Constitutional complaint against UPCA ratification in Germany (14/06/2017, latest update on 07/11/2017)
As reported in the press recently, a constitutional complaint has been filed against the German ratification of the UPCA after the conclusion of the Parliamentary proceedings on 31/03/2017, concomitantly requesting the court to oblige the involved institutions by an interim order (“einstweilige Anordnung”) to desist from completing the ratification process until a decision in the proceedings on the merits, i. e. in the constitutional complaint proceedings.
At the request of the Federal Constitutional Court, the Office of the Federal President agreed on 04/04/2017 to suspend the ratification process until a decision on the merits has been made. This is a common practice of the court with regard to requests for interim measures against the execution of legislative acts which it deems to be not obviously unfounded. With such suspension of the ratification process, a decision of the request for an interim order is usually no longer necessary and the court will advance to the material assessment of the case.
As a next step, it will take a decision on whether it wishes to adopt the constitutional complaint for a decision. The timeline required for this varies, it usually takes several months.
The Federal Constitutional Court has most recently sent the constitutional complaint to several parties to the proceedings and to third parties for their comments. This has no implications for whether the constitutional complaint will be accepted for a decision or for its prospects.
The Federal Constitutional Court has meanwhile invited further third parties to submit their comments on the constitutional complaint. In total, the number of invitations to comment is presently 27.
Most recently, third parties not involved in the proceedings have published a detailed summary of the complaint brief without the consent of the respective right owner. The court has been informed about this, the lawfulness of the incident is under review.
On its website, the Federal Constitutional Court provides detailed information on the proceedings for which it has competence and on the deliberation process. The explanations on the constitutional complaint proceedings can he found here, those on measures of preliminary protection of rights here. The deliberation process is set out in more detail here.