Legal consequence

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In addition to the facts, the legal consequence is part of a legal norm and specifies the legal consequences of a particular situation in life .


A legal consequence only arises if all of the criteria are met through the relevant circumstances . Not every legal norm needs to contain the intended legal consequences itself. It is also possible to merely refer to the legal consequences already contained in another legal norm (reference to legal consequences ).

Legal consequences can establish, change or cancel certain legal positions. For example, Section 305 (2) of the German Civil Code ( BGB) determines the conditions under which general terms and conditions are included in a contract and justify their validity for the relevant contractual relationship. For the period during which the suitability of a rented property is reduced, the tenant only has to pay an appropriately reduced rent ( Section 536 (1) sentence 2 BGB; rent reduction ). The tenant's obligation to pay the agreed rent is changed by law. If the lack of the rented property weighs so badly that it can even cancel the suitability, the tenant is exempt from paying the rent for the period in which the suitability is canceled. The rent payment obligation is canceled for this period ( Section 536 (1) sentence 1 BGB).

Substantive legal objections and procedural objections can prevent the occurrence or continuation or the judicial enforceability of a legal consequence under civil law . In criminal law , grounds for justification and exclusion of guilt as well as excuses stand in the way of criminal liability. State acts of sovereignty must be formally and substantively lawful for the legal system to recognize.

Avoiding undesirable legal consequences is known as legal flight .

Concrete legal consequence

In some cases, laws provide for a specific, concrete legal consequence.

civil right Offense Legal consequence
§ 823 BGB Anyone who intentionally or negligently harms the life, body, health,
(...), property or (...) of another person,
is obliged to compensate the other for the resulting damage.
Section 985 BGB The owner of a thing can be from the owner request the surrender of the thing

Legislative Framework

Penal norms regularly threaten a penalty framework as a legal consequence . Within this penalty framework, the criminal judge determines the individual sentencing .

Criminal law Offense Legal consequence (penalty)
Section 303 of the Criminal Code Anyone who unlawfully damages or destroys an object of others, is punished with imprisonment for up to two years or with a fine.

Discretionary norms

Some norms allow discretion on the legal side . In these cases, several decisions by the person applying the law may be lawful (see must, should and can rule ).

An example of this are the so-called police and regulatory law general clauses . In § 8 (1) of the Police Act of North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, it says : The police can take the necessary measures to avert a specific danger to public safety or order (danger), if not (...).

Such regulations are often not formulated in accordance with the construction of legal provisions following a conditional legal sentence (" If ..., then it follows ..."). Rather, the formulation of facts and legal consequences are “mixed up” there.

This becomes clear in § 8 PolG NRW, with a view to the words "in individual cases existing specific danger to public safety or order (danger)". § 8 PolG NRW authorizes the police in the first half-sentence to take measures; that is "in principle", i.e. H. legally, the legal consequence. This legal consequence is specified in the 2nd half-sentence: A measure is only permissible if its aim is to avert a "danger" and is necessary to avert the danger. The "danger" is also the (factual) prerequisite for the police to be allowed to act at all according to § 8 PolG NRW.

According to the classic “if-then-scheme”, § 8 PolG NRW would have to read: If there is a specific danger to public safety or order (danger) in individual cases, the police can take the necessary measures to avert such a danger.


Some legal regulations are unintentionally incomplete . If the need for regulation arises in a specific case, legal consequences can be derived from similar regulations by way of analogy for the unregulated case, whereby analogies to the detriment of the offender are not permitted in criminal law .

Conflict of standards

One speaks of a conflict of standards when several legal regulations regulate a situation differently.