oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Revolution and continuity: Constitutional developments in the five new states of the Federal Republic of Germany and their influence on the amendment of the Constitution of the Federal Republic, the Basic Law

Volume 25, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



The draft constitutions of the five new states of the Federal Republic of Germany mirror their long and difficult history and reveal the direction future amendment of the German Constitution will take. The "Treaty between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic on the Achievement of the Unity of Germany", Einigungsvertrag, not only changed the present constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany (the Basic Law, Grundgesetz3), it also recommended amendments to the Basic Law. While most of the changes to the Basic Law resulted from negotiations with the four former Allied powers, embodied in the Treaty on the Final Settlement with respect to Germany, the recommended amendments concerned the internal constitutional structure of the present united Germany. However, even before the discussions on the amendments started on a Federal level, the five new states which had formed the former so-called German Democratic Republic, entered into extensive parliamentary and public debate on the shape of their future state constitutions. The draft constitutions of these states have had considerable influence on future amendments to the Basic Law, which was to shape the reunited Federal Republic of Germany.

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