German Legal System

German Legal System in Europe

German Legal Research

Unlike England, Australia and other common law jurisdictions, Germany derives its legal system from the civil law tradition. For more information about legal research in Germany, see here


The Old High German Period

Latin reigned supreme throughout this period, it being the language of the charters, the lawbooks (there is nothing in Germany to compare with the laws of the Anglo-Saxons).

The Middle High German Period

Law (Sachsenspiegel, Schwabenspiegel) no longer despised the vernacular, and from about the middle of the 13th century German becomes, in an ever-increasing percentage, the language of deeds and charters.


Further Reading

  • Information Sources in Law. Guides to Information Sources [1997]. Chapter 12: Germany, Holger Knudsen
  • Kearley, Timothy. Charles Szladits’ Guide to Foreign Legal Materials: German. Parker School studies in foreign and comparative law, Columbia University, 1990.
  • Kroger, Detlef. Internet für Juristen: weltweiter Zugriff auf juristische Informationen. 1998.
  • Kuner, Christopher. Internet für Juristen: Zugang, Recherche, Kommunikation, Sicherheit, Informationsquellen. 1996.

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