Legal act

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Action law 's law a legally significant action , toleration or omission in which the thereto from the legal knotted legal consequences regardless of the will occur of the agent. The opposite term is the legal transaction .


Not every human undertaking is of legal importance; rather, only legally effective action by legal subjects is linked to legal consequences . Man is a relevant legal subject and submits to the law by virtue of his will. Which actions are specifically connected with the occurrence of legal effects results from the legal system itself, which provides established facts . The determination of legal consequences in the offense, the action is not intended to be final based on the occurrence of the legal consequences, leads to the character of a legal act.

The term legal act is not expressly used in the BGB . The motives for the drafting of the BGB explain that certain legal consequences follow with legal acts, "for the occurrence of which, according to the legal system, it is irrelevant whether they are wanted or not wanted by the actors". The relationship between the terms “legal transaction”, “declaration of intent” or “legal act” has always caused difficulties and is still not very clear today. In any case, the legal transaction is only the result of the legal act and the declaration of intent is a necessary component of the legal transaction. While the legal consequences created by the contracting parties themselves occur in the case of a legal transaction ( contract ), the legal consequences provided for by law are created in the legal act .


In the absence of specific provisions on legal acts, individual BGB provisions can be applied analogously to legal transactions. The BGB differentiates between legal transactions and other legal acts, with the latter being subdivided into permitted and illegal legal acts.

  • The permitted legal acts (legal acts in the narrower sense) include:
    • Business-like actions are declarations that are aimed at an actual success, with the legal consequences occurring by virtue of the law. A legally relevant will is manifested to which the law ties the expressed legal act. These include reminders in accordance with Section 286 of the German Civil Code, setting deadlines in accordance with Section 323 (1) of the German Civil Code, requests in accordance with Sections 108 (2), 177 (2) of the German Civil Code, threats in accordance with Sections 384 (1) and 1220 (1) sentence 1 of the German Civil Code as well as notifications, notifications and refusals within the meaning of §§ 179 paragraph 1 and 295 sentence 1 BGB. Consent to measures restricting freedom and bodily harm due to medical acts can - according to the case law of the Federal Court of Justice , a corresponding intellectual maturity is indispensable - be subject to business-like acts. Insofar as only legal advantages are obtained, as in the case of the reminder, limited legal capacity is sufficient for the execution according to § 107 BGB. The provisions on declarations of intent apply accordingly to the majority of business-like acts. This applies in particular to representation§ 164 ff. BGB), consent ( § 182 BGB), consent and approval ( § 183 BGB), or forgiveness as a particularly peculiar fact. It can be found in donation law ( § 532 BGB) and inheritance law§ 2337 , § 2343 BGB). Establishing or changing the place of residence is also considered a legal act ( Section 7 , Section 8 (1) BGB).
    • Actual act : This includes pure acts that produce a legal consequence, such as acquisition of ownership ( § 854 BGB), connection946 , § 947 , § 951 BGB), mixing ( § 948 BGB), processing ( § 950 BGB), abandonment of ownership ( § 959 BGB) and Fund ( § 965 BGB). Since the offenses committed are not declarations for find declarations current regulations at Real filing does not apply, that about capacity is not required.
  • Unlawful acts: as legal acts in the broader sense, they are predominantly part of tort law. It should be noted here that they are occasionally not counted among the legal acts.

Application in practice

The reminder (Section 286 (1) BGB) is an example of the distinction between a legal transaction and a legal act. While it used to be seen as a legal transaction, today it is generally considered a legal act. Since the debtor has not provided the due service, he has to accept the legal consequences of default of the debtor (§§ 280, 286 BGB). A legally significant fact such as debtor default is a prerequisite for certain legal consequences to occur. These legal consequences presuppose a certain behavior on the part of legal entities , namely if the debtor does not pay or deliver when a service is due .

Legal acts are to be carried out with deadlines ( period within which a legal act is to be carried out or a certain event occurs) and dates ( time at which a legal act is to be carried out or a certain event occurs). If this does not happen, the legal consequences provided for by law will occur again.

Administrative law

The administrative act is considered a specific legal act under public law. According to the legal definition of § 35 VwVfG, it is any “ order , decision or other sovereign measure that an authority takes to regulate an individual case in the field of public law and which is aimed at direct legal effects to the outside.” Administrative acts are linked without consideration legal effects on the will of the agent; that makes it a legal act.

Bankruptcy law

The term legal act is very often associated with bankruptcy law . According to § § 129 ff. InsO , legal acts are contestable, unless the law provides otherwise. According to the BGH , a legal act under insolvency law is any act of will that triggers legal effects and can change the debtor's assets to the detriment of the insolvency creditors. The legal acts therefore not only include declarations of intent as part of legal transactions of all kinds and acts similar to legal transactions, but also real acts to which the law attaches legal effects, such as bringing in an item that leads to a landlord's lien . They are intentional or intentional declarations of intent that have legal consequences. The central issue is the contestable legal acts in which the disadvantage of this legal act is contested. According to Section 140 (1) InsO, a legal act is deemed to have been carried out if its legal effects occur.

EC law

The EC law uses the term of legal action for any rights or obligations founded acts of the institutions, so for directives , regulations and individual decisions. Here the term coincides more with legislation and the administrative act.

See also

Wiktionary: Legal act  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Paul Geyer / Monika Schmitz-Emans (eds.): Proteus im Spiegel , 2003, p. 146.
  2. Werner Flume : General part of civil law: Das Rechtsgeschäft , 1975, p. 106.
  3. ^ A b Benno Mugdan , Motive zum BGB , Volume I, 1899, pp. 127, 421
  4. Joachim Rückert / Martin Schermaier : Historical-critical commentary on the Civil Code , 2007, before Section 104 Rn. 8th
  5. ^ Otto Palandt : Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch . CH Beck, 73rd edition, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-406-64400-9 , overview of § 104 Rnr. 2.
  6. Reinhard Bork, General Part of the Civil Code , 2006, p. 159 RN 412.
  7. BGHZ 47, 357, corresponds to hM .
  8. BGHZ 29, 36; 105, 48; but a different opinion (and also represented by the BGH), BGHZ 90, 101.
  9. Werner Flume, General Part of Civil Law: Das Rechtsgeschäft , 1975, p. 113.
  10. Carl Creifelds , Legal Dictionary , 16th ed., 2000, p. 1071.
  11. Gerda Krüger Nieland, BGB-RGRK, Das Bürgerliche Gesetzbuch: Commentary , § 1-240 BGB, before § 104, Rn. 11 and 12.
  12. Reinhard Bork, General Part of the Civil Code , 2006, p. 113.
  13. Werner Flume, General Part of Civil Law: Das Rechtsgeschäft , 1975, p. 106.
  14. ^ BGH, judgment of July 9, 2009, Az .: IX ZR 86/08; MünchKomm-InsO / Kirchhof, 2nd edition, § 129 Rn. 7th
  15. BGHZ 170, 196, 200 Rn. 10.
  16. Manfred Obermüller / Harald Hess, Insolvenzordnung , 2003, p. 80 Rn. 301
  17. ^ Carl Creifelds, Legal Dictionary , 16th ed., 2000, pp. 1071 f.