Article (law)

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An article of law is a unit of division into constitutions , laws and contracts .

Germany and Austria

In Germany and Austria , most laws are divided into paragraphs ( § ). However, some laws are also divided into articles in Germany and Austria. The most important examples of this are the Basic Law (GG), the Introductory Act to the Civil Code (EGBGB), Check Act (ScheckG) and Bill of Exchange Act (WG), in Austria the Federal Constitutional Act (B-VG), the Basic State Act (StGG), and the Austrian State Treaty . In addition, German laws that change other laws are broken down into articles. A separate article is usually created for each amended law; If only small changes are to be made in many laws, these changes are often summarized in one article. Such laws are often referred to as article laws . If a new law is enacted together with changes in existing laws, the procedure is similar: In addition to the changes, the new law is also an article of the entire work, which is also referred to as the cover law.

In Bavarian state law, formal laws, i.e. laws that have been passed by the state legislature, the state parliament , are divided into articles, whereas legal provisions that are below the law ( ordinances , statutes ) are divided into paragraphs.


In Switzerland , like most cantonal laws, federal laws are divided into articles. In the canton of Zurich, however, only the cantonal constitution is structured by means of articles, laws and ordinances are organized by means of paragraphs.

International right

Most of the other international treaties , such as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) or the EU Treaty , as well as legal acts of the European Union are also divided into articles.

Abbreviation / citation

In legal specialist literature, the word “Article” is abbreviated to “Art.”, E. B .: Art. 1 GG or Art. 1 to 20 GG. In order to make the plural recognizable, “Artt.” Can also be abbreviated.