Statutes in the Internet
The Federal Ministry of Justice is making legislative texts available in the Internet, in a project run jointly with juris GmbH. On this Website users will find statutes enacted, and statutory instruments (domestic ordinances) issued, by the Federal authorities. The Website also offers access to Länder (individual states’) provisions diverging from Federal law. In addition to this, there are important statutes and statutory instruments available for searches in English translation.
The Website “Statutes in the Internet” covers four categories:
“Statutes in the Internet” offers direct access to the statutes and statutory instruments of the Federation within the remit of the Federal Ministry of Justice (Bundesministerium der Justiz - BMJ). Statutes and statutory instruments within the remit of other Federal Ministries can be accessed via links to their respective websites.
All statutes and statutory instruments of the Federation found on the websites of the individual ministries are also put on an alphabetical list. This list can also be searched with keywords.
The statutes and statutory instruments on this systematic list are specified according to legal subject areas: judicial system, constitutional and administrative law, ivil law, criminal law, commercial and economic law.
This category contains a selection of the new statutes and statutory instruments available online. Here there is also a list of the most recent amendments made by the Federal authorities in respect of current norm abbreviations ‑ by which, traditionally, the various statutes and statutory instruments are known in Germany. The abbreviation “GeschmMG” means, for instance, “Gesetz über den rechtlichen Schutz von Mustern und Modellen (Act on the Legal Protection of Designs and Models)”.
The Website “Statutes in the Internet” enables users to perform searches in three categories taken from the N-Lex Search Mask:
The legal instruments that can be searched using these three categories are the statutes and the statutory instruments of the Federation.
Federal statutes rank higher than Land (individual state) statutes; the following ranking applies: Basic Law, Federal statutes, Federal statutory instruments, bye-laws.
A statute is a legal norm composition of general scope, which is not person-related and which is applicable to all people. Generally speaking, a statute does not go into technical detail but provides the basis for the authorities to make detailed stipulations, using statutory instruments. In Germany, legislative proposals (bills) can be tabled in the Federal Parliament (Bundestag) by the Federal Government, by a Member of the Federal Parliament or by the Federal Council (Bundesrat). Federal statutes are passed by the Federal Parliament. A distinction has to be drawn between:
Statutory instruments can be issued by the competent authorities only if there is a basis in law (i.e. statute). A statute must set the framework within which the statutory instrument can be issued, in order to avoid the occurrence of some non-intentional shift affecting the authorisations conferred. Statutory instruments often specify the technical details for implementation of a statute.