right, the meeting buildings, streets and rally places, printing works and news media shall be guaranteed.

Article 29[edit]

The citizens of the German Democratic Republic have the right to unification in order to realize their interests through joint action in political parties, social organizations, associations and collectives in accordance with the principles and objectives of the Constitution.

Article 30[edit]

(1) The personality and freedom of every citizen of the German Democratic Republic are inviolable.

(2) Restrictions are only permitted in connection with criminal acts or medical treatment and must be justified by law. The rights of such citizens may only be limited to the extent that this is legally permissible and unavoidable.

(3) In order to protect his freedom and the inviolability of his personality, every citizen is entitled to the assistance of state and social organs.

Article 31[edit]

(1) Postal and telecommunications secrecy are inviolable.

(2) They may only be restricted on a legal basis if the security of the socialist state or criminal prosecution requires it.

Article 32[edit]

Every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the right to freedom of movement within the territory of the German Democratic Republic within the framework of the laws.

Article 33[edit]

(1) Every citizen of the German Democratic Republic shall be entitled to legal protection by the organs of the German Democratic Republic when staying outside the German Democratic Republic.

(2) No citizen of the German Democratic Republic may be extradited to a foreign power.

Article 34[edit]

(1) Every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the right to leisure and recreation.

(2) The right to leisure and recreation is guaranteed by the legal limitation of daily and weekly working hours, a fully paid annual leave, and through the planned expansion of the network of national and other social recreation and holiday centres.

Article 35[edit]

(1) Every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the right to the protection of his health and his labour.

(2) This right is guaranteed by the planned improvement of working and living conditions, the maintenance of public health, a comprehensive social policy, the promotion of physical culture, school and national sports and tourism.

(3) On the basis of a social insurance system, material security, free medical assistance, medicines and other medical benefits in kind are provided in the event of illness or accident.

Article 36[edit]

(1) Every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the right to the care of society in old age and disability.

(2) This right is guaranteed by increasing material, social and cultural provision and care for old and incapacitated citizens.

Article 37[edit]

(1) Every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the right to housing for himself and his family according to economic possibilities and local conditions. The state is obliged to realize this right through the promotion of housing construction, the preservation of the value of existing housing and public control over the fair distribution of housing.

(2) There is legal protection in the event of termination.

(3) Every citizen has the right to inviolability of his dwelling.

Article 38[edit]

(1) marriage, family and motherhood are under the special protection of the state. Every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the right to respect, protect and promote marriage and the family.

(2) This right is guaranteed by the equal rights of men and women in marriage and the family, by the social and state support of citizens in the consolidation and development of their marriage and family. The welfare and support of the socialist state through special measures applies to large families, single mothers and fathers.

(3) Mother and child enjoy the special protection of the socialist state. Maternity leave, special medical care, material and financial support for births and child benefit are provided.

(4) It is the right and the first duty of parents to educate their children to be healthy and cheerful, to be able and to be educated on all sides, to be citizens of the state. Parents are entitled to a close and trusting cooperation with the social and state educational institutions.

Article 39[edit]

(1) Every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the right to profess a religious faith and to perform religious acts.

(2) Churches and other religious communities arrange their affairs and carry out their activities in accordance with the Constitution and the legal provisions of the German Democratic Republic. Further details can be regulated by agreements.

Article 40[edit]

Citizens of the German Democratic Republic of Sorbian nationality have the right to cultivate their mother tongue and culture. The exercise of this right is encouraged by the state.

Chapter 2 Enterprises, cities and municipalities in the socialist society[edit]

Article 41[edit]

Within the framework of central state management and planning, the socialist enterprises, cities, municipalities and community associations are autonomous communities in which the citizens work and shape their social relations. They ensure the protection of the fundamental rights of citizens, the effective connection of the personal with the social interests as well as a diverse social-political and cultural-spiritual life. They are under the protection of the Constitution. Interference in your rights can only take place on the basis of laws.

Article 42[edit]

(1) In the enterprise, the activity of which is the basis for the creation and increase of social wealth, the working people participate directly in the management, with the help of their elected organs. More detailed rules laws and statutes.

(2) In order to increase social productivity, associations and societies may be formed by state bodies, enterprises and cooperatives, and other forms of cooperative cooperation may be developed.

Article 43[edit]

(1) The cities, municipalities and associations of municipalities of the German Democratic Republic shall create the necessary conditions for the ever better satisfaction of the material, social, cultural and other common needs of the citizens. To solve these tasks, they work together with the companies and cooperatives in their area. All citizens participate by exercising their political rights.

(2) The responsibility for carrying out the social function of the cities and municipalities rests with the representatives of the people elected by the citizens. They decide their own affairs on the basis of the laws. They are responsible for the rational use of all the values of national wealth that they possess.

Chapter 3 The trade unions and their rights[edit]

Article 44[edit]

(1) The free trade unions, united in the Free German Trade Union Confederation, are the comprehensive class organization of the working class. They take care of the interests of the workers, employees and members of the intelligentsia through comprehensive co-determination in the state, economy and society.

(2) The trade unions are independent. No one may restrict or impede them in their activities.

(3) Trade unions participate significantly through the activities of their organizations and bodies, through their representatives in the elected state organs of power and through their proposals to the state and economic organs the shaping of the socialist society, managing and planning the national economy, the realization of the scientific-technical revolution, the development of working and living conditions, health and safety at work, working culture, cultural and sporting life of working people. The trade unions are working in the companies and institutions to draw up the plans. They lead the continuous production consultations.

Article 45[edit]

(1) Trade unions have the right to enter into agreements with state bodies, management bodies and other economic bodies on all matters relating to the working and living conditions of working people.

(2) Trade unions take an active part in shaping the socialist legal system. They have the right of legislative initiative as well as social control over the protection of the legally guaranteed rights of the working people.

(3) The trade unions manage the social security of the workers and employees on the basis of the self-administration of the insured. They take part in the comprehensive material and financial care and care of citizens in the event of illness, accident at work, disability and old age.

(4) All state organs and business leaders are obliged to ensure close and trusting cooperation with the trade unions.

Chapter 4 The socialist production cooperatives and their rights[edit]

Article 46[edit]

(1) The agricultural production cooperatives are the voluntary associations of the peasants for the common socialist production, for the ever better satisfaction of their material and cultural needs and for the supply of the people and the national economy. They shape their working and living conditions independently on the basis of the laws.

(2) Through their organizations and their representatives in the state organs, the agricultural production cooperatives actively participate in the state management and planning of social development.

(3) The state helps agricultural production cooperatives to develop large-scale socialist production on the basis of advanced science and technology.

(4) The same principles apply to the socialist production cooperatives of fishermen, gardeners and craftsmen.

Section III Structure and System of state management[edit]

Article 47[edit]

(1) The structure and activity of the state organs shall be determined by the objectives and tasks of state power as defined in the Constitution.

(2) The sovereignty of the working people, realized on the basis of democratic centralism, is the fundamental principle of state building.

Chapter 1 The People's Chamber[edit]

Article 48[edit]

(1) The People's Chamber is the supreme power organ of the German Democratic Republic. She decides, in its plenary sessions on the basic questions of state policy.

(2) The People's Chamber is the only constitutional and legislative body in the German Democratic Republic. No one can restrict your rights. In its activities, the People's Chamber implements the principle of unity of decision-making and implementation.

Article 49[edit]

(1) The People's Chamber shall determine by laws and decisions the final and binding objectives of the development of the German Democratic Republic.

(2) The People's Chamber shall lay down the main rules for the cooperation of citizens, communities and state bodies and their tasks in the implementation of state plans for social development.

(3) The People's Chamber ensures the implementation of its laws and decisions. It determines the principles of the activities of the State Council, the Council of Ministers, the National Defence Council, the Supreme Court and the Attorney General.

Article 50[edit]

The People's Chamber elects the chairman and members of the State Council, the chairman and members of the Council of Ministers, the Chairman of the National Defense Council, the President and judges of the Supreme Court and the Attorney General. They can be recalled by the People's Chamber at any time.

Article 51[edit]

The People's Chamber confirms state treaties of the German Democratic Republic and other international treaties to the extent that they amend laws of the People's Chamber. It decides on the termination of these contracts.

Article 52[edit]

The People's Chamber decides on the state of defense of the German Democratic Republic. In the event of an emergency, the State Council is entitled to fire at the state of defence. The chairman of the State Council announces the state of defense.

Article 53[edit]

The People's Chamber may decide to hold referendums.

Article 54[edit]

The People's Chamber consists of 500 deputies, who are elected by the people for a period of 5 years in free, general, equal and secret elections.

Article 55[edit]

(1) The People's Chamber elects a presidium for the duration of the electoral period. The Presidium consists of the President of the People's Chamber, a deputy of the President and other members.

(2) The Presidium shall conduct the work of the People's Chamber in accordance with its Rules of Procedure.

Article 56[edit]

(1) The deputies of the People's Chamber carry out their responsible tasks in the interest and for the good of the entire people.

(2) Members of Parliament shall promote the participation of citizens in the preparation and implementation of laws in cooperation with the committees of the National Front of the German Democratic Republic, social organizations and state bodies.

(3) Members of parliament maintain close ties with their constituents. You are obliged to heed their suggestions, hints and criticisms and to take care of a conscientious treatment.

(4) The deputies explain to the citizens the policy of the socialist state.

Article 57[edit]

(1) The members of the People's Chamber are obliged to hold regular office hours and debates and to report to the voters on their activities.

(2) A member who grossly violates his duties may be dismissed by the voters in accordance with the statutory procedure.

Article 58[edit]

The deputies of the People's Chamber have the right to participate in the meetings of the local representatives of the people with an advisory voice.

Article 59[edit]

Every member of the People's Chamber has the right to address questions to the Council of Ministers and to each of its members.

Article 60[edit]

(1) All state and economic bodies are obliged to assist members of parliament in the performance of their duties.

(2) The deputies of the People's Chamber have the rights of immunity. Restrictions on personal freedom, searches of houses, confiscations or prosecution are only permitted against persons ordered by the People's Chamber with the consent of the People's Chamber or in the period between meetings with the consent of the State Council. The decision of the State Council requires confirmation by the People's Chamber. Members of the People's Chamber are entitled to refuse to testify about persons who entrust them with facts in their capacity as members of Parliament or to whom they have entrusted such facts in the performance of their duties as members of Parliament.

(3) No professional or other personal disadvantages may arise for members of parliament from their activities as members of parliament. You are exempt from your professional activity insofar as the performance of your duties as a member of parliament requires it. Salaries and wages must be paid.

Article 61[edit]

(1) The People's Chamber shall form committees in its midst. They are responsible, in close cooperation with the voters, for advising on draft laws and for the constant monitoring of the implementation of the laws.

(2) The committees may require the presence of the competent ministers and heads of other state bodies in their deliberations for the purpose of providing information. All state organs are obliged to provide the committees with the necessary information.

(3) The committees have the right to call on experts for permanent or temporary cooperation.

Article 62[edit]

(1) The People's Chamber shall meet no later than 30 days after its election. Its first meeting is convened by the State Council.

(2) Further meetings of the People's Chamber are convened by the Presidium of the People's Chamber.

(3) The Presidium of the People's Chamber is obliged to convene the People's Chamber if the People's Chamber has decided on it or if at least one third of the members of parliament so request.

(4) The meetings of the People's Chamber are public. At the request of at least two-thirds of the members present, the Public may be excluded.

Article 63[edit]

(1) The People's Chamber has a quorum if more than half of the deputies are present.

(2) The People's Chamber shall take its decisions by a majority of votes. Constitutional laws are passed if at least two thirds of the elected deputies agree.

Article 64[edit]

(1) Before the end of the parliamentary term, the People's Chamber shall be dissolved only by its own decision.

(2) Such a decision shall require the approval of at least two thirds of the elected members of parliament.

(3) At the latest on the 60th day after the end of the electoral period or on the 45th day after the dissolution of the People's Chamber, their new election must take place.

Article 65[edit]

(1) The parties and mass organisations represented in the People's Chamber, the committees of the People's Chamber, the State Council, the Council of Ministers and the Freie Deutsche Gewerkschaftsbund have the right to table bills.

(2) The committees of the People's Chamber discuss the bills and present their views to the plenum of the People's Chamber.

(3) Draft basic laws will be submitted to the public for discussion before they are adopted. The results of the popular discussion are to be evaluated in the final version.

(4) The laws adopted by the People's Chamber are promulgated by the Chairman of the State Council in the law Gazette within one month.

(5) Laws shall enter into force on the 14th day after their promulgation, unless they determine otherwise.

Chapter 2 State Council[edit]

Article 66[edit]

(1) The State Council, as the organ of the People's Chamber, shall perform the tasks assigned to it by the Constitution and by the laws and resolutions of the People's Chamber. He is responsible to the People's Chamber for his work. It takes decisions to carry out the tasks assigned to it.

(2) The State Council represents the German Democratic Republic under international law. It ratifies and cancels state treaties and other international treaties for which ratification is provided.

Article 67[edit]

(1) The State Council shall consist of the Chairman, his deputies, the members and the Secretary.

(2) The chairman, the vice-chairmen, the members and the Secretary of the State Council shall be elected by the People's Chamber at its first meeting after the new election for a period of 5 years.

(3) The proposal for the election of the chairman of the State Council is submitted by the strongest faction of the People's Chamber.

(4) At the end of the electoral period of the People's Chamber, the State Council shall continue its activities until the election of the new State Council by the People's Chamber.

Article 68[edit]

The Chairman, the vice-chairmen, the members and the Secretary of the State Council shall take the following oath upon taking office of the People's Chamber: "I swear that I will devote my strength to the welfare of the people of the German Democratic Republic, uphold its constitution and laws, diligently fulfil my duties, and do justice to everyone."

Article 69[edit]

The chairman directs the work of the State Council. In the event of his being prevented, a deputy representative of the Chairman of the State Council shall perform this task.

Article 70[edit]

On behalf of the People's Chamber, the State Council supports the local representatives of the People as organs of the unified socialist state power, promotes their democratic activity in shaping the developed socialist society and influences the maintenance and the permanent consolidation of socialist legality in the activities of the local representatives of the people.

Article 71[edit]

(1) The Chairman of the State Council shall appoint and dismiss the authorised representatives of the German Democratic Republic in other states. He accepts the letters of formal notice from the representatives of other states accredited to him.

(2) The State Council shall determine military ranks, diplomatic ranks and other special titles.

Article 72[edit]

The State Council calls for elections to the People's Chamber and other representatives of the People.

Article 73[edit]

(1) The State Council shall take decisions in principle on matters relating to the defence and security of the country. It organizes the national defense with the help of the National Defense Council.

(2) The State Council appoints the members of the National Defence Council. The National Defence Council is responsible to the People's Chamber and the State Council for its activities.

Article 74[edit]

(1) On behalf of the People's Chamber, the State Council shall exercise the competent supervision of the constitutionality and legality of the activities of the Supreme Court and the Attorney General.

(2) The State Council shall exercise the right of amnesty and pardon.

Article 75[edit]

The State Council endows state orders, awards and honorary titles, which are awarded by its chairman.

Chapter 3 Council of Ministers[edit]

Article 76[edit]

(1) The Council of Ministers, as the organ of the People's Chamber, is the government of the German Democratic Republic. On behalf of the People's Chamber, he directs the uniform implementation of state policy and organizes the fulfilment of political, economic, cultural and social as well as the defensive measures entrusted to him.

(2) The Council of Ministers manages the national economy and other areas of society. It ensures the planned proportional development of the national economy, the harmonious design of social areas and territories, and the realization of socialist economic integration.

(3) The Council of Ministers shall conduct the foreign policy of the German Democratic Republic in accordance with the principles of this Constitution. It deepens all-round cooperation with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the other socialist states and ensures the active contribution of the German Democratic Republic to the strengthening of the socialist community of states.

(4) The Council of Ministers shall decide on the conclusion and termination of international treaties in accordance with its competence. He prepares state contracts.

Article 77[edit]

The Council of Ministers elaborates the tasks of the state's domestic and foreign policy to be solved and submits draft laws and decisions to the People's Chamber.

Article 78[edit]

(1) The Council of Ministers manages, coordinates and controls the activities of the ministries, the other central state bodies and the councils of the districts. It promotes the application of scientific management methods, and the involvement of workers in the implementation of the policy of the socialist state. It shall ensure that the subordinate state bodies, management bodies, associations, establishments and institutions carry out their activities on the basis of the laws and other legal provisions.

(2) Within the framework of the laws and decisions of the People's Chamber, the Council of Ministers issues regulations and takes decisions.

Article 79[edit]

(1) The Council of Ministers shall consist of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, the deputy Chairman and the Ministers.

(2) The Chairman of the Council of Ministers is proposed by the strongest faction of the People's Chamber and commissioned by the People's Chamber to form the Council of Ministers.

(3) The chairman and the members of the Council of Ministers shall be elected by it for a period of 5 years after the new election of the People's Chamber.

(4) The Chairman and the members of the Council of Ministers shall be sworn to the Constitution by the Chairman of the State Council.

Article 80[edit]

(1) The Council of Ministers is a collective body. All its members are responsible for the activities of the Council of Ministers. Each minister is responsible for the area of responsibility assigned to him.

(2) The Council of Ministers shall form the Presidium of the Council of Ministers from among its members.

(3) The Chairman of the Council of Ministers presides over the Council of Ministers and the Presidium.

(4) At the end of the parliamentary term of the People's Chamber, the Council of Ministers shall continue its activity until the election of the new Council of Ministers by the People's Chamber.

Chapter 4 The local representatives and their organs[edit]

Article 81[edit]

(1) The local representatives of the people are the organs of state power elected by the citizens entitled to vote in the districts, districts, cities, districts, municipalities and associations of municipalities.

(2) On the basis of the laws, local representatives shall decide on their own responsibility on all matters concerning their territory and its citizens. They organize the participation of citizens in the organization of political, economic, cultural and social life and cooperate with the social organizations of the working people.

(3) The activities of the local representatives of the people are aimed at increasing and protecting socialist property, constantly improving the working and living conditions of citizens and promoting the social and cultural life of citizens and their communities, to raise the socialist consciousness of the state and the law of the citizens and to secure public order, to consolidate socialist legality and to safeguard the rights of the citizens.

Article 82[edit]

(1) Local representatives shall take decisions which are binding on their organs and bodies as well as on the representatives of the people, communities and citizens of their territory. These resolutions must be published.

(2) Local representatives have their own revenues and use them.

Article 83[edit]

(1) Each local representation elects its council and commissions to carry out its responsibilities. The members of the Council should be deputies if possible. Members who are not members of parliament may also be appointed to the commissions.

(2) The Council ensures the development of the activities of the representatives of the People and organises the management of social development in their area of responsibility. He is responsible to the Representation of the People for all his activities and accountable to the superior Council. The Council is a collective body.

(3) The commissions organise the competent participation of citizens in the preparation and implementation of the decisions of the Representation of the People. They supervise the implementation of the laws and other legal provisions as well as the decisions of the representatives of the people by the Council and its specialised bodies.

Article 84[edit]

The local representatives of the people can form associations for the joint performance of their tasks.

Article 85[edit]

The tasks and powers of the local representatives, their deputies, commissions and their councils in the districts, districts, cities, districts, municipalities and associations of municipalities are determined by law.

Section IV Socialist legality and administration of justice[edit]

Article 86[edit]

Socialist society, the political power of the working people, their state and legal system are the fundamental guarantee of the observance and realization of the Constitution in the spirit of justice, equality, fraternity and humanity.

Article 87[edit]

Society and the state ensure legality by involving citizens and their communities in the administration of justice and in social and state control over the observance of socialist law.

Article 88[edit]

The responsibility of all senior employees in government and business towards citizens is ensured by a system of accountability.

Article 89[edit]

(1) Laws and other generally binding legal provisions of the German Democratic Republic shall be published in the Gesetzblatt and otherwise.

(2) Legislation of local representatives and their organs shall be published in an appropriate form.

(3) Legislation may not contradict the Constitution. Doubts about the constitutionality of legislation are decided by the People's Chamber.

Article 90[edit]

(1) The administration of justice serves the implementation of socialist legality, the protection and development of the German Democratic Republic and its state and social order. It protects freedom, peaceful life, human rights and dignity.

(2) The fight against and prevention of criminal offences and other violations of the law are the joint abandonment of socialist society, its state and all citizens.

(3) The participation of citizens in the administration of justice is guaranteed. It is determined in detail by law.

Article 91[edit]

The generally accepted norms of international law on the punishment of crimes against peace, against humanity and war crimes are directly applicable law. Crimes of this kind are not subject to the statute of limitations.

Article 92[edit]

In the German Democratic Republic, jurisdiction is exercised by the Supreme Court, the district courts, the district courts and the social courts within the scope of the tasks assigned to them by the law. In military criminal cases, the Supreme Court, the Military Tribunals and the military courts exercise jurisdiction.

Article 93[edit]

(1) The Supreme Court is the highest body of jurisprudence.

(2) The Supreme Court directs the jurisprudence of the courts on the basis of the Constitution, the laws and other legal provisions of the German Democratic Republic. It ensures uniform application of the law by all courts.

(3) The Supreme Court shall be responsible to the People's Chamber and, between its meetings, to the State Council.

Article 94[edit]

(1) Judges can only be those who are loyal to the people and their socialist state and have a high degree of knowledge and life experience, of human maturity and firmness of character.

(2) The democratic election of all judges, judges and members of social courts ensures that justice is exercised by women and men of all classes and strata of the people.

Article 95[edit]

All judges, judges and members of the social courts are elected by the People's Chamber or directly by the citizens. They report on their work to their voters. They may be removed by their constituents if they violate the Constitution or the laws or otherwise grossly violate their duty.

Article 96[edit]

(1) The judges, judges and members of the social courts are independent in their jurisprudence. They are only bound by the Constitution, laws and other legal provisions of the German Democratic Republic.

(2) The judges shall exercise the function of judge in full and with the same voting rights as the professional judges.

Article 97[edit]

In order to safeguard the socialist social and state order and the rights of the citizens, the public prosecutor's office monitors the strict observance of socialist legality on the basis of the laws and other legal provisions of the German Democratic Republic. It protects citizens from violations of the law. The prosecution leads the fight against criminal offences and ensures that the persons who have committed crimes or misdemeanours are held accountable in court.

Article 98[edit]

(1) The prosecutor's office shall be headed by the Attorney General.

(2) District and county prosecutors and military prosecutors shall be under the authority of the Attorney General.

(3) The prosecutors shall be appointed and dismissed by the Attorney General, they shall be responsible to him and bound by his instructions.

(4) The Attorney General shall be responsible to the People's Chamber and, between its meetings, to the State Council.

Article 99[edit]

(1) Criminal liability shall be governed by the laws of the German Democratic Republic.

(2) An act shall entail criminal liability only if it is established by law at the time of the commission of the act, if the offender has acted culpably and the guilt has been proven beyond reasonable doubt. Criminal laws have no retroactive effect.

(3) Criminal prosecution is only possible in accordance with the criminal laws.

(4) The rights of the citizen may be restricted in connection with criminal proceedings only to the extent permitted and unavoidable by law.

Article 100[edit]

(1) Only the judge has to decide on the admissibility of pre-trial detention. Those arrested must be presented to the judge no later than the day after their arrest.

(2) The judge or the public prosecutor shall, within the scope of their responsibility, check at any time whether the conditions of pre-trial detention still exist.

(3) The prosecutor shall notify the next of kin of the arrested person within 24 hours of the first judicial hearing. Exceptions are only permitted if the purpose of the investigation is endangered by the notification. In these cases, the notification is made after the reasons for the risk have disappeared.

Article 101[edit]

(1) No one may be deprived of his legal judge.

(2) Exceptional courts are inadmissible.

Article 102[edit]

(1) Every citizen has the right to be heard in court.

(2) The right to defence shall be guaranteed throughout the criminal proceedings.

Article 103[edit]

(1) Any citizen may make submissions (suggestions, suggestions, concerns or complaints) to the representatives of the people, their deputies or the state and economic bodies. This right also belongs to the social organizations and the communities of citizens. You may not incur any disadvantage from the exercise of this right.

(2) The institutions responsible for the decision are obliged to process the submissions of the citizens or the communities within the time limit prescribed by law and to inform the applicants of the result.

(3) The procedure for processing the entries is determined by law.

Article 104[edit]

(1) For damages caused to a citizen or his personal property by unlawful measures taken by employees of the state bodies, the state body whose employees caused the damage shall be liable.

(2) Conditions and procedures of state liability are regulated by law.

Section V Final clause[edit]

Article 105[edit]

The Constitution is directly applicable law.

Article 106[edit]

The Constitution can only be amended by the People's Chamber of the German Democratic Republic by law that expressly modifies or supplements the text of the Constitution.

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