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The adjective constitutive (from the Latin constitutus , “fundamental”, “supporting”, “justifying”) generally describes a prerequisite , a property or a feature that is decisive for the definition , the appearance or the success of a person or a thing and therefore cannot be left out.


Constitutive is primarily used as a constitutive effect in law , as a constitutive equation in mathematics , as a material model in materials science or as a constitutive decision in business administration .


The constitutive effect of a legal act has the consequence that a right or legal relationship is established, repealed or designed. In commercial law, for example, the commercial register differentiates between constitutive and declaratory entries . In this context, constitutive means generating or justifying the law , which is why the legal effect only occurs through the entry. For example, when a company was founded, a company was created through the articles of association in terms of declarations ( legal evidence , legal explanation ), but constitutively only through its later entry in the commercial register. In marriage law , according to § 1564 BGB , the divorce only becomes legally effective with the judgment (constitutive effect), even if a separation has already taken place beforehand .

A constitutive acknowledgment of debt is a contract that creates a new debt relationship that, independently of a previous obligation, comes in addition to the previous obligation on account of performance.

The opposite of constitutive is declaratory . Here, an already existing right or legal relationship is only established, testified or clarified.

The adjective for the Constitution relevant legal issues is "constitutionally", such as in "nachkonstitutionellen laws" for the rejection of monopoly of the Federal Constitutional Court applies.

Continuum mechanics

In the material model, constitutive equations formulate the functional relationship between material sizes and the constitutive variables.

Business administration

In business administration , constitutive decisions are decisions that deal with fundamental questions when setting up a company as well as fundamental decisions in the course of a company's life.

Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. Carl Creifelds , Creifelds Legal Dictionary , 2000, p. 302
  2. ^ Franz Xaver Bea / Erwin Dichtl / ​​Marcell Schweitzer, General Business Administration: Volume 1: Basic questions , 6th edition, 1994, p. 410 f.