Translation:Constitution of the State of Hesse

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Constitution of the State of Hesse  (1946) 
State Constitution Discussion Assembly, translated from German by Wikisource


In the conviction that Germany can only have a present and a future as a democratic common being, Hesse as a member state of the German Republic gave itself this constitution.


I. Equality and freedom[edit]

Article 1

All humans are equal by law, without differences in gender, race, origin, religious and political opinion.

Article 2

(1) The man is free. He can do and act what doesn't violate others' rights or threatens the constitutional order of the common being.
(2) No one can be forced to perform, refrain from, or permit an action, so long as no law or a ruling based on law requires or allows it.
(3) If someone believes that his rights are violated by public force, he is entitled to take legal action.

Article 3

Life and health, honor and dignity of man are inviolable.

Article 4

Marriage and family, forming the basis for common life, are especially protected by law.

Article 5

The freedom of person is inviolable.

Article 6

Everyone is free to stay and settle anywhere he wants.

Article 7

No German may be extradited by a foreign force. Foreigners enjoy protection against extradition and expelling, if they are pursued under violation of the basic rights mandated in this constituion and fled to Hesse.

Article 8

The home is inviolable.

Article 9

Religion, conscience and belief are free.

Article 10

No one may be prevented from creating and distributing his scientific or cultural writings.

Article 11

(1) Everyone has the right to voice his opinion freely and publically. This right cannot be limited even through an employment contract, and no one may receive a disadvantage by exerting his rights. Only if the work agreed on is to serve for a specific political, religious or world view, can the contract be canceled if a participant deviates.
(2) Censorship of the press is unlawful.

Article 12

The secrecy of letters is inviolable.

Article 13

Everyone is entitled to teach himself on all areas of science and experience and the opinion of others by acquiring printed works, listening to radio broadcases or in any other way.

Article 14

(1) All Germans have the right to assemble unarmed and in peace without prior registration or special permission.
(2) Law can require open-air assembles to require prior registration.

Article 15

All Germans have the right to form associations or labor unions.

Article 16

Everyone has the right to, alone or together with others, direct petitions or complains to the responsible authority or to the people's representants.

II. Limits and protection of human rights[edit]

Article 17

(1) Someone who attacks or endangers the constitutional state may not refer to the freedom of opinion, assembly and association, as well as the freedom of distribution of scientific and cultural works.
(2) In case of a complaint, the State Court of Justice decides whether these requirements are met.

Article 18

Someone may as well not refer to the freedom of opinion, the freedom of distribution of scientific and cultural works as well as the freedom of teaching if he violates laws that protect the youth.

Article 19

(1) If there is an urgent suspicion of an illegal action, the judge may order a remand, a search of the home and intervention in the secrecy of letters. The search of the home may also be approved subsequently if the pursual of the offender requires immediate action.
(2) Every convicted person is to be taken to the judge within 24 hours, who can interrogate him, decide to detain or release him, and in case of detention up to the final judgment, decide every month whether the detention is still warranted. The reason for detention is to be told to the convicted person immediately, and, on request, to his immediate family within 24 hours after the judgment.

Article 20

(1) No one may be taken away his legal judge. Exceptional or special courts are unlawful.
(2) Everyone is presumed innocent until an ordinary court has issued an judgment judging him guilty that has entered into force. The right to be defended by a lawyer may not be limited.

Article 21

(1) If someone is judged guilty of a crime, the judgment may by criminal law forfeit or limit the freedom and the civil honor. In case of exceptionally grave crimes, he may be sentenced to death.
(2) The punishment is to be determined by the graveness of the crime.
(3) All convicted people are to be treated humane.

Article 22

(1) No criminal law applies retroactively, except if it would prove more advantageous to the offender than the law in force when the act was commited.
(2) No one may suffer or be made responsible by criminal law for actions or refrainments he did not commit.
(3) No one can be punished more than once for the same act.

Article 23

If a mentally or physically disabled person severely endangers other people, he may be admitted to hospital. He has the right to call the judge against this action. Details are regulated by law.

Article 24

Other limits of personal freedom are only allowed within the laws and only insofar as they are necessary to secure the arrival of people invited to court, the duty of testimony, the court police, enforcement of judgments and the performance of legal administrative orders.

Article 25

Everyone has by the laws the duty to take voluntary activities and perform personal services for the state and the municipality. If he is in an employment contract, he is to be given sufficient free time. Details are regulated by law.

Article 26

These basic rights are immutable, they bind the legislature, the judge and the administration immediately.

IIa. State goal - environmental protection[edit]

Article 26a

The natural basis of human life is under protection by the state and the municipalities.

III. Social and economic rights and duties[edit]

Article 27

The social and economical order is based on the recognition of the dignity and the personality of man.

Article 28

(1) The human workforce is under special protection of the state.
(2) Everyone has, by his abilities, a right to work and, without prejudice to the personal freedom, the customary duty to work.
(3) One who is unemployed with no fault has the right to the required alimonies for himself and his relatives. A law regulates the unemployment insurance.

Article 29

(1) A uniform labor law is to be made for employees, workers and public officials.
(2) Within the scope of the labor law, common agreements can only be made between the labor unions and the employers or their substitutes. They form binding law that can in general only be changed in favor of the employee.
(3) The law regulates the mediation.
(4) The right to strike is recognized if the labor unions announce the strike.
(5) Lockout is unlawful.

Article 30

(1) The working conditions must be such that the health, the dignity, the family life and the cultural needs of the employee is secured; especially, they may not endanger the physical, mental and customary development of the youth.
(2) The law creates measures to protect the mothers and children, and it ensures that the woman can combine her exercises as a civil person with her duties as a woman and mother.
(3) Child labor is illegal.

Article 31

The eight-hour day is the legal norm. Sunday and holidays are work-free. Exceptions may be allowed by law or by common agreement if they serve the generality.

Article 32

The first of May is the holiday of all working people. It pictures the confession in social justice and to progress, peace, freedom and communication between the people.

Article 33

The wage must correspond to the performance of the employee and must suffice for the daily needs of the employee and his relatives. The woman and the young are entitled to the same wage for the same job and the same performance. The wage continues to be paid during holidays if they lie within work time.

Article 34

Every employee has the right to have paid vacation of at least twelve working days in the year. Details are regulated by law.

Article 35

(1) A social insurance is to be created that encompasses all the people. It is to be structured usefully. The representation of the insured people is recognized. Its organs are elected in a general, equal, free and secret election. Details are regulated by law.
(2) It is the job of the social insurance to raise the health of the people, even by precautionary measures, to provide help to the ill, the pregnant and the postnatal and to provide sufficient supplies to people with limited or no ability to work, as well as the widows and the elderly.
(3) The state is responsible for the order of the health system. Details are regulated by law.

Article 36

(1) The freedom to unite in labor unions and employer representations to shape and improve the working and economical conditions is provided for everyone.
(2) No one may be forced or prevented to be a member of such a union.

Article 37

(1) Employees, workers and public officials in all companies and authorities receive, in accordance with the labor unions, common works councils which are elected in common, equal, free, secret and direct elections by the employees.
(2) The works councils are to decide in agreement with the labor unions about social, personal and economical questions of the company in the same way as the employers.
(3) Details are regulated by law.

Article 38

(1) The economy of the state has the job to serve the welfare of the people and to satisfy their demand. For this purpose, the law must initiate the measures necessary to steer the creation, production and distribution and to secure everyone a just part of the economical result of all labor and to secure him from exploitation.
(2) Within the borders drawn hereby, the economical operation is free.
(3) The labor unions and the representatives of the employers have the same rights to participate in the organs contracted by the state to perform the steering measures.

Article 39

(1) Every misuse of the economical freedom - especially for monopolistic concentration of power - is illegal.
(2) Assets that pose the danger of such misuse of economical freedom are to be made common property by legal regulations. If the transfer to common property is economically not viable, these assets must be put under state scrutiny by legal regulations or administered by state organs.
(3) The law decides whether these requirements are met.
(4) The compensation for assets transferred to common property are to be regulated by law under consideration of social aspects. If misuse of economical power is determined, no compensation will be made.

Article 40

Common property is the property of the people. The access to this property and its administration is, after more detailed legal determination, to be assigned to legal people that assert that the property will only be used for the welfare of the whole people and that concentration of power is avoided.

Article 41

(1) As the constitution enters force,

  1. the following are to be transferred into common property: mining (coal, salt, ore), iron and steel manufacturing, energy companies and transportation bound to rails or overhead lines.
  2. the state watches the large banks and insurance companies and those companies listed under point 1 whose headquarters are not located in Hesse.

(2) Details are regulated by law.
(3) One who is owner of a company transferred to common property or is commissioned to lead the company, is to continue governing the company as a state trust until the executional laws have entered into force.

Article 42

(1) After taking into account more specific laws, land owned by large-scale landowners that, after considering historical experience, provide a danger of political abuse or military movements is to be revoked as part of a land reform.
(2) The job of the land reform is to keep and spread the farming and forest area and to improve its yield, to settle farmers and to create healthy residential areas, settlements and allotments.
(3) Scattered ownership is to be made more efficient by redistribution.
(4) Land that is not used in an orderly manner can be revoked after more detailed legal regulation.
(5) For the compensation of the previous owner, Article 39 paragraph 4 applies accordingly.

Article 43

(1) Independent small and medium companies in farming, business, handcraft and trade are to be specially supported by legislation and administration and are to be especially protected against overburden and acquisition.
(2) For this purpose, the cooperative self-help is to be extended.

Article 44

The cooperative is to be supported.

Article 45

(1) The private ownership is guaranteed. Its contents and its limits are defined by the laws. Everyone is entitled to acquire ownership by law and to act upon it.
(2) The private ownership obliges against the community. Its use may not go against the well-being of the community. It may be limited or revoked only in public interest, only by law, only by the defined process and only with appropriate compensation.
(3) If law doesn't specify otherwise, the ordinary courts are responsible for disputes over the type and the amount of compensation.
(4) The inheritance law is provided under stipulation of the civil law. The state part of the estate is determined by law.

Article 46

The rights of the creator, inventor and artist are protected by the state.

Article 47

(1) The assets and the income are progressively taxed taking into account social aspects and the family situation.
(2) When taking taxes, special consideration must be taken of assets and income earned by labor.

IV. The state, churches, religious and world view communities[edit]

Article 48

(1) Undisturbed and public practice of religion and the freedom of assembly to religious and world view communities is guaranteed.
(2) No one may be forced or prevented to take part in an ecclesiastical act or celebration or a religious training or to use a religious oath.
(3) There is no state church.

Article 49

Every church, religious and world view community handles and administers its matters on its own within the limits set by law that apply to everyone. They confer official titles without the state or the civil municipality taking part.

Article 50

(1) It is the job of the law to clearly separate the state and the ecclesiastical areas.
(2) The churches, religious and world view community are, just like the state, to not interfere with the matters of the other part.

Article 51

(1) Churches, religious and world view community stay corporations of public law if they previously held this status. Other religious and world view communities may on request be given the same status if they, by constitution and amount of members, ensure their permanence.
(2) There are no limits to the unification of churches, religious and world view communities. The union of public communities is itself a corporation of public law.
(3) Churches, religious and world view communities that are corporations of public law may take taxes using the civil tax list after more detailed legal regulation.

Article 52

The payments to churches, religious or world view communities based on law, contract or special legal titles are to end according to legislation.

Article 53

Sunday and public holidays are legally protected as work-free days and days of mental rise.

Article 54

If there is a desire to have a worship and care in hospitals, jails and other public institutions, the churches, religious and world view communities are entitled to religious actions. However, they must not use force.

V. Education, monumental protection and sport[edit]

Article 55

The education of the youth to common sense and physical, intellectual and mental ability is the right and duty of the parents. This right can only be revoked by judgment after applying the laws.

Article 56

(1) There is a common compulsory education. Schooling is subject of the state. The overseeing of the schools is done officially by specially trained people.
(2) In all Hessian schools, children of all religious and world view opinions are normally educated together (community school).
(3) The basis of all lessons must be acceptance. The teacher must in every lesson consider the religious and world view feelings of the students and explain the religious and world views objectively.
(4) The goal of education is to make the young man a personality with common sense, to prepare his working ability and the political responsibility for an independent and responsible service to the people and mankind through awe and charity, respect and acceptance, legality and veracity.
(5) The history lesson must ensure a true and genuine depiction of the past. It must emphasize the great deeds of mankind, the development of state, economy, civilization and culture, but not commanders, wars and battles. It is not acceptable to teach opinions which endanger the basis of the democratic state.
(6) The legal guardians have the right to take part in the shape of the lessons as long as the principles of paragraphs 2 through 5 are not violated.
(7) Details are regulated by law. It must contain precautions to prevent religious and world view principles that the legal guardians have taught their children from being violated.

Article 57

(1) Religious education is an ordinary lesson. The teacher of religious education is, without prejudice to the overseeing right of the state, bound to the doctrines and orders of his church or religious community.
(2) These regulations are to apply to world view communites as well.

Article 58

The legal guardian decides on the participation of the child in religious education. No teacher can be forced or prevented to take religious education.

Article 59

(1) Education in all elementary, middle and high schools as well as universities is free of charge. The teaching materials, with the exception of those used in the universities, are free of charge as well. The law must regulate education aids to talented children of socially weak families. It can order that appropriate schooling money is to be paid if the economical situation of the student, his parents and the other people obliged to alimony warrants it.
(2) The access to middle, high schools and universities is only to depend on the suitability of the student.

Article 60

(1) The universities and other state academies are protected by state and overseen by it. They have the right to self-administration, which the students are to participate in.
(2) The theological faculties on universities remain. The churches are to be asked before employing its docents.
(3) The ecclesiastical theological education facilities are recognized.

Article 61

Private middle, high schools and universities, as well as schools of special pedagogical directions must be approved by the state. The approval is to be denied if private schools are behind public schools in their goals and facilities and their scientific training of the teachers, if they promote separation by the wealth of the parents or if the economical and legal situation of the teachers is not sufficiently secured. Details are regulated by law.

Article 62

The monuments of art, history and culture as well as the landscape are protected and cared for by the state and the municipalities. They watch by special laws over the artistic arrangement during the reconstruction of the German cities, villages and settlements.

Article 62a

The sport is protected and cared for by the state, the municipalities and the municipal organizations.

VI. Common regulation for all basic rights[edit]

Article 63

(1) If this constitution allows the restriction of one of the previously mentioned basic rights by law or leaves the closer definitions to a law, the basic right as such must stay untouched.
(2) Law in the sense of these regulations is only an order decided on by the people or the people's representation, which expressly contains regulations over the restriction or definitions of the basic right. Pointers to older regulations in the legal text as well as regulations determined by the interpretation of general legal authorizations are not sufficient to fulfill these requirements.


I. The state of Hesse[edit]

Article 64

Hesse is a part of the German Republic.

Article 65

Hesse is a democratic and parliamentary republic.

Article 66

The state colors are red-white.

II. Bindings due to international law[edit]

Article 67

The rules of international law are binding components of the state law, without needing to be specially transformed into state law. No law is valid that violates these rules or a state contract.

Article 68

No one may be punished if he points to facts that turn out to be a violation of duties of international law.

Article 69

(1) Hesse confesses to peace, freedom and communication of the people. The war is outlawed.
(2) Every action that is done in order to prepare a war is unlawful.

III. The state authority[edit]

Article 70

The state authority is nonforfeitably subjected by the people.

Article 71

The people act by the regulations of this constitution directly through community votes (community election, community desire and community decision), indirectly through the decisions of the constitutional organs.

Article 72

Freedom of voting and secrecy of voting are guaranteed.

Article 73

(1) Eligible for voting are all Germans according to article 116 paragraph 1 of the Basic Law older than eighteen years which live in Hesse and whose right to vote was not forfeited.
(2) The right to vote is general, equal, secret and direct. The day of voting must be a Sunday or a public holiday.
(3) Details are subject to regulation by law.

Article 74

Excluded from the right to vote are:

  1. people who are incapacitate or provisionally put under custody or taken care of due to mental disabilities;
  2. who are not fully in possession of the citizenship.

IV. The parliament[edit]

Article 75

(1) The parliament is made up of members elected by the people.
(2) Able to be elected are people with the right to vote who have reached the age of twenty-one.
(3) Details are regulated by the election law. If it requires that the electoral group must have a minimum amount of votes, this amount may not be higher than five per cent of all submitted valid votes.

Article 76

(1) Everyone is to be given the ability to be elected to parliament and to use his mandate unrestricted and without a disadvantage.
(2) Details are regulated by law.

Article 77

The members of parliament are representatives of the whole people.

Article 78

(1) An election checking court created in parliament checks the validity of the elections. It also decides whether a member of parliament has lost his seat.
(2) In case of severity or the outcome of the election, the following turn the election invalid: irregularities in the election process and criminal actions or actions violating common sense that affect the outcome of the election.
(3) The election checking court is made up of the two highest judges of the state and three members of parliament elected for their election period.
(4) Details will be regulated by law.

Article 79

The parliament is elected for a duration of five years (election period). The new election must take place before the end of the election period.

Article 80

The parliament can dissolve itself by a decision that has been supported by more than half the legal amount of members.

Article 81

After the parliament has dissolved, a new election must take place within sixty days.

Article 82

The election period of the new parliament begins on the day of election if the old parliament was dissolved, otherwise as the previous election period expires.

Article 83

(1) The parliament normally assembles at the seat of government.
(2) The parliament assembles by its own right on the 18th day after the election. If at this date the previous election period has not expired yet, the new parliament assembles on the day after expiry of the previous election period.
(3) If one of the previously mentioned days falls on a Sunday or holiday, the parliament assembles only on the second work day following that day.
(4) The parliament decides on deferrals, the end of assembly (seating period) and the day of reassembly.
(5) The president of parliament can call in the parliament at any time. He must do this if the state government or at least one fifth of the legal amount of members of parliament requests it.

Article 84

The parliament elects the president, his substitutes and the other board members.

Article 85

Between two assembles and until a newly elected parliament assembles, the president and the substitutes of the previous assembly continue their businesses. They enjoy the rights defined in articles 95 through 98.

Article 86

The president administers the entire economical matters of the parliament after taking into account the state budget law. He oversees all public officials, employees and workers of the parliament and can, after discussing with the board of parliament, appoint and dismiss the public officials of parliament. He represents the state of Hesse in all legal matters and disputes of his administration. He has the right of house and the right to command the police in the parliament building.

Article 87

(1) The parliament can only discuss and enact if more than half the legal amount of members are present.
(2) For the elections undertaken by parliament, the local rules may state different regulations.

Article 88

The parliament bases its decisions on the majority of the votes named "Yes" or "No". A tie leads to refusal of the proposal.

Article 89

The sessions of the parliament are public. On request of the state government or of ten members of parliament, the parliament can with a two-thirds majority exclude certain parts of the agenda from the public. This request is dealt with in private.

Article 90

Truthful reports of the negotiations in the public sessions of the Hessian or any other parliament of a German state and its board are free of all responsibility.

Article 91

The parliament and each of its boards can request the presence of the prime minister and each of the ministers. The prime minister, the ministers and the ordered commissioners have the right to access the sessions of parliament. They can at any time - even outside the agenda - take the word. They are under the authority of the chairman.

Article 92

(1) The parliament has the right and, on request of one fifth of the legal amount of members, the duty to instate an investigation board. These boards collect in public trial the proof that it or the requester deems necessary. It can with a two-thirds majority exclude the public. The local rules define the process and the amount of members.
(2) The courts and administration authorities are required to fulfill the requests of the board for enquiries and proof surveys; the files of the authorities and public bodies are to be handed over on request.
(3) For the proof survey of the boards and the involved authorities, the rules of the criminal procedure regulation apply, however the secrecy of letters stays untouched.

Article 93

The parliament orders a permanent board (main board). This board holds the rights of the representation of people against the state government while the parliament is not assembled and between the end of an election period or the dissolving of parliament and the assembling of the new parliament. It also holds the rights of the investigation board. Its composition is governed by the local rules. Its members enjoy the rights defined in articles 95 through 98.

Article 94

The parliament can forward requests directed at it to the state government and request information on received requests and complains.

Article 95

No member of the Hessian or any other German state parliament may at any time, based on his vote or a comment made during his duties as a member of parliament, be pursued in court or in service or otherwise made responsible outside the assembly.

Article 96

(1) No member of the Hessian or any other German state parliament may, without approval of the house the member is part of, be investigated or convicted due to a crime during a session period, except if the member is convicted on the day the act was performed or at the latest the following day.
(2) The same approval is required for any other restriction of personal freedom that restricts the exertion of the job as a member of parliament.
(3) Every criminal investigation against a member of the Hessian or any other German state parliament and any custody or other restriction of personal freedom is, on request of the house that the member is part of, lifted for the session period.
(4) A member of parliament who is pursued because of a criminal act performed as the leader of a newspaper or tabloid may not refer to the above paragraphs.

Article 97

(1) The members of the Hessian or any other German state parliament are entitled to refuse testimony on persons that have told him or that he has told facts in his role as a member of parliament, as well as on the facts themselves. In the case of seizure of documents, they're also deemed equal to persons that have a legal right to refuse testimony.
(2) A search or a seizure in the rooms of the Hessian parliament may only be performed with the approval of the president.

Article 98

(1) The members of parliament receive the right to travel with all state transportation facilities within Hesse freely, as well as compensation for travels and session money. As well, the president receives compensation for the duration of his position.
(2) The waiver of these rights is unlawful.
(3) Details are regulated by law.

Article 99

The parliament defines the local rules in accordance with the constitution.

V. The state government[edit]

Article 100

The state government (cabinet) is made up of the prime minister and the ministers.

Article 101

(1) The parliament elects without discussion the prime minister with more than half the legal amount of members. Details are regulated by local rules.
(2) The prime minister instates the ministers. He notifies the parliament immediately upon instation.
(3) Members of the noble families that have ruled in Germany or any other country until 1918 or are ruling in another country may not be members of the state government.
(4) The state government can only take over the business once the parliament has announced its trust in a special decision.

Article 102

The prime minister determines the guidelines of the government politics and is responsible to the parliament. Within these guidelines, every minister leads its assigned ressort independently and under own responsibility against the parliament.

Article 103

(1) The prime minister represents the state of Hesse. He can cast the permit to substitution on the responsible minister or any subordinate bodies.
(2) State contracts require the approval of the parliament.

Article 104

(1) The prime minister is the lead of the state government and leads its business. In the case of a tie, his vote decides the outcome. Other details are regulated by the state government under local rules.
(2) The state government decides on the responsibility of the ministers if there are no legal regulations. The decisions are to be presented to parliament immediately and are to be changed or repealed on its request.
(3) Differences in opinion on questions that touch the responsibility of multiple ministers are to be presented to the state government for discussion and decision.

Article 105

The members of the state government are entitled to receive income. Special legal regulations define the retirement and widow payments.

Article 106

The state government decides on laws that are to be presented to the parliament.

Article 107

The state government issues the required legal and administrative decrees necessary to apply a law, so long as the law doesn't transfer this job to single ministers.

Article 108

The state government instates the state officials if law doesn't specify otherwise. It can pass this responsibility to other bodies.

Article 109

(1) The prime minister applies the right of pardon in the name of the people. He can pass this responsibility to other bodies. The confirmation of capital punishment is reserved to the state government.
(2) Against a minister sentenced for an act done in his position as an official, the right of pardon can only be applied on request of the parliament.
(3) General waivers of punishments and the invalidation of a specific kind of court cases require the approval of the parliament. The invalidation of one single court case is unlawful.

Article 110

If the disposal of an unordinary emergency caused by natural disasters or other outside force is urgently required, the state government can, if the parliament is not assembled and cannot assemble in time, in accordance with the permanent board defined in article 93, instate decrees that do not violate the constitution. These decrees are to be presented to the parliament at the next assembly for approval. If the parliament denies approval, the decree is to be invalidated immediately by announcement in the public journal. Article 122 applies accordingly.

Article 111

At the entry into service, the prime minister at the parliament and the ministers in front of the prime minister while the parliament is present, take the following oath:

"I swear that I will use the position assigned to me in an unbiased manner, to the best of my knowledge and ability, and that I will heed and defend constitution and law in he democratic spirit."

Article 112

The prime minister can dismiss any minister with the approval of the parliament.

Article 113

(1) The prime minister and the ministers can resign at any time. Resignation or death of the prime minister always means resignation of the whole state government.
(2) The prime minister and the state government must resign as soon as a newly elected parliament assembles for the first time.
(3) If the state government resigns or if the parliament has stated its mistrust, it continues administering the business until a new state government takes over.

Article 114

(1) The parliament can, by explicit decision or by rejecting a trust request, state its mistrust towards the prime minister.
(2) The request to state the trust or mistrust can only be made by at least one sixth of the legal amount of members of parliament. The request to make a decision may only be decided at the earliest on the second day after the end of the pronunciation and must be voted on at the latest on the tenth day after the submission.
(3) The trust question must be voted on by name. A negative decision of the parliament requires the support of more than half the legal amount of members.
(4) If such a decision happens, the prime minister must resign.
(5) If the parliament doesn't state its trust to a new government within twelve days, it is dissolved.

Article 115

(1) The parliament may sue any member of the state government at the State Court of Justice that has willfully violated the constitution or the laws. The request to take legal action must be signed by at least 15 members of parliament and needs the approval of at least two thirds of the legal amount of members.
(2) The parliament's right to sue is not repealed if the suspect leaves his position or is dismissed from service, whether it happens before or after legal action is taken.
(3) Details are regulated by law.

VI. The legislation[edit]

Article 116

(1) The legislation is performed:

  1. by the people via community vote,
  2. by the parliament.

(2) Except in the case of a community vote, the parliament decides on laws after considering this constitution. It watches over its performance.

Article 117

The law proposals are brought forth by the state government, by the parliament or by community vote.

Article 118

Law allows the state government to receive the permission to issue decrees over single items, but not the legislation as a whole or for specific areas.

Article 119

(1) The state government may state objection against a law decided on by the parliament.
(2) The objection must be sent to parliament within five days and its reason within two days after the final election. It can be withdrawn until the beginning of the new discussion in parliament.
(3) If there is no agreement between the parliament and the state government, the law only passes if more than half the legal amount of members of parliament decides against the objection.

Article 120

The prime minister, with his ministers, is required to print the laws created in accordance with the constitution and announce them within two weeks in the public journal.

Article 121

If nothing else is stated, laws enter force on the fourteenth day after the public journal containing the new law is published.

Article 122

If the public journal cannot be published in time, any other announcement of the new law is acceptable. In this case, the announcement of the public journal is to be performed as soon as possible.

Article 123

(1) Regulations of the constitution may be changed by legislation, but only in a way that the text of the constitution is changed or a new article is added to the constitution.
(2) To perform a change of constitution, more than half of the legal members of parliament must approve the change and a community vote must have the majority of people approve the change.

Article 124

(1) A community vote is to be performed if one fifth of the people eligible to vote requests it after the law proposal is presented. The community vote must be based on a concrete law proposal. The budget plan, laws on fees or payments of officials may not be subject of a community vote.
(2) The law that is the subject of the community vote must be presented by the state government to the parliament while expressing its own view. The community vote is dismissed if the parliament accepts the proposal unchanged.
(3) The community vote can only be approved or rejected. The majority of the votes decides.
(4) The law defines the procedure of a community vote.

Article 125

(1) Only the parliament may state that the constitutional condition of the state of endangered. This decision requires the approval of at least two thirds of the legal amount of members of parliament and must be published by the president of the parliament. This decision may restrict or forfeit the freedom of movement, the secrecy of letters, the right to assembly and the freedom of the press.
(2) The decision turns void after three months if no shorter term is stated. It can be repeated under the same conditions.

VII. The justice[edit]

Article 126

(1) The judicial power is only exerted by the judges ordered by law.
(2) The judges are independent and only subject to the laws.

Article 127

(1) The regular judges are appointed for life.
(2) Judges are appointed for life only if, after a temporary instation in a period of time to be defined by law, they provide the guarantee by their personality and their judicial activity that they will exert their position in the spirit of democracy and the social understanding.
(3) The Minister of Justice decides together with a judge election board over the temporary instation and the appointment for life.
(4) If a judge, after being appointed for life, does not meet these expectations, the State Court of Justice may repeal his position on request from the parliament and decide if he is to be put in a different position, in retirement or if he is to be dismissed. This request can also be stated by the Minister of Justice in accorance with the judge election board. During the process, the activity of the judge is paused.
(5) The regulations in paragraphs 1 through 4 do not apply to lay judges.
(6) Details are regulated by law that also applies retroactively to all previous appointed judges.

Article 128

(1) Except for the previous provisions, judges appointed for life may only be repealed from service, put in retirement or dismissed temporarily or permanently against their will by judicial decision and only by the reasons and under the forms defined by law. The legislation may define age limits that judges retire at.
(2) The temporary revocation from service that applies due to law is not touched by this.
(3) If the system of courts or its districts are changed, the state government may, against their will move judges to other courts or remove them from service, but only while keeping the full income.

Article 129

No one may be prevented from exerting his rights in court due to a lack of monetary resources. Details are subject to regulation by law.

VIII. The State Court of Justice[edit]

Article 130

(1) The State Court of Justice is made up of 11 members, namely five judges, and six members elected by the parliament under the system of proportional representation, which may not themselves be members of parliament. A public plaintiff is ordered for him.
(2) The judges are appointed by the parliament for a period of time, the other members at the beginning of a new election period until the election by the new parliament.
(3) Re-election is unlawful.
(4) Details on the structure of the State Court of Justice, the process and the performance of its decisions are regulated by law.

Article 131

(1) The State Court of Justice decides on the constitutionality of laws, the violation of basic rights, when the outcome of a community vote is challenged, in disputes on constitution and in the cases specified in the constitution and the laws.
(2) The request can be made by: a group of people eligible to vote that must constitute at least a hundredth of all such people, the parliament, a tenth of the legal amount of its members, the state government and the prime minister.
(3) The law determines in which cases and under which conditions one has the right to call the State Court of Justice.

Article 132

Only the State Court of Justice meets the decision whether a law or a decree is in contradiction with the constitution.

Article 133

(1) If a court deems that a law or a decree whose validity is significant for the outcome of a court case is unconstitutional, it may inform the president of the highest superordinate court about its opinion. He then causes the State Court of Justice to decide. The decision of the State Court of Justice is final and has the validity of law.
(2) Details are to be regulated by law.

IX. The state and the self-administration[edit]

Article 134

Everyone, without difference in origin, race, religious opinion and gender, has access to public positions if he has the required qualifications and skills.

Article 135

The legal relationships of employees of the public administrations are to be designed after the needs of the administration pursuant to the uniform labor law specified by article 29.

Article 136

(1) If someone violates his official duties against an other person while in his position as a public official, the state or the public body he works for is to be made responsible. He may still be recalled. Legal action must not be disallowed.
(2) Details are regulated by law.

Article 137

(1) The municipalities are in their area under their own responsibility the only public body responsible for the whole local public administration. They can take over any public duty if it is not by explicit legal regulation assigned exclusively to other bodies in urgent public interest.
(2) The municipal unions have within their legal responsibilities the same position.
(3) The right to self-administer their matters are provided to the municipalities and municipal unions by the state. The overseeing of the state is restricted to ensuring that the administration is in conformance with the laws.
(4) The municipalities and municipal unions or their boards can be assigned state duties by law or decree to be performed by order.
(5) The state has to give the municipalities and municipal unions the required monetary resources by equalization payments so they can perform their own and their assigned duties. He provides them sources of income to be administered in their own responsibility for their voluntary public services.
(6) If the municipalities or municipal unions are forced to fulfill state duties by state law or state decree, regulations are to be made about the costs. If the assigning of new duties or the modification of existing own or assigned duties leads to an increase or decrease in costs for the municipalities or municipal unions, a respective compensation is to be made. Details are regulated by law.

Article 138

The lord mayor, the mayor and the officers of the districts, as leaders of the municipalities or municipal unions, are elected by the people in a general, direct, free, equal and secret election.

X. The finance[edit]

Article 139

(1) The parliament serves to meet the demands of the state by approving the required resources.
(2) All incomes and expenses of the state must be calculated for every fiscal year and included in the budget plan. It is determined by a formal law before the beginning of the fiscal year.
(3) The expenses are generally approved for one year; they can in special cases be approved for a longer period of time. Otherwise, regulations in the budget law that span over more than one fiscal year or that are not related to the incomes and expenses of the state or its administration are unlawful.

Article 140

If at the end of the fiscal year the budget plan for the following year is not determined by law, up until it enters force the state government is entitled:

  1. to perform all expenses that are required,
    a) to keep legally existing institutions and to perform legally decided upon actions,
    b) to fulfill the legal duties of the state,
    c) to continue constructions, acquisitions and other services or to keep granting accessories for these cases, if the required resources are still available from the budget plan of the previous year;
  2. to grant state bonds up to one quarter of the final sum of the expired budget plan for three months each, if incomes from taxes and fees defined by special laws and incomes from other sources do not cover the expenses in point 1.

Article 141

Credit may only be taken for extraordinary demand and generally only for expenses for advertising purposes. Such an acquisition as well as the acquisition of a security deposit of the state may only be done by formal law.

Article 142

Decisions by parliament which lead to expenses or will lead to expenses in the future must determine how these expenses are covered.

Article 143

(1) Excess of the budget and unplanned expenses must be approved by the Minister of Finance. They may only be approved in case of unexpected and unavoidable demand.
(2) The subsequent approval of the parliament of required for excess of the budget and unplanned expenses, which must be covered during the next fiscal year.

Article 144

The calculations on the budget plan are checked and defined by the budget court. The general calculation on the budget of every year and an overview of the state debts are with the comments of the budget court and the comment of the state government for relief purposes presented to the parliament.

Article 145

The finances of the surplus-oriented businesses of the state may by law differ from the provisions in articles 139 through 144.

XI. The protection of the constitution[edit]

Article 146

(1) It is the duty of every one person to fight for the existence of the constitution with all powers available to him.
(2) The law determines which rights of the constitution can be forfeited by decision of the State Court of Justice if someone violates this duty or is a member of a political group which fights against the basic rights of democracy.

Article 147

(1) Resistance against public force done unconstitutionally is everyone's right and duty.
(2) If someone gets knowledge of a violation of constitution or a plan directed towards violation of the constitution, he is required to take legal action of the suspect by calling the State Court of Justice. Details are regulated by law.

Article 148

If the constitution loses its actual power through revolutionary acts for a short or long period of time, everyone who has violated the constitution in the overthrowing is to be made responsible once the unconstitutional state is disposed if.

Article 149

The legal consequences of articles 147 and 148 are determined by law.

Article 150

(1) No change of constitution may change the democratic basis of the constitution and the republican-parliamentarian type of state. The instation of a dictatorship in whatever shape is illegal.
(2) Law proposals which violate this do not go to voting, voted upon laws are not printed. Laws announced despite this are not to be followed.
(3) This article itself may not be subject of a change of constitution either.

Transitional regulations[edit]

Article 151

(1) Hesse will put all activities it performs on territory which could be claimed by the German Republic under the basis that the German unity is to be kept.
(2) Especially, the existing legal unity will not be changed without urgent need. The law decides whether an urgent need is present.

Article 152

(1) Until a legislation for the German Republic is instated, the government may agree with other German governments that certain parts of the law are to be put under a unified legislation which may not put a hindrance to the final German unity.
(2) Such agreements require the approval of parliament. They must define that the legislative power is transferred to an organ that is created by direct or indirect democratic elections. Laws which are decided upon by these organs are only binding for the state of Hesse if they don't violate this constitution.

Article 153

(1) The responsibilities between the German Republic and Hesse are to be separated constitutionally by a German national assembly, voted upon by the whole German people.
(2) Future law of the German Republic breaks state law.

Article 154

Inlander in terms of legal regulations are all members of the German states. Inland is the entire area of these states.

Article 155

The ability to create another legislative organ instated by democratic elections via a constitutional law pursuant to article 123 paragraph 2 is reserved.

Article 156

(1) Until the law defined in article 56 paragraph 7 enters force, the education system stays unchanged from the current situation.
(2) However, the ability to revert to the situation on January 30, 1933 and discard all later changes if the majority of legal superiors wishes so is reserved. Otherwise, the current state may not be changed until January 1, 1950 even by law. The reconstruction of the education system is unaffected by this.

Article 157

(1) Laws that were enacted due to the current emergency situation or that will be enacted in the future can make inevitable interventions in the following basic rights:

a) the freedom of movement per article 6,
b) in the right of article 8 via a forced home economy,
c) in the right of free use of the workforce per article 28 paragraph 2 in combination with article 2 by emergency duty laws,
d) the right of use of the property by laws that mitigate the lack of goods of daily use.

(2) The restrictions named in the first paragraph end on December 31, 1950. With more than half of the legal amount of members, the parliament can prolong this period.

Article 158

The constitutional freedoms and rights can not be used to override the regulations that were decreed or will be decreed before January 1, 1949 to get rid of national socialism and militarism and to recompense the injustice made thus.

Article 159

The priority of the decrees based on international laws and laws of war issued by Control Council of Germany and the military government that may override this constitution, the constitutionally enacted laws and other German laws is untouched.

Article 160

(1) This constitution enters force on the day it is accepted by the people. At the same time, the State Basic Law of November 22, 1945 becomes void.
(2) The state government issuing the business in this time is, until a new government is formed, deemed as the administering government pursuant to article 113, paragraph 3 of this constitution, the main board of the State Constitution Discussion Assembly is deemed the board pursuant to article 93.
(3) The members of parliament elected by the people on the day this constitution is accepted is determined to be the first parliament pursuant to this constitution.

Article 161

(1) Article 138 in the version of March 20, 1991, is first valid for the first communal election period following the entry into force. The required transitional regulations are defined by the legislation.
(2) Article 79 sentence 1 in the version of October 18, 2002 is first valid for the next election period following the entry into force.

This work is in the public domain according to German copyright law because it is part of a statute, ordinance, official decree or judgment (official work) issued by a German federal or state authority or court (§ 5 Abs.1 UrhG).

Third-party translations are not covered by this licence.

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