Organisational Structure of the Federal Ministry of Justice
Political Leadership of the Federal Ministry of Justice
At the head of the Ministry is the Federal Minister of Justice, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger. She participates in the political decisions of the Federal Government as a member of the Cabinet. She bears political responsibility for her own department. The Minister is assisted in her work by her Parliamentary State Secretary, Dr. Max Stadler, and her State Secretary, Dr. Birgit Grundmann, a civil servant. In particular, the Parliamentary State Secretary looks after links with the Bundestag, the Bundesrat and the political parties. The civil servant State Secretary represents the Minister in her capacity as head of the Ministry, both internally and externally. The Minister and the two State Secretaries thus form the so-called “political directorate” of the Ministry.
Directorates-General, Directorates and Divisions
The Ministry is divided into six Directorates-General, which are, in turn, subdivided into Directorates and Divisions. Tasks of related content are always grouped together within one Directorate-General. Thus, for example, there is a Directorate-General for the Judicial System that deals, among other things, with procedural law, the law relating to the judiciary and the law relating to “Rechtspfleger” (senior judicial officers); there is also a Directorate-General for Criminal Law, in which, among other things, substantive criminal law, juvenile criminal law and international criminal law are dealt with. A Directorate-General is usually headed by a “political civil servant” with the rank of “Ministerialdirektor”, who – like the civil servant State Secretary – can be transferred to provisional retirement at any time. After the Minister and the State Secretaries, the Head of Directorate-General is the highest substantive decision-making instance. He or she supervises and coordinates the work within the Directorate-General and ensures the two-way flow of information between the political directorate and the Directorate-General. The Directorates-General are subdivided into two Directorates. The Head of Directorate is responsible for management and planning in respect of the Divisions assigned to him or her.
The Divisions are the basic organisational units of the Federal Ministry of Justice and they carry out the substantive work. The heads of Division are assigned employees of graduate level (“higher service”) – mainly trained lawyers – as desk officers, as well as clerical and secretarial staff, depending on requirements. The distribution of work within a Division is determined by the Head of Division.