The German Legal System and Legal Language, Sixth Edition

The German Legal System and Legal Language, Sixth Edition


A clear and authoritative guide to the German legal system and its special language.


Author: Howard D. Fisher | Format: Paperback (156 x 246) | ISBN: 978-1-905536-63-4  | Price: €99 | Approx 1000 pages | Published November 2015



The German Legal System and Legal Language (6th edition), fully revised and updated,   is an established, reliable and practical resource and learning tool designed to give native English speakers a clear and authoritative guide to the German legal system and its special language.

To non-Germans (and even to German nationals), Germany´s legal system and legal terminology comprise a bewildering array of rules, concepts and principles, often formulated in a strange, technical language. However, behind these is a highly sophisticated, codified structure, built upon century-old ideas and methods. Especially for English-speakers from a common law background needing to navigate their way through this maze, such an intricate, multi-layered architecture appears incoherent and mysterious. Those confronted with German communications or official procedures, or who wish to learn more about the German legal system or language, are often simply lost by their complexity. To many people, the subject still seems like a closed book.

The German Legal System and Legal Language (6th edition)  provides English-speaking readers with a broad and systematic survey of, and guide to, some of the main areas of German public and private law. It is supported by detailed, cross-referenced notes, an extensive, specialized vocabulary, a bibliography and a paragraph register. The meanings of innumerable German legal expressions and terms are clarified. In addition, attention is occasionally drawn to equivalent concepts and norms found in English law. Together, this material represents a unique compendium of information on a subject in which accuracy and experience can be vital. The work is the product of knowledge gradually acquired by its author, a translator and interpreter and a former UK Solicitor and German Rechtsanwalt, over nearly 25 years.

The new, expanded 6th edition of The German Legal System and Legal Language (6th edition)  has been fully updated throughout and benefits from a wide range of revisions  made by the author during the period since publication of the last edition. With its many pioneering definitions and precise explanations, the book continues to be a reliable and valuable source of reference and learning tool for anyone interested in the German legal system and legal language or who, for professional or private reasons, becomes involved with legal affairs or transacts business with a German connection.

About the Author

Howard D. Fisher was educated at the City of London School and University College London. He qualified as a Solicitor in England in 1978 and was admitted as a Rechtsanwalt in Germany in 1992. Since 2005, he is an interpreter and translator in Berlin.


Chapters include

  1. Historical Introduction
  2. The Federal State
  3. The Supreme Federal Organs
  4. The Supreme and Other Federal Authorities
  5. The ‘Länder’
  6. Local Government
  7. The Constitution (‘Grundgesetz’)
  8. The Basic Rights
  9. Public and Private Law
  10. Private Law: The Civil Code (BGB)
  11. Private Law: BGB Company Law and The Commercial Code (HGB)
  12. The Private Limited Company (GmbH)
  13. Civil Procedure
  14. Administrative Law
  15. Administrative Procedure
  16. Criminal Law
  17. Criminal Procedure
  18. Employment Law
  19. Business Law (‘Wirtschaftsrecht’)
  20. Private International Law
  21. International Legal Co-operation
  22. The Legal Profession and Court System


A. Vocabulary: selected German and Latin words and phrases
(with their English/legal meanings)
B. Abbreviations
C. Paragraph Register



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