Election by an electoral commission made up of the Ministers of Justice of the Länder and of the same number of members of the Bundestag. A special commission, the Presidential Council (Präsidialrat), made up of judges of the Court, gives an opinion on the candidatures.
The judges' functions are incompatible with any executive or parliamentary functions. The judges are governed by the statute of magistrature and thus are irremovable.
Ten chambers of review, two chambers concerning disciplinary matters of the federal civil service, two chambers concerning military disciplinary matters. The chambers of review sit with a president and four councillors; the disciplinary chambers include three professional judges and two non-professional judges (civil servants or members of the army).
The Court can meet as a "Great Chamber" (Grosser Senat), if the decisions of the several chambers differ on the same point.
Entscheidungen des Bundesverwaltungsgerichts (Decisions of the Federal administrative Court)
Buchholz Sammel- und Nachschlagewerk der Rechtsprechung des Bundesverwaltungsgerichts (Buchholz Reports on the case-law of the Federal administrative Court)
200 specialized legal periodicals publish decisions of the Court.
The jurisdiction of the Court includes all public law litigations which are not of constitutional nature, except the matters assigned by a statute to another Court (such as some fiscal matters or National Health service).
Concerning administrative responsibility, the judicial courts are competent to award damages.
There are 52 administrative tribunals in the Länder. There are 16 administrative courts of appeal, i.e one per land.
The Federal administrative Court acts as a judge of review (Revision). Generally, the actions brought before the Court are directed against decisions of the courts of appeal; but, with the consent of the opponent party, it is possible to make an action in review against the decision of the tribunal of first instance (Sprungrevision). The review petition has to be accepted either by the jurisdiction which had given the contested ruling or by the Court itself if a party requests it.
In a few cases mentioned by the statute law, the Court judges in first and last resort: for example, the litigations of public law between the Federation and the Länder or between the Länder, except if these litigations belong to constitutional law; the litigations about the national roads in the new Länder.
The administrative jurisdictions theoretically give a ruling on the applicants' subjective rights. Thus, the court intervenes most of the time on individual administrative acts. It pronounces on:
- the annulment of an individual administrative act or, more rarely, of a regulation;
- the conviction of the administration, which is obliged to take some administrative act (order);
- the establishment of a right or the nullity of an act (declaratory action);
- the sentence to allowances including repairing as far as responsibility is concerned.
Any action is suspensive, except the derogations listed by the statute law, such as the administrative acts for which the author has prescribed an executory character; this decision may be submitted to the control of the administrative tribunal.
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