Homeland law

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Certificate of granting the right of home in the City of Munich (1910)

The term homeland law has three different meanings.

Traditional meaning

The traditional meaning consists in granting the guarantee of a person's residence in connection with welfare state commitments by the public sector . In many regions or states, the term "civil rights", which is used differently today, was common. Official certificates of this legal status were accordingly referred to as “home certificates” or “citizenship certificates”. In modern states these guarantees have been replaced by the right to freedom of movement and the welfare state principle.


Certificate of origin as confirmation of the local law of origin, Austria, 1929

The so understood home law describes an affiliation of a certain person to a certain municipality , with the place of residence as a reason to be duly appreciated. The right of home was introduced in Austria in 1849 and gave the right to undisturbed residence and to care for the poor in case of need. In 1939 it was repealed and after 1945 it was replaced by proof of citizenship .

Acquisition and loss of the right of home in the states of the German Confederation (1814–1866)

The homeland law was regularly by

  • Birth,
  • Admission,
  • Marriage and
  • Employment in a public office


The loss occurred only as a result of acquiring another nationality or another home law. So the departure was (then also: coating for relocation) from a municipality to another is not the loss of the home right result, but rather the home community had to the impoverished homeland guardian if necessary again to put on and take. The authority to marry was dependent on the possession of the home law and the consent of the home authority. The right to acquire property and to run a business depended on the law of one's own country.

The acquisition of community citizenship was often permitted for those entitled to a home in exchange for a lower citizen's allowance (in the cities) or moving- in money (in the communities). People who were not entitled to reside in a community had no right to stay in the community. The mere fear of future impoverishment justified their expulsion. In contrast, z. B. Prussian law does not develop the concept of homeland law any further. Every Prussian citizen had the right to stay in the place where he had his own apartment or accommodation. Anyone who had stayed in one place for three years after reaching the age of majority had to be supported there in the event of poverty.

Acquisition and loss of home rights in the North German Confederation and legislation from 1867

The establishment of the North German Confederation and the German Empire in 1871 resulted in an almost uniform regulation through the expansion of the Prussian system to the federal territory. Article 3 of the Constitution of the German Empire of April 16, 1871 stipulated that a common indigenous (nationality, local citizenship, home law) existed for the whole of Germany , with the effect that the citizen of each federal state was treated as a national in every other federal state and accordingly

  • permanent residence,
  • to the commercial enterprise,
  • to public offices,
  • to purchase land,
  • to obtain citizenship and to
  • Enjoyment of all other civil rights

was to be admitted under the same conditions as the native, and also with regard to

  • prosecution and
  • of legal protection

to be treated equally.

This comprehensive provision had already been preceded by a series of laws at the time of the North German Confederation, such as the right of freedom of movement through the law of November 1, 1867, freedom of marriage through the law of May 4, 1868 on police restrictions on marriage, freedom of trade through the Trade Regulations of June 21, 1869 and the joint legal protection through the law of June 21, 1869, regarding the granting of mutual legal assistance, while a law of May 13, 1870 eliminated double taxation of federal citizens in various states. In addition, there was the law of June 1, 1870, which regulated the acquisition and loss of federal and citizenship for the entire federal territory in a uniform manner. The authority to operate a business was detached from community membership and community citizenship through the Reichsgewerbeordnung .

Acquisition and loss of home rights in the German Empire (1894–1919)

In the German Empire , starting in 1894, the right of home was automatically granted after two years of uninterrupted residence. In this way, older regulations dating back to Prussian times were decisively liberalized, also against the background of the country's massive industrialization and the greater mobility of workers that it required .

Special case: Kingdom of Bavaria until 1917

This home law was still valid in Bavaria until the First World War, to which the empire's legislative competence with regard to home and settlement conditions did not extend. Accordingly, the Reich laws on the repeal of the police marriage restrictions and on the support residence for Bavaria did not apply. The Bavarian homeland law is named in Appendix No. 3 of the Bavarian Constitution and is further specified in the Law on Home, Marriage and Residence of April 16, 1868 and its amendments of February 28, 1872, April 21, 1884, and March 17, 1892 and June 17, 1896. The municipalities were able to charge fees for acquiring the right of home, which, depending on the size of the municipality, could amount to a maximum of 12 to 48 florins (from 1871 about 20 to 80 marks). This fee could be credited when acquiring citizenship (maximum 25 to 100 guilders, approximately 40 to 170 marks). For Bavaria on the right side of the Rhine (today's Bavarian Free State) it is stipulated that the marriage of a person entitled there may only take place on the basis of a marriage certificate that has been issued by the responsible district administrative authority. The man's home parish can object to the issuance of this certificate for certain legally established reasons. The certificate does not have the meaning of a police permit; because it can only be denied for legal reasons. Before the law of March 17, 1892, marriages entered into without a marriage certificate were regularly civically invalid; now the lack of the marriage certificate only has the effect that the marriage, as long as the certificate is not produced, has no influence on the home situation of the wife and children.

The amendment of June 17, 1896 was intended to prevent the disintegration of the community of residence and home community by ensuring that the claim of a person to the right of residence of their community of residence after four or seven years not only from the person himself but also from the previous home community could be made. Anyone who was forced to lose their previous right of home in this way could object to this if the change of home would be associated with considerable disadvantages for them.


In Switzerland , the home law still exists today. See place of origin , civic community and certificate of origin .

Significance in private law

In German international private law , home law refers to the entirety of the legal system of the state to which the foreigner living in Germany belongs. This respective state is considered to be the foreigner's home state .

Significance in international law

In international law , the term home law stands for the controversial right to a home . As a result, every displacement of people from their ancestral home due to their ethnicity is a violation of a human right , see displaced persons .

The international lawyer Alfred de Zayas interprets this right as follows:

“There is no compulsion to live in your home country, but there is a right to remain in your home country and not to be expelled from there. If one is expelled, there is then a right of return. "

See also

Literature about the home law in Austria

Literature on home law in Germany

  • Eger The imperial law on the support residence. 4th edition. Wroclaw 1900;
  • Wohlers: The Reich law on support residence. 9th edition. Berlin 1901;

Literature about the home law in Bavaria

  • Riedel, (Bavarian) Law on Home, Marriage and Residence , Commentary, 7th edition, Pröbst, Munich 1898.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Waltraud Heindl, Edith Saurer (ed.): Border and State: Passports, Citizenship, Home Law and Aliens Legislation in the Austrian Monarchy 1750–1867 . Böhlau, Vienna / Cologne / Weimar 2000, ISBN 3-205-99199-0 , p. 122 online .
  2. 170. Imperial Patent of March 17, 1849. In:  General Reich Law and Government Gazette for the Austrian Empire , year 1849, pp. 203–222. (Online at ANNO ). Template: ANNO / Maintenance / rgb.
  3. GBlÖ 1939/840. Announcement (...), which announces the second ordinance on German citizenship in Austria from June 30, 1939. In:  Gesetzblatt für das Land Österreich , year 1939, p. 3235. (Online at ANNO ). Template: ANNO / Maintenance / glo.
  4. ^ Law on the Constitution of the German Empire of April 16, 1871, [[Reichsgesetzblatt (RGBl.) 1871, [No. 16] pp. 63–85]]
  5. ^ Law on freedom of movement of November 1, 1867, Federal Law Gazette of the North German Confederation, 1867, pp. 55–58
  6. ^ Law on the lifting of police restrictions on marriage of May 4, 1868, Federal Law Gazette of the North German Confederation, 1868, pp. 149–150 , coming into force on July 1, 1868.
  7. Trade Regulations for the North German Federation of June 21, 1869, Federal Law Gazette of the North German Federation, 1869, pp. 245–282. , Coming into force from October 1, 1869, partly January 1, 1870.
  8. Law on the granting of legal assistance of June 21, 1869, Federal Law Gazette of the North German Confederation, 1869, pp. 305-315
  9. ^ Law on the Elimination of Double Taxation of May 13, 1870, Federal Law Gazette of the North German Federation, 1870, pp. 119-120.
  10. Law on the Acquisition and Loss of Federal and Citizenship of June 1, 1870, Federal Law Gazette of the North German Confederation, 1870, pp. 355-360.
  11. § 1 GewO
  12. ^ Rolf Petri: Cittadinanza, dimora, espulsione. Riflessioni sull'Austria ottocentesca. In: Hannes Obermair et al. (Ed.): Regional civil society in motion . Vienna-Bozen, Folio-Verlag 2012, ISBN 978-3-85256-618-4 , pp. 32–52, here p. 42f.
  13. Cf. the second half volume of the collection of sources on the history of German social policy 1867 to 1914 , section I: From the time when the Empire was founded to the Imperial Social Message (1867–1881) , volume 7: Poor law and freedom of movement , 2 half volumes, edited by Christoph Sachße, Florian Tennstedt and Elmar Roeder, Darmstadt 2000.
  14. a b Law on Home, Marriage and Residence , Law Gazette for the Kingdom of Bavaria, No 25, Munich, April 25, 1868, Col. 357 ff.
  15. Law of February 23, 1872, the amendment of some provisions of the law of April 16, 1868 on homeland, marriage and residence regarding the law gazette for the Kingdom of Bavaria, No 9, Munich, February 27, 1872, column 213 ff .
  16. ^ Harm-Hinrich Brandt : Würzburg municipal policy 1869-1918. In: Ulrich Wagner (Hrsg.): History of the city of Würzburg. 4 volumes, Volume I-III / 2, Theiss, Stuttgart 2001-2007; III / 1–2: From the transition to Bavaria to the 21st century. Volume 2, 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-1478-9 , p. 1254, note 21.
  17. ^ Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon, 6th edition 1905–1909, zeno.org
  18. Alfred de Zayas: Who is entitled to the right of home? 2004