The Commission of Inquiry "Constitutional Convention on the Amendment of the Constitution of the Federal State of Hesse" is currently revising the constitution of Hesse which was drawn up in 1946. On this page you can find information about the work of the Commission and ways of participating.
The Commission of Inquiry
The Constitution of the Federal State of Hesse celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2016. It entered into force on 1 December 1946 following a referendum by the citizens of Hesse and since then has formed the basis on which the people of Hesse live together. Click here to see the latest version of the Constitution of the Federal State of Hesse.
In a resolution passed on 17 December 2015, the State Parliament of Hesse set up a Commission of Inquiry with the aim of bringing the constitution into line with changes over the past decades. The task of the Commission is to revise the constitution of Hesse and make proposals for its future wording. (Click here to see the resolution on the appointment of the Commission of Inquiry: Drucks. 19/2566).
The Commission of Inquiry has 15 members from all parliamentary parties. Each parliamentary party has also appointed an external expert. The Commission's work should build on the report of the constitutional inquiry of 2005 but is not bound by or restricted to the proposals made there. Among the questions and topics to be dealt with are:
- Strengthening recognition of honorary and voluntary positions;
- Abolition of the death penalty;
- Reviewing the prerequisites and framework conditions for petitions and referendums;
- Reviewing the regulations for the passive voting age.
This Internet site gives an overview of the work of the Commission and the current status of negotiations.
The citizens of Hesse should be broadly involved in the process of revising the Constitution of Hesse. With this in mind a civil advisory body was initially set up. Clubs, associations, and churches etc. that play a central role in civil society in Hesse are represented in this body. They take part in meetings of the Commission and draw up their own proposals for amendments to the Constitution. The permanent members of the civil advisory body were named by the Commission in line with the procedural rules of the Commission of Inquiry. Another 15 members are named proportionately by the parliamentary parties for each meeting (Hare-Niemeyer system). The faculties of law and social and economic sciences at universities and colleges in Hesse have also been requested to hold lectures and courses on the topic "Amendments to the Constitution of Hesse". A competition has also been organised for school pupils. The results of the work by universities and schools are incorporated into the discussions of the Commission of Inquiry. However, it should also be possible for citizens outside schools and universities to participate in the process of amending the Constitution of Hesse. Anyone interested can submit proposals for amendments to the Constitution using a contact form or simply comment on the work of the Commission (link). The proposals and commentaries are collected by the Chairperson of the Commission and incorporated into the discussions of the Commission. Citizens may attend the meetings of the Commission of Inquiry. It is also possible to contact the parliamentary parties represented in the Commission of Inquiry directly. Apart from these possibilities to participate, all the administrative districts in Hesse offer at least one civic forum dealing with the topic of "Amendments to the Constitution of the Federal State of Hesse".