Dataset Open Access

Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the Federal Courts of Germany (PVP-FCG)

Fobbe, Sean; Swalve, Tilko



The Federal Courts are the highest courts of the Federal Republic of Germany. Each Federal Court is headed by a President and a Vice-President. The Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the Federal Courts of Germany (PVP-FCG) data set is an attempt to exhaustively document the leadership of German apex courts to facilitate computational analysis of their composition, possible effects on the jurisprudence of their respective courts and their handling of internal administrative matters.

As of this version we have processed all Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the German Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht), German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof ) and German Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht).

Please note that this is a work-in-progress and more courts will be added in the future.



This data set will be updated whenever we have completed coding a federal court. Notifications regarding new and updated data sets are published on


Key Information

Last Update: 8 April 2021

Courts: Bundesverfassungsgericht (BVerfG), Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) and Bundesverwaltungsgericht (BVerwG)

Presidents: 29 Presidents

Vice-Presidents: 40

Formats: CSV, PDF


Source Code

While most variables are hand-coded, some are calculated automatically together with some frequency tables, diagrams and the Codebook. The full source code, including all hand-coded information, is available here:


Cryptographic Signatures

The two CSV files and the Codebook are cryptographically signed by Seán Fobbe with his personal GPG key. The key is included with the signatures and is identified as follows:

Name: Sean Fobbe (

Fingerabdruck: FE6F B888 F0E5 656C 1D25 3B9A 50C4 1384 F44A 4E42


Public Domain Status

Individual facts cannot be copyrighted under German copyright law. All individual contributions (e.g. hand-coding, cross-checking of data, structuring of variables etc.) and the full data set are released into the public domain by the authors under a CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain License.

Although you are not legally required to provide attribution we welcome citations as an expression of good scientific practice and professional conduct.


This data set is a private academic initiative and is not associated in any way with the Federal Courts or any other governmental authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany.


Publications (Fobbe)


Open Data —

Code Repository —

Regular Publications —


Publications (Swalve)




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