Unless otherwise provided, the following requirements for accreditation apply. They are based on § 17a of the Federal Constitutional Court Act in conjunction with the supplementary provisions laid down by the First and the Second Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court.
The accreditation procedure starts with the publication of the press release announcing the date of the oral hearing or pronouncement of the judgment. Accreditation is possible only within the specified period.
Accreditation requests must use the form provided. The form must be filled in completely and signed. If applicable, a copy of the valid press card must be enclosed; this is only necessary for the first accreditation during the card’s term of validity. The accreditation request may be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telefax to the number +49 721 9101-461. Accreditation requests sent to other email addresses or telefax numbers of the Court will not be considered.
Members of the Justizpressekonferenz Karlsruhe e.V. may send their accreditation requests to the Federal Constitutional Court’s Press Office without having to use the form.
Accreditation requests will be considered in the order in which they are received. If requests are received simultaneously, accreditation is awarded by drawing lots. A few days after the expiry of the deadline, the Federal Constitutional Court will notify the applicants by email whether their accreditation was successful or not.
Available Seats and Allocation of Seats
The press gallery holds a total of 60 seats for media representatives, 11 of which are reserved for members of the Justizpressekonferenz.
Seats are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Media representatives who cannot obtain a seat in the press gallery may follow the oral hearing or the pronouncement of the judgment in the press room or – provided seats are available– in the courtroom itself.
There will be an audio transmission from the courtroom to the press room. The press room is equipped with 44 desk workplaces. A limited number of power outlets for laptop computers is available. The Federal Constitutional Court cannot vouch for the capacity of mobile telephone and data networks.
Additional Rules Concerning the Courtroom
It is not permissible to make phone calls, tweet or send other messages, retrieve digital data, or use the internet in any way within or from the courtroom. All electronic devices which can be used for these purposes, in particular mobile phones, laptop computers and tablet computers, may not be used in the courtroom. Media representatives may obtain permission to use computers in offline mode if it is ensured that the devices are not used for sound or image recording or for data transmission.
Taking Photographs and Filming; Pooling
During oral hearings, taking photographs, filming, and audio recording is permissible until the presiding Justice of the Senate has established the presence of the parties to the proceedings. Afterwards, photographers and camera teams must leave the courtroom level, including the foyer outside the courtroom and the press gallery. They may go to the reception room on the first floor. The pronouncements of judgments may be fully transmitted by audiovisual means.
Media pools will be set up for taking photographs and filming in the courtroom. Two television teams (a public and a private television station with a maximum of three cameras each) and six photographers (four agency photographers and two independent photographers) will be admitted to the courtroom. The pool representatives undertake to supply, upon request, their photographs and films to other radio and television stations, as well as to photographic agencies.
Willingness to be a pool representative must be explicitly stated in the accreditation request. Pool representatives are appointed according to the order in which the accreditation requests are received. If requests are received simultaneously, the function of pool representative is allocated by drawing lots. The television stations, agencies, and photographers so chosen are free in determining the members of their teams.
When taking photographs and filming in the courtroom, photographers, camera operators, and other media representatives must ensure that the Senate has an unobstructed field of visin in all directions. Taking photographs, filming, and sound recording from behind the Justices’ bench is not permissible. Instructions to this end by the court staff must be complied with. Taking photographs and filming is only permitted with silent devices and without a flash.
After the end of the oral hearing or the pronouncement of the judgment, a period of 20 minutes is allocated for interviewing, filming, or photographing the parties to the proceedings or other individuals in the courtroom itself. After this time, only the reception room on the first floor and the entrance hall on the ground floor are available for this purpose.
Vehicles of Radio and Television Teams; Technicians
There are only a limited number of parking spaces available for SNG vehicles, editing vehicles, and OB vans. If accredited journalists require parking space, they must indicate so along with the accreditation request on the form provided. The parking spaces are allocated in the order in which the requests are received. The following information is required for the allocation of parking space: number plate, vehicle type, make, dimensions (L x W x H in metres), weight and, if applicable, request for the Federal Constitutional Court to provide electrical hook-up.
The names, dates of birth and ID numbers of the accompanying technicians and the vehicle data may be submitted after the request for parking space. The form provided must be used for this; this also applies to media represented by members of the Justizpressekonferenz. The form must be sent by email to the address email@example.com or by telefax to +49 721 9101-461 within the set deadline.
Media representatives with allotted parking space may set up their equipment on the day before the oral hearing or the pronouncement of the judgment from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and on the day of the oral hearing or pronouncement of the judgment from 7:00am to 9:00 am.
Setting up of Studios
The Press Office must be consulted in advance should media representatives wish to set up a studio. Studios may be set up in the press reception room on the first floor and in the entrance hall on the ground floor.