Decisions of the Reichsgericht in civil matters

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The decisions of the Reichsgericht in civil matters are the collection of the most important civil law decisions of the German Reichsgericht, initiated by the court itself and published on the basis of private law .


It contains over 15,000 decisions in 173 volumes from the years 1879 to 1945 , as an appendix since 1921 also decisions of the State Court for the German Reich . The judgments were introduced with a key question so as not to anticipate the content of the judgment. The decisions of the Federal Court of Justice in civil matters (BGHZ) have not adopted this tradition . Guiding principles are used there.

The abbreviation RGZ is used to indicate the location, followed by the specification of the volume, the specification of the page number on which the decision begins and, if necessary, the specification of a specific page to which one would like to refer specifically. Example : "RGZ 1, 247, 252" (also "RGZ 1, 247 (252)") means that you are referring to a decision in volume 1 of the collection that begins on page 247, and that the significant passage on page 252 stands. (See this page for a definition of the term railroad company .)

Criminal law decisions were collected in the decisions of the Reichsgericht in criminal matters (RGSt).

There has been a national license for access to the RGZ since 2007 .


The frequently used term “official collection” is misleading. The corresponding collection of the previous Prussian Upper Tribunal bore the addition "on official order". Such an addition was deliberately omitted for the decision collections of the Reichsgericht in order to exclude from the outset any possible influence of the Reich Justice Office on the practice of publication. The members of the Reich Higher Commercial Court had already published a collection in 25 volumes ( ROHGE ). Due to the continuity of staff, their publication practice was adopted. In contrast to the ROHGE, the judgments were anonymized in the RGZ. The publisher of the RGZ was an editorial committee to which each senate sent a judge. The senates themselves decided on the publication by stating: “Will be printed”. Less than 10% of the decisions of the Reichsgericht were included in the official collection. For this purpose, the judgment was prepared by the rapporteur. The fee for the judgment impression went to the pension association, a small annual pension to the widows, children up to the age of 25 and unmarried daughters of deceased judges and Empire lawyers of the Supreme Court paid off: (1904 600 Mark was) The RGZ to 1919 in the publishing house Veit & Co , which was then taken over by the Walter de Gruyter & Co publishing house . From volume 51 onwards, the RGZ appeared in more recent intervals in booklet form. The decisions, no longer published in 1944/45, were edited in 2008 as the 173rd volume.

In addition, unpublished decisions were printed in the specialist journals. “ Warneyer's Yearbook of Decisions was widespread . Supplementary volume: The case law of the Reichsgericht in the field of civil law, insofar as it is not printed in the official collection of decisions of the RG. "(WarnRspr) (1908-1943). The official reference work at the Reichsgericht was only intended for internal use within the Reichsgericht.

See also


  • Werner Schubert : The "Decisions of the Reich Court in Civil Matters" and their significance for the development of civil law in the 20th and 21st centuries, JR 2007, p. 312

Individual evidence

  1. Detlev Fischer: Official guidelines and collections of decisions - An overview based on the development in the field of ordinary jurisdiction, in: Juristische Schulung 1995, p. 657.
  2. Fritz Ostler : Resurrection of the Dead Imperial Court? NJW 1995, 23.
  3. Eduard Müller : The first twenty-five years of the Reichsgericht, in: The first 25 years of the Reichsgericht, special issue of the Saxon Archives for German Civil Law on the 25th anniversary of the highest German court, p. 18.
  4. Werner Schubert (ed.): Decisions of the Reichsgericht in civil matters - RGZ Volume 173 -, ed. v. the members of the Court of Justice and the Reich Attorney General, continued for the period from January 1944 to March 1945, Berlin 2008. XII, 570 p. ( limited preview in the Google book search)

Web links

Wiktionary: BGHZ  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations