FAQFrequently asked questions
The Federal Administrative Court was established in 1953. After the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Federal legislator passed the Act on the Federal Administrative Court (Gesetz über das Bundesverwaltungsgericht) of 23 September 1952 for that purpose. There was no comparable court in the German Democratic Republic.
The Federal Administrative Court is the supreme administrative court of the Federal Republic of Germany. It settles disputes in the fields of administrative law unless they are assigned to another court. First and foremost, the Federal Administrative Court is an appellate body for appeals on points of law, which means that it examines whether the rulings of administrative courts and higher administrative courts are consistent with federal law. As far as certain disputes are concerned (for example, regarding the planning of particularly important traffic routes or the prohibition of associations), the Federal Administrative Court rules conclusively as court of first and last instance at the same time.
What relation does the Federal Administrative Court bear to the other courts (e.g. Federal Constitutional Court)?
In addition to administrative jurisdiction, there are four other jurisdictions in Germany: ordinary jurisdiction with civil and criminal jurisdiction, labour jurisdiction, social jurisdiction, and fiscal jurisdiction. The Federal Administrative Court cannot be called upon to adjudicate in constitutional law disputes. The Federal Constitutional Court has jurisdiction in these cases.
Organisation and proceedings
The hearing is part of proceedings. It is described on the page conduct of the proceedings.
Proceedings vary in scope and complexity and therefore in duration. For statistical mean values regarding the number and duration of proceedings of a year, refer to the respective annual report.
Yes, you do. The Federal Administrative Court deals with complex legal issues. That requires an in-depth understanding of the administration of justice and the laws. The written and oral exchange is conducted on a high subject-specific level. For that reason, representation by a legal counsel is obligatory for proceedings. Government authorities may also be represented by their in-house lawyers.
The judges are nominated by the Federal Minister of Justice (Bundesjustizminister) together with a Committee for the Election of Judges and appointed by the Federal President (Bundespräsident). The Committee for the Election of Judges comprises: The ministers of the federal states (Länder) in charge of administrative jurisdiction and an equal number of members appointed by the Bundestag.
Judgments and decisions
You can find rulings of the Federal Administrative Court from January 2002 onwards on this website. Excluded are inter alia
- decisions to discontinue the proceedings
- decisions to stay the proceedings
- decisions on legal aid
- assignment decisions
- decisions regarding the value in dispute
- decisions on the assessment of costs
- summons of a third party to attend the proceedings as a party whose rights may be affected
- complaints seeking remedy for a violation of the right to be heard
- dismissals of complaints brought before the Federal Administrative Court according to section 152 of the Code of Administrative Court Procedure
- decisions and judgments that are subject to the security of classified information or that are incomprehensible or distorted by the legally required anonymisation.
Rulings of the Federal Administrative Court passed before the year 2002 will gradually be added to the website. You can also find abbreviated versions of several several rulings in English.
It is usually published several weeks, in some cases also several months, after the delivery of a judgment.
The background of this is as follows: In general, the Federal Administrative Court passes a judgment after a hearing and a deliberation. At that point in time, there is a ruling, the operative part of the judgment (so-called Tenor), but the text of the reasons for the ruling is not available yet. The written reasons will only be drawn up, a vote on them will be taken by the Senate, and they will be signed after the passing. Then the judgment will be delivered to all parties involved in the proceedings, anonymised and published.
For current rulings, go to the page Judgments and decisions. The search function also lets you search by date, file reference number or key word.
ECLI is the abbreviation for the European Case Law Identifier. It serves to identify court rulings and enables cross-border search in a European judgment database. The ECLI allows for the linking of several sources and versions such as summaries, translations and comments for a judgment or decision. The ECLI often does not only lead you to just a single judgment, but to many other documents regarding this judgment.
You can use the ECLI to do research in all participating national and European databases. That includes:
- the Rulings Database of the Federal Administrative Court
- the online jurisdiction database Rechtsprechung im Internet
- the European JuriFast database
- the European e-Justice portal
- fee-based offers such as juris and beck-online
Usually, hearings held before the Federal Administrative Court are open to the public. The general public is only excluded from certain types of proceedings, for example military disciplinary proceedings. Please note that hearings are held exclusively in the German language. You can search for the dates for which hearings have been fixed.
The public part of the Federal Administrative Court is open to the public during the opening hours. You can visit parts of the building on your own and free of charge. A virtual tour will provide you with information. By previous appointment, the visitors' service arranges for fee-based guided tours through the courthouse (in German only).
Hearings before the Federal Administrative Court may be attended at any time. Please note that the proceedings are held exclusively in the German language.
The current opening hours published online and updated at regular intervals apply otherwise, in particular to tours of the buildings. Please note that these may be changed at short notice and check the current opening hours on the day of the scheduled visit for that reason to be on the safe side.
Yes, the building and all courtrooms are accessible for people with disabilities. In addition, there is a lift in the building.
The Federal Administrative Court is a federal institution. Therefore, it displays the Federal flag only on special days in order to draw attention to the particular importance of an occasion. The days for flying the flag are determined in a federal government decree. For more information on flag displays, please refer to the corresponding federal government’s website .
Content and use of this website
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