Rechtsstaat | principles of the rechtsstaat

Principles of the Rechtsstaat

German stamp (1981). Rechtsstaat, Fundamental Concept of Democracy – "The legislature is bound by the constitutional order, the executive and the judiciary by law and right." (Article 20(3) GG)

The most important principles of the Rechtsstaat are:[12]

  • The state is based on the supremacy of national constitution and guarantees the safety and constitutional rights of its citizens
  • Civil society is an equal partner to the state
  • Separation of powers, with the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of government limiting one another's power and providing for checks and balances
  • The judicature and the executive are bound by law (not acting against the law), and the legislature is bound by constitutional principles
  • Both the legislature and democracy itself are bound by elementary constitutional rights and principles
  • Transparency of state acts and the requirement of providing a reason for all state acts
  • Review of state decisions and state acts by independent organs, including an appeal process
  • Hierarchy of laws and the requirement of clarity and definiteness
  • Reliability of state actions, protection of past dispositions made in good faith against later state actions, prohibition of retroactivity
  • Principle of the proportionality of state action