Committees of inquiry established in accordance with Article 44 of the Basic Law

People in Paul Löbe Building in Berlin

Paul Löbe Building in Berlin (German Bundestag/Unger)

According to Article 44 of the Basic Law, the Bundestag may, and must, set up a committee of inquiry on a motion supported by one quarter of its Members. Most committees of inquiry examine possible misgovernment, maladministration and possible misconduct on the part of politicians. They may question witnesses and experts and request that further investigations be carried out by courts and administrative authorities. Committees of inquiry summarise their results in reports that are presented to the plenary. Furthermore, the Defence Committee has the right to constitute itself as a committee of inquiry at any time in order to ensure effective parliamentary scrutiny of the armed forces.