Brief (law)

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A pleading is a written declaration by a party to the proceedings to the court or the administration in the administrative procedure .

There are often time limits for submitting a written statement in the course of civil proceedings .

A pleading consists of the rubrum and the content. In judicial decisions, the rubrum is followed by the tenor , facts and reasons for the decision .


In court proceedings, a distinction is made between preparatory and determinative briefs:

Preparatory briefs
are intended to simplify the oral hearing by clarifying many factual and controversial points in the run-up to the court hearing . This corresponds to the process maxim of the concentration principle, according to which a legal case should, if possible, be dealt with in an oral hearing.
Determining briefs
however, directly influence the progress of a procedure. As an example, briefs for German civil proceedings are mentioned that declare a withdrawal or an acknowledgment .
Subsequent submission


  • Ute Mager, Ingo von Münch: Staatsrecht I. State organization law taking into account European references, 7th completely revised edition, Verlag W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-17-020786-8 .
  • Peter Stegmaier: Knowing what is law. Judicial legal practice from a sociological and ethnographic point of view. 1st edition, VS Research, Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Dortmund 2006, ISBN 978-3-531-16341-3 .

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