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General Civil Law

General Civil Law

The basis of social coexistence

General civil law forms the foundation of our social coexistence and regulates the legal relationships between natural and legal persons. In Germany, the Civil Code (BGB) forms the legal basis for this. Modelled on the life cycle of a person, the BGB is divided into the following books:

    1. General Section

    2. Law of obligations

    3. Property Law

    4. Family Law

    5. Inheritance Law

The provisions in the first book of the BGB (General Section) are considered to be "bracketed", meaning that the provisions there apply accordingly to the following books. The first book regulates fundamental matters such as the legal capacity of natural and legal persons. Figuratively speaking, you can imagine a newborn child who continues to grow and slowly becomes an adult. There are specific regulations for each stage of the human being.

At birth, a person acquires legal capacity in accordance with Section 1 of the German Civil Code (BGB). It can therefore be the bearer of rights and obligations. From the age of seven, a child is considered to have limited legal capacity (Section 106 BGB); before this, it is legally incapable (Section 104 No. 1 BGB). Legal capacity means the ability to enter into legal transactions oneself. A seven-year-old can therefore, in principle (with exceptions), only effectively enter into legal transactions themselves with the consent of their legal representatives (Section 107 BGB), namely their parents. A person reaches the age of 18 and thus has full legal capacity in accordance with Sections 2, 107, 108 (3) BGB.

The second book of the German Civil Code (BGB) regulates various types of contractual obligations that an average adult can enter into in the course of their life (tenancy agreements, purchase agreements, employment contracts, etc.). The regulations contained therein are of course not exhaustive. Private autonomy allows legal entities to invent individual contracts, provided that legal limits are not exceeded.

The third book of the German Civil Code regulates how the legal relationships between natural and legal persons regarding movable and immovable property or rights are to be assessed. Examples include ownership and possession. An adult comes into constant contact with these legal concepts until the end of his or her life, perhaps without realising it.

The fourth book of the BGB regulates family law. Starting with the modality of establishing a family (e.g. marriage), the relationships between family members (e.g. maintenance, contact, care) and the dissolution of a family bond (e.g. divorce). Marriage is probably one of the most significant moments in a person's life, which also marks the beginning of a new phase in legal terms.

The fifth book of the German Civil Code (BGB) is the last book to regulate inheritance law, probably the most dispute-prone topic between relatives of a deceased person. When it comes to money, some people can no longer take a joke.

The basic concept of the BGB thus shows that the legislator was able to regulate the fundamental rights and legal relationships of its citizens. However, the BGB only forms the basis for general civil law. The legislator has enacted a large number of special, i.e. overriding, laws to regulate specialised matters. An example of this is the German Commercial Code (HGB), which regulates the special features of commercial legal transactions, but refers back to the BGB at certain points (cf. Section 105 (3) HGB).

As a law firm specialising in commercial law, we advise our clients on all questions of general and special civil law. We pay particular attention to "taking you along" with us when answering your questions and providing you with practical solutions. Irrespective of which approach you choose, we will do everything we can to "get the best" for you.

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If you need help, please feel free to contact us. We will get back to you as soon as possible. If you need urgent assistance, please call the following number:

Tel : +49 211 43637831

info@topuz-law.de Mo – Fr 07:30-19:00 +49 211 94259339