Article law

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In the legislative practice of the Federal Republic of Germany, an article or shell law is a law that combines several laws or very different contents at the same time . It is usually used to describe amendment laws that change a certain topic in a number of areas of law . The term “ Omnibus Act ” is also used for these laws , when changes that have nothing to do with each other in terms of content are summarized in an article law.


Thus the term items law is that these laws on the top outline level in articles are divided, is being used for any decision to be taken or a separate article law to be changed. Within an article, the paragraphs of the individual law or changes to individual paragraphs are listed according to numbers.

An example of a German article law is the fourth law for modern services on the labor market . Its Article 1 is the new Second Book of the Social Security Code (SGB II). In total, the Fourth Law on Modern Services in the Labor Market consists of 61 articles, which amended numerous laws.

The use of articles in their text-structuring function is the same as that of paragraphs, it is only an indication of the content of the law. Like the paragraph, the article is used to divide up the literature (e.g. laws , contracts , textbooks). It itself is usually divided into paragraphs, numbers and / or sentences to make it easier to refer to (especially with legal texts).

Other use

Laws that originate from international law , consist exclusively of articles instead of paragraphs and have been transformed into German law, are sometimes referred to as article laws . Examples are the Bill of Exchange Act , the Check Act or the Customs Code .


  • Thomas M. Lachner: The Article Law. Duncker & Humblot. Berlin 2007. ISBN 978-3-428-12540-1 .
  • Hebeler / Schröder: The Article Act - Legal Engineering, Legal Research, Constitutional Issues , JA 2018, 641 - 647 (introductory essay on training)

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Carl Creifelds , Legal Dictionary , 16th edition 2000, keyword "Article Law", p. 95