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Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection

Tasks of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection

The Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz , BMJV) is primarily a ministry of legislation, also advising the other Federal Ministries in the preparation of legislative proposals.

One of the two inner courts of the Ministry Since the beginning of the 18th legislative term, the Ministry has also been responsible within the Federal Government for the area of consumer policy

It drafts legislation in the fields of law assigned to its remit, these mainly being the fields of civil law, commercial and economic law, criminal law, and procedural law.

Since the beginning of the 18th legislative term, the Ministry has also been responsible within the Federal Government for the area of consumer policy, the goal of which is to establish the conditions for safe and self - determined consumer activity.

In order to reduce the structural imbalance between business on the one side and consumers on the other, the Ministry focuses on ensuring the transparency, comprehensibility and comparability of products and services.

This is done by introducing regulations which create a safe environment, prohibit fraud and deception, and strengthen the market position of consumers.

Apart from introducing legislation and enforcing rights, further key instruments include the support of dialogue between the various stakeholders and the promotion of consumer information and awareness.

Beyond this, one of the most important tasks of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection is to perform the legal scrutiny of legislation drafted by other Ministries in terms of compatibility with constitutional law and the legal system as a whole.

Compliance with formal drafting requirements is also monitored to ensure uniformity and the use of legal language that is as clear as possible. Responsibility for the administration of justice – i.e. for the courts and public prosecution offices – lies mainly with the individual Federal Länder.

This follows from the general principle of the division of competence laid out in Article 30 of the German constitution or Basic Law (Grundgesetz, GG), which provides that the exercise of state authority and the discharge of state functions are the responsibility of the Federal Länder to the extent that the Basic Law does not mandate or allow a different rule.

Article 92 of the Basic Law places this in concrete terms for the judiciary.

Apart from the Federal Constitutional Court – which is an independent constitutional body of the Federation – five supreme Federal courts have been established at the Federal level (Article 95 of the Basic Law), three of which are within the remit of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (see 1.3).

Primarily, these - 3 - constitute the respective supreme appellate instances for the courts of ordinary jurisdiction and the administrative, finance, labour and social jurisdictions (Federal Court of Justice, Federal Administrative Court, Federal Finance Court, Federal Labour Court and Federal Social Court).

In addition, there is the Federal Patent Court – a Federal court which adjudicates at first instance (Article 96 para. 1 of the Basic Law) and which also falls within the remit of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection.