Introductory Act to the Criminal Code

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Basic data
Title: Introductory Act to the Criminal Code
Abbreviation: EGStGB
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Criminal law
References : 450-16
Issued on: March 2, 1974
( BGBl. I p. 469 ;
ber. 1975 I p. 1916 ;
ber. 1976 I p. 507 )
Entry into force on: 1st January 1975
Last change by: Art. 2 G of November 4, 2016
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 2460, 2462 )
Effective date of the
last change:
November 10, 2016
(Art. 3 G of November 4, 2016)
GESTA : C101
Weblink: Text of the law
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The first part of the Introductory Act to the Criminal Code (abbreviation: EGStGB ) in Germany contains the delimitation of state and federal penal provisions resulting from the competing legislation under Article 74 (1) No. 1 of the Basic Law . This specification leaves the federal states the option of enacting penal provisions with minor legal consequences.

The provincial regulations on preventive detention were transferred to Section 66b of the Criminal Code in Art. 1a EGStGB .

The following part, Art. 5 - 9 EGStGB, contains provisions on administrative and coercive means. It makes it clear that these measures are not in the nature of criminal sentences. Incidentally, these regulations do not only apply to criminal proceedings, but to the entire legal system (cf. “Federal and Land Law” in Art. 5 EGStGB). Additional regulations and statutory authorizations can be found in the provisions of Article 293. - 297 EGStGB.

The other regulations are largely to be classified as amending and transitional regulations in terms of genetics.

Norm genesis

The EGStGB came into force on January 1, 1975 ( Art. 326 EGStGB). It resolves the (5th) criminal law reform of 1974 and has given German criminal law its current form. In particular, the ancillary criminal law and penal provisions in the special part of the StGB were adapted by the EGStGB. The transitional provisions issued for this purpose, which largely relate to decisions or acts before January 1, 1975, are largely irrelevant due to the passage of time.