3 The constitution of Germany
Germany is a country which has the characteristics of a civil law legal system. Its law is based on written legislation and its current constitution is called the Basic Law (Grundgesetz), which has been in force since 1949. This constitution is relatively young compared to others (for example, the French constitution) but shows how Europe has been impacted by the Second World War. What the date hides, however, is constitutional developments this nation has faced during and after the unification of West Germany (already called the Federal Republic of Germany at the time) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR), as well as significant constitutional processes based on Roman law.
This section introduces you to the constitutional developments of Germany as an example for understanding issues surrounding constitutionalism in Europe.