There is a long and well-established tradition of placing the Federal Constitutional Court at the centre of political life in Germany. As the authoritative interpreter of the Basic Law (Grundgesetz), that is, the federal constitution — and the final arbiter of constitutional disputes, the Court exercises substantial political power. The scope and volume of constitutional regulation in Germany mean that political, economic and social conditions are strongly affected, and often determined, by constitutional law. As a consequence of this reliance on the directive capacity of the Basic Law, constitutional interpretation and arbitration have assumed vital political importance.
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