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The Tasks of the Federal Court of Justice

With a few exceptions, the Federal Court of Justice acts as a court of appeal. Its principal task is to ensure uniformity of the law through clarification of fundamental points of law and development of the law.

It will not undertake fact-finding of its own but will confine itself to reviewing the legal assessment of a case by the lower courts. The facts established by these courts are binding on the Federal Court of Justice, unless such findings are affected by a procedural error at the lower court pointed out in the statement of grounds for appeal.

Evidence will therefore not normally be heard by the Federal Court of Justice. One of the few exceptions to this rule is the Federal Court of Justice’s Civil Panel X, which is responsible for patent cases and performs trial-judge functions as a court of appeal in patent revocation proceedings (German Patent Law, sections 110 and 115).


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