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Information bulletin
No. 133 (April 20, 1948)

How laws are made,   pp. 14-17 PDF (2.2 MB)


Page 16


of an Economic Council for the Bi-
zonal Area, the Council of States
nonetheless has continued to perform
an important and useful legislative
role during the past year. Its legis-
lative procedures have, however,
undergone some important changes
during this time.
One of the original purposes of tbe
Council of States was to draft laws
on subjects which required zonal
uniformity. Once the  Council ef
States-consisting of the three minis-
ters president of the southern states
and the president of the Bremen
Senate-agreed on a law, they re-
commended it to Military Govern-
ment for approval. Upon approval by
Military Government, each minister
president acting under the decree-
making powers, vested in him by
Military Government, enacted and
promulgated the law in his state.
The Council of States as such has
never had the authority to promul-
gate laws; this was always done by
each minister president promulgating
the identical law in his state. With
the adoption of the constitutions, the
ministers president in the states lost
their decree-making power as they
became subject to the powers and
authorities given them by the consti-
tution and the legislature.
This development deprived the
Council of States of the legal power
by which its laws could be promul-
gated. Military  Government Pro-
clamation No. 4 remedied this legal
gap by granting to each minister
president (and the president of the
Bremen Senate) a limited power on
promulgating laws-Council of States-
initiated laws-without reference to
the state legislatures but with the
requirement of prior Military Govern-
ment approval.
The Council of States, in turn, took
an important step towards adjusting
its legislative procedures to the
present status of democratic govern-
ment in the US Zone by establishing
a parliamentary advisory council at
the seat of the Council in order to
provide parliamentary representation
and to promote necessary coordination
of state legislation.
The parliamentary council, which is
composed of 24 members (seven each
from Bavaria, Hesse, and Wuerttem-
berg-Baden, and three from Bremen)
in effect concurs on all draft laws
to be submitted by the Council of
States to Military Government for
approval.
T1HE POLICY and procedures for
1the initiation and enactment of
uniform legislation in the US Zone
have been clearly defined in the past
year. In disposing of draft legislation,
the Council of States has applied
three basic considerations:
1. Necessity for zonal uniformity
of legislation because of the nature
of subject matter or to    assure
successful application.
2. Desirability of coordinated (but
not necessarily uniform) state legis-
lation in order to preserve legal unity.
3. Determination to restrict zonal
legislation to a minimum in order to
guard against encroachment upon
state rights.
Accordingly, if the Council of
States by unanimous vote considers
zonal uniformity of legislation nec-
(although not necessarily  on one
draft) which is then referred to the
state parliaments with a recomin
mendation for enactment under the
state constitutions.
As many laws Initiated in the past
by the Council of States no longer
require zonal uniformity, they may
now be individually amended by the
state legislatures. There are, however"
certain, Council-initiated laws which
continue to require zonal uniformity
and which in the future can only be
changed by Council action.
The Council recommended a list of
such laws to Military Government,
which in turn approved it. The list
includes:
Law for Liberation from National
Socialism and Militarism. Law con-
cerning Judicial Aid for Equitable
Settlement to Contracts.
First Law for the Amendment of the
1946 Code on Administration of Cri-
minal Justice.
T a- on Acuso -     f LandA far
tierman workmen In Berlin unload sacks ot potatoes irout a Uutgu AU&
distribution among the population in the US Sector. The potatoes, a
donation from the United States, arrived in excellent condition. (Signal
Corps)
INFORMATION BULLETIN


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