The CCDB as .csv files

Via the following button you are able to request a link to download data from the Constitutional Court Database (CCDB) as .csv files. We ask you to provide your email address and to accept our terms of use. Afterwards you will receive an email with a link to download the data. Please note that an emailed link is valid for one download only.

Download CCDB as .csv

Send download link to:

I confirm that I have read and agree to the terms of use.

The available for download includes:

  • Codebook_CCDB_V22.01-Mar.pdf, which is also available here.
  • File: csv [-> Folder with different tables of the database]
    • TABbverfge.csv [-> Table bverfge as listed in the codebook]
    • TABcases.csv [-> Table cases as listed in the codebook]
    • TABcasesjudges.csv [-> Table casejudges as listed in the codebook]
    • TABcon.csv [-> Table con as listed in the codebook]
    • TABfile.csv [-> Table file as listed in the codebook]
    • TABgesta.csv [-> Table gesta as listed in the codebook]
    • TABissue.csv [-> Table issue as listed in the codebook]
    • TABjudges.csv [-> Table judges as listed in the codebook]
    • TABpetitioners.csv [-> Table petitioners as listed in the codebook]
    • TABproceedings.csv [-> Table proceedings as listed in the codebook]
    • TABseparate.csv [-> Table seperate as listed in the codebook]
    • TABseparatesign.csv [-> Table separatesign as listed in the codebook]
  • File: scripts
    • mergeDatabase.R [-> R script to merge all files together to have one dataset]
    • mergeGesta.R [-> R script to merge legislative proceedings to the data]

Usage of the files:

The different tables in the file csv are the once listed in the Codebook_CCDB_V22.01-Mar.pdf. They are provided in .csv format. The different tables can be merged in accordance with the links provided as variables and mentioned in the codebook. The codebook also provides an overview of the database.

Think of the CCDB as a database that summarizes different pieces of information in different tables to prevent multidimensional issues and the coding of redundant information. For example, the CCDB summarizes 2006 senate decisions made by the German Federal Constitutional Court between 1972 to 2010. The general case characteristics of these 2006 decisions are coded in the table TABcases.csv. However, multiple proceedings are combined by the court in one decision. Thus, the TABproceedings.csv summarizes the characteristics of 3284 different proceedings. To connect the proceedings to the case characteristics the TABcases.csv can be merged to the TABproceedings.csv via the bverfgeId included as a variable in both tables (see the codebook). Nevertheless, the merge will duplicate entries from the TABcases.csv according to the number of proceedings in TABproceedings.csv. This is in the nature of a database and one reason why data is stored in separate tables.

The file scripts provides two scripts that can be executed using the open source software package R. Both scripts entail extensive comments on how to use the scripts.
The script mergeDatabase.R is a script that connects all tables with each other. For the aforementioned issues of constant increase in the resulting data’s dimensions it it often not reasonable to connect all tables with each other. Instead, it is suggestive to connect tables only to the extent necessary to extract an information of interest. Be advised to pay close attention to the dimensions of the resulting data. The script mergeDatabase.R is provided for convenience only.
The script mergeGesta.R allows to connect information on the legislative process regarding federal laws from 1972 to 2005 (with some missing data) that were referred to the German Federal Constitutional Court for review to the TABissue.csv via the TABgesta.csv. The legislative proceedings are stored in existing external data that was collected by Simone Burkhart (2008). Comments in the script and the codebook outline how to merge her data to the CCDB. It is necessary to download her dataset provided by GESIS.

Open source software of help:

  • .csv files can be processed by any office application available open source (such as Open Office) or commercial products such as Apple Numbers or Microsoft Excel.
  • The R scripts can be processed with the open source software solution R (which we suggested to be used with R-Studio).

The links to external software are being provided for convenience only; this does not constitute an endorsement or an approval by us of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization. We bear no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links.