Article 38 Elections
(1) The deputies to the German House of Representatives are elected in general, direct, free, equal, and secret elections. They are representatives of the whole people, not bound by orders and instructions, and subject only to their conscience.
(2) Anyone who has attained the age of eighteen years is entitled to vote; anyone who has attained majority is eligible for election.
(3) Details are regulated by a federal statute.
Article 39 Sessions, Legislative Term
(1) The House of Representativesis elected, except for the following provisions, for a four year term. Its legislative term ends with the assembly of a new House of Representatives. New elections are held forty-six months at the earliest, and fortyeight months at the latest after the beginning of the legislative term. In the case of dissolution of the House of Representatives, the new election is held within sixty days.
(2) The House of Representatives assembles, at the latest, on the thirtieth day after the election.
(3) The House of Representatives determines the termination and resumption of its meetings. The President of the House of Representatives may convene it at an earlier date. He does so where one third of its members or the President or the Chancellor so demand.
Article 40 President, Rules of Procedure
(1) The House of Representatives elects its President, vice presidents, and secretaries. It draws up its rules of procedure.
(2) The President exercises proprietary and police powers in the House of Representatives building. No search or seizure may take place on the premises of the House of Representatives without his permission.
Article 41 Scrutiny of Elections
(1) The scrutiny of elections is the responsibility of the House of Representatives . It also decides whether a deputy has lost his seat in the House of Representatives .
(2) Complaints against such decisions of the House of Representatives may be lodged with the Federal Constitutional Court.
(3) Details are regulated by a federal statute.
Article 42 Proceedings, Voting
(1) The debates of the House of Representatives are public. Upon a motion of one tenth of its members, or upon a motion of the Government, the public may be excluded by a two-thirds majority. The decision on the motion is taken at a meeting not open to the public.
(2) Decisions of the House of Representatives require a majority of the votes cast unless this Constitution provides otherwise. The rules of procedure may provide for exceptions in respect of elections to be conducted by the House of Representatives .
(3) True and accurate reports on the public meetings of the House of Representatives and of its committees does not give rise to any liability.
Article 43 Presence of Government and Senate
(1) The House of Representatives and its committees may demand the presence of any member of the Government.
(2) The members of the Senate and of the Government as well as persons commissioned by them have access to all meetings of the House of Representatives and its committees. They are heard at any time.
Article 44 Committees of Investigation
(1) The House of Representatives has the right, and upon the motion of one quarter of its members the duty, to set up a committee of investigation, which takes the requisite evidence at public hearings. The public may be excluded.
(2) The rules of criminal procedure equally apply to the taking of evidence. The privacy of letters and the secrecy of post and telecommunication remain unaffected.
(3) Courts and administrative authorities are bound to render legal and administrative assistance.
(4) The decisions of committees of investigation is not subject to judicial consideration. The courts are free to evaluate and judge the facts on which the investigation is based.
Article 45 Committee on the European Union
The House of Representatives establishes a committee for European Union matters. It can empower the committee to exercise the rights of the House of Representatives under Article 23 in its contact with the Government. It can also empower the committee to exercise the rights of the House of Representatives under the contractual bases of the European Union.
Article 45 A Committees on Foreign Affairs and Defense
(1) The House of Representatives appoints a Committee on Foreign Affairs and Committee on Defense.
(2) The Committee on Defense also has the rights of a committee of investigation. Upon the motion of one quarter of its members it has the duty to make a specific matter the subject of investigation.
(3) Article 44 does not apply to defense matters.
Article 45 B Defense Commissioner
A Defense Commissioner of the House of Representatives is appointed to safeguard the basic rights and to assist the House of Representatives in exercising parliamentary control. Details are regulated by a federal statute.
Article 45 C Petitions Committee
(1) The House of Representatives appoints a Petitions Committee to deal with requests and complaints addressed to the House of Representatives pursuant to Article 17.
(2) The powers of the Committee to consider complaints is regulated by a federal statute.
Article 45 D Parliamentary Control Body
(1) The House of Representatives appoints a Body to control the intelligence services of the Federation.
(2) Details are regulated by a federal statute.
Article 46 Indemnity and Immunity
(1) A deputy may not at any time be subjected to court proceedings or disciplinary action or otherwise called to account outside the House of Representatives for a vote cast or a statement made by him in the House of Representatives or in any of its committees. This does not apply to defamatory insults.
(2) A deputy may not be called to account or arrested for a punishable offence except by permission of the House of Representatives , unless he is apprehended during commission of the offence or in the course of the following day.
(3) The permission of the House of Representatives also is necessary for any other restriction of the personal liberty of a deputy or for the initiation of proceedings against a deputy under Article 18.
(4) Any criminal proceedings or any proceedings under Article 18 against a deputy, any detention or any other restriction of his personal liberty is suspended at the demand of the House of Representatives.
Article 47 Right to Refuse Evidence
Deputies may refuse to give evidence concerning persons who have confided facts to them in their capacity as deputies, or to whom they have confided facts in such capacity, as well as evidence concerning these facts themselves. To the extent that this right of refusal to give evidence exists, no seizure of documents is permissible.
Article 48 Entitlements
(1) Any candidate for election to the House of Representatives is entitled to the leave necessary for his election campaign.
(2) No one may be prevented from accepting and exercising the office of deputy. He may not be given notice of dismissal nor dismissed from employment on this ground.
(3) Deputies are entitled to adequate remuneration ensuring their independence. They are entitled to the free use of all stateowned means of transport. Details are regulated by a federal statute.
Article 49 repealed