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Engel, Christoph
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Preprints aus der Max-Planck-Projektgruppe Recht der Gemeinschaftsgüter 2001/10
The Constitutional Court is one of the most characteristic features of the German constitution. The most important power of the Court rests in litigable fundamental rights. According to established jurisprudence, any governmental interference with freedom or property needs justification. It must pursue a legitimate aim, and the interference must be conducive to this end, it must be the least intrusive measure, and it may not be out of proportion. Conceptually, this dogmatic tool could become the vessel for a long-standing dream of (some) political scientists. It could turn the Constitutional Court into an authority for assessing political outcomes. The paper demonstrates the many obstacles, originating both from political sciences and from law. They call for high modesty and prudence. But they do not turn the dream into outright utopia. Systems theory, very liberally employed, allows us to define a subsidiary role for the Constitutional Court in assessing political outcomes. The paper concludes by analysing the dogmatic consequences for the interpretation of fundamental rights.
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Working Paper
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