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16 Am. J. Juris 215 (1971)


The relationship between political parties and representative government has been an important consideration in the constitutional jurisprudence of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Federal Constitutional Court has gone further than any other constitutional tribunal in the West to promote a free and competitive party system, and the Court’s decisions affecting the status of parties under the Basic Law, especially those having to do with party finance, are a marvelous illustration of the interplay between politics and law. The Federal Constitutional Court’s decision in 1966 to invalidate a federal plan for subsidizing political parties is a good example of the entangling of political interests and constitutional values. By doing so the court ruled in favor of minor political parties and its decision led the German parliament to pass the Parties Law of 1967. This law codified many principles and rules on the constitutional status and function of parties, their organization and programs, candidate nomination process and the rights of party members laid down by the Federal Constitutional Court since 1951.


Reprinted with permission of American Journal of Jurisprudence.



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