BGB - taken the law book and its structure under the microscope

BGB - taken the law book and its structure under the microscope


The Civil Code regulates for more than a century private law.

The Code and its history

Before the Civil Code was introduced certain a significantly larger amount of the Clause jurisprudence. Thousands of paragraphs of the Prussian general law certain civil law, criminal law and public law in one.

  • With the BGB private law was consolidated into a single piece of legislation that simplified and limited to well below paragraphs.
  • The Civil Code was introduced on January 01, 1900. Since then, it has indeed evolved, but overall it is of lasting existence and is also used in other parts of the world such as Japan as a model for the private law codes.
  • The provisions of the Civil Code are strictly limited to the legal relationship between private individuals. Search for provisions on criminal law or public administration, you will not find it there.
  • As a complement to the Civil Code, there are now more laws. They include the rules for residential property, special provisions in family law or supplement provisions in international cases of a private dispute.

The 5 books of the Civil Code

Orient yourself in the search for an important rules for you first always in the general structure of the Civil Code. The Code is divided into 5 books that regulate different topics specifically.

  • Logically, the first book of the Civil Code is concerned with very general rules that are applicable to all private law. This includes the definition of what is actually a natural or legal person, as animals are to be considered legally or who is legally competent.
  • 2. The book covers the important issues of the district contracts between private individuals. You will find the definitions of the various types of contracts which rules apply here and what happens when it comes to a contract to disturbances in the settlement.
  • In the 3rd book property law follows. This is about tangible objects and what rules apply to them without a contract is concluded between the same two people. Homeowners often have to do with the case law. Property and possessions find at this point in the statute book their legal basis.
  • The personal relationships of people to each other are something that is regulated by the Civil Code. Family law in the 4th book has an impact on the legal situation arising from a relationship of the connection between parents and children to divorce with all its consequences.
  • Finally, the fifth book of the Civil Code completed the requirements and regulates the effects of the death of a human being. The right of inheritance is regulated in the last part and contains the general rules concerning heirs as well as the rules to wills in all variants, as well as the position of the heirs.
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