Natural Person in German Civil Law

Term Paper, 2018

12 Pages, Grade: 2,7


Table of Content

Table of Content

List of Abbreviations

1. Introduction
1.1. Problem Description and Objectives
1.2. Scope of Work

2. German Civil Code (BGB)
2.1. Definition of German Civil Code

3. Natural Person
3.1. Explanation of Term
3.2. Begin of Legal Capacity
3.3. End of Legal Capacity

4. Capacity to Contract of a Natural Person
4.1. Legally Incompetent
4.2. Minors between 7 and 18 years
4.3. Advantageous Legal Transactions

5. Business inability for mental impairment natural persons 7
5.1. Impact on Contracts

6 . Conclusion


List of Abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


1.1. Problem Description and Objectives

The natural person in antiquity, slaves were fundamentally without rights, they had no rights and were treated as one thing because of the legal system and were not considered in the legal sense as a person.1 The legal system must therefore make a decision on who owns rights and, in other words, who is to be considered a person. This regulation is made by the legal institution of legal capacity.2 Legal capacity is the ability to be the bearer of rights and obligations. Legal capacity has natural and legal persons.3

Many things in terms of natural persons have changed since the antiquity and the German Civil Law came into effect. Changes and actual regulations will be explained in this assignment.

1.2. Scope of Work

This assignment is about the natural person in German Civil Law and will first give an quick overview about the BGB and will then explain where the natural person is defined. The following chapter will then describe what and/or who is a legal person and which rights and obligations has a natural person. After that, different obligations and rights in different stages of ages will be explained and substantiate with examples and jurisdictions.

2. German Civil Code (BGB)

2.1. Definition of German Civil Code

The Civil Code (BGB) sets out the terms of German general private law and, as a consequence, the essential legal relationships between private persons. With its ancillary laws, such as the Housing Property Act, the Insurance Act, the Civil Partnership Act, it creates general private law.4

On January 1, 1900, the BGB after years of consultation in two lawyers commissions by the Art. 1 of the Introductory Act to the Civil Code (EGBGB) came into force.5 Thus, the BGB was the first codification of private law, which applied to the entire national territory. This was also the equality of the woman in terms of ability to work detained. Since then, many changes have been made by the legislature. In the Federal Republic of Germany, it is a federal law under Art. 123 I, Art. 125 GG continued. A re-announcement took place on 2 January 2002. This was done both in new German spelling and with official paragraph headings.6

The BGB is divided into five books:

- The general part of the Civil Code contains essential basic provisions for the second to fifth books.
- The law of obligations is Roman in nature and contains provisions for obligatory contracts such as sales contracts, leases or service contracts.
- Property law is German law and includes executions for property and possession.
- Family law is also governed by German law and includes the regulations on marriage and family.
- Inheritance law includes detailed rules on wills, inheritance and heirs.

- Rechtsfähigkeit = legal capacity
- Handlungsfähigkeit = capacity to act
- Geschäftsfähigkeit = capacity to contract
- Deliktsfähigkeit = legal capacity to commit tortious acts

3. N a tural Person

3.1. Explanation of Term

The legal term natural person means the human being as a legal subject, i.e. as the bearer of rights and duties. It is regulated in §§ 1 ff. BGB [Civil Code] and distinguished from the legal person (see §§ 21 ff. BGB).

Section 1

Beginning of legal capacity: The legal capacity of a human being begins on the completion of birth.

The decisive characteristic of the natural person is therefore the legal capacity. According to § 1 BGB the legal capacity begins with the completion of the birth. It is thus independent of nationality, gender or origin. It cannot be denied to a person by official or judicial decision. However, even their carrier cannot cancel or limit them by waiving.

3.2. Begin of Legal Capacity

Legal capacity begins with the completion of childbirth.7 Completion of childbirth means complete withdrawal from the womb.8 A detachment of the umbilical cord is not required. Likewise, deformities do not preclude legal capacity. However, the child has to live at the completion of the birth. Viability is again not required. It is therefore not contrary to the legal capacity, if the child dies shortly after birth. However, there are also legal exceptions, by which already the Nasciturus (i.e. the unborn person) is legally competent. The Nasciturus, for example, can possess claims for prenatal injuries only if born alive; and it can inherit This is the case with inheritance according to § 1923 paragraph 2 BGB.


1 Wallace; Pettit; Scheffler; Smith; Reason and Value– Themes from the Moral Philosophy of Joseph Raz; p. 357

2 Ruiter; Legal Institutions; p.110

3 Richter; Vertragsrecht – Die Grundlagen des Wirtschaftsrechts, p. 175

4 Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon; 28645; 01.06.2018

5 Dieter Leipold, BGB I Einführung und Allgemeiner Teil; S.18

6 Alexandra Heinen: Geschichte, Aufbau und Grundprinzipien des BGB

7 Knut Werner Lange; Basiswissen Ziviles Wirtschaftsrecht; S.29

8 Schwab/Löhnig; Einführung in das Zivilrecht; S.48

Excerpt out of 12 pages


Natural Person in German Civil Law
University of applied sciences, Cologne
Business Law
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
Natural Person
Quote paper
Fabio Koza (Author), 2018, Natural Person in German Civil Law, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Natural Person in German Civil Law

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free