Any person alleging that one of his basic rights has been infringed by public authority may file a constitutional complaint (Article 93 Sec. 1 Nr. 4a Basic Law). This procedure primarily fulfils a subjective function which, according to the jurisprudence of the Federal Constitutional Court, is complemented by a so-called objective function. Relying on the latter, the Court takes the view it may decide – under certain conditions – on the merits of a case even after the complainant has died (Wunsiedel case) or where the complaint has been deliberately withdrawn after the oral hearing (orthography reform case). An analysis of the jurisprudence and the procedural rules reveals that the commonly accepted dichotomic distinction between a subjective and an objective function is misleading. Even the procedural rules characterized as typical examples of the objective function are mainly aimed at the effective protection of subjective rights. As the Court has established narrow conditions for a continuation of the procedure despite the death of the complainant or the withdrawal of the complaint, the jurisprudence is more in accordance with the subjective core function of the constitutional complaint. Hence, the criticism that the objective function could attain a predominant role in such complaints (or even in general) turns out to be exaggerated.