Erfahrungen und Perspektiven zwischen Deutschland, Polen und den lusitanischen Rechten
Edited By Christian Baldus and Wojciech Dajczak
Der allgemeine Teil und ausgewählte Fragen der Methodenlehre Legaldefinitionen als Bestandteile des Allgemeinen Teils von Zivilrechtskodifikationen aus methodengeschichtlicher Sicht Bernd Mertens Abstracts Legal definitions are characteristic of the general parts of modern civil codes. It depends on their function within a law code and on the self-conception of the legislator whether he should make use of this legal device or leave it to jurisprudence. From the early mod- ern period on there have been different conceptions of this question. The technique used to craft definitions used at the time of drafting the German Civil Code (BGB) ad- hered to the notion which most statements of the late 19th century had in common, namely that legislation should not encroach on the field of “construction” which was sub- ject to jurisprudence. The remaining functions of legal definitions used in the BGB are to specify the legal language, to prevent doubts in the interpretation of law and to shorten the Code. However, not all defined terms in the Code are applied in a consistent way. Moreover, the use of definitions to remove doubts with respect to interpretation and legal disputes is not consistent. The editors of the BGB partly abstained from defining disputed terms, partly intentionally intervened by doing so. They were motivated by thoughts of practicability instead of a consistent method. Definitions used in the general part are frequently too broad or too narrow. A further problem results from the fact that there are different meanings of legal terms in the...
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