SECTION I - Introduction

Author:E. J. Cohn and G. Meyer
Profession:Sir
Pages:31
 
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  1. The civil procedure of Germany has been the subject matter of comprehensive codification for some time past. On the 30 January, 1877, the following codes were promulgated:(a) The Law of the Constitution of the Courts. (Gerichtsverfassungsgesetz-hereinafter abbreviated as GVG).

    (b) The Code of Civil Procedure (Zivilprozessordung- hereinafter abbreviated as ZPO).

    Both these Codes, especially the ZPO have been frequently amended, not only during the long time from 1877 until the end of the war in May, 1945, but also during the Occupation. Amendments made during the period of Military Occupation, when made under Zonal legislation or by the Ldnder, very often differed in the individual parts of the country, with the result that the Law of the Constitution of the Courts (GVG) and the law of Civil Procedure (ZPO) did not remain uniform throughout Germany.

  2. Under the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany of 8 May, 1949, which is a temporary Constitution, it will be possible to restore uniformity of Law for Civil Procedure, at least for the Western Zones.

    Article 74 of the Basic Law provides that the Federal Legislation extends to the Civil and Criminal Law, the Structure of the Judiciary and the Procedure, and according to article 31, the Federal Law over-rules the Law of a Land. Such new legislation, however, will take some time, and during the interval some difficulties may be expected. Article 123 (1) of the Basic Law provides that previous law remains valid, if it does not contradict the Basic Law. If such previous law applies to matters which are subject to the exclusive legislation of the Federal Republic (article 124) they become Federal Law. Also previous law applying to matters which are subject to the so-called 'Concurrent Legislation' of the Federal Republic, becomes Federal Law in two cases (see article 125 of the Basic Law):(1) If it is in force uniformly within one or more Zones of Occupation.

    (2) If it is law by which previous Reich Law had been amended after the 8 May, 1945.

    All local and zonal differences of law have recently been removed by a Federal Law on the Restitution of Legal Uniformity in the Law of the Constitution of the Courts and of Civil Procedure. (Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung der Reichseinheit auf dem Gebiete der Gerichtsverfassung, der biirgerlichen Rechtspflege, des Strafverfahrens und des Kostenrechts vom 12 September, 1950, BGBl, p. 455). Accordingly the GVG and the ZPO as well as the other laws mentioned have been promulgated anew on the 20

    September, 1951. (BGBI, p. 513ff.) 3. The present outline is confined to the fundamental principles...

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