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Germany

Brief research guide to key resources on the law of Germany. German legal research.

Constitution

The constitution of Germany is often referred to as the Basic Law (Grundgesetz, cited GG).  Each state also has its own constitution, but these constitutions are not widely available.

English versions of the constitution of Germany and its states may be found online.

Legislation

After a law is signed, it must be published in the official federal gazette, Bundesgesetzblatt (cited BGBl). Federal statutes become effective by virtue of their publication in this gazette, unless otherwise indicated. Part I (Teil I) of the Bundesgesetzblatt contains new legislation and codes.  Part I typically appears once a week. Statutes issued from 1871 to 1945 appeared in the Reichsgesetzblatt. These publications are also available on the web.

Selected full-text Federal legislation appears (in German) at Gesetze im Internet.  For an alphabetical list of available legislation, click on the Gesetze/Verordnungen link on the left. Click on the Translations link to see available English-language translations. The German Law Archive also has some translations of German statutes.

State law is published in local gazettes (that include Gesetz-und Verordnungsblatt in the title). 

Regulations

Regulations and other important government pronouncements are published in Part I (Teil I) of the Bundesgesetzblatt.  The Bundesanzeiger (Bundesanzeiger, cited BAnz) contains lesser ministerial decrees of the Federal Republic, regulations of the states that are of general interest, as well as announcements, circulars, etc.  For certain regulations to be valid, notice of their publication in the BAnz must appear in BGBl.and other important government pronouncements

Treaties

 Part II (Teil II) of the Bundesgesetzblatt contains treaties and other international agreements, as well as agreements between the Federal government and the states.  


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