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Germany : legal resources: Case citation

Unknown German abbreviation?

If you are in the LawBod, consult the book
Abkšrzungsverzeichnis der Rechtssprache at German 450 K58a6

Electronic resources

You are probably used to the Cardiff Index, but there are others

Unlocking German case citations

Each case is assigned a case number that reflects the type of court, level of appeal, and subdivision. The case number and date are of great importance in citing and finding cases. When a court decision is published, it is preceded by a summary (comparable to a headnote in English law) authored either by judges, the press department of the courts, or the editorial board of the publishing journal. As a rule, the names of the parties involved are not mentioned.

Citations to official report series start with abbreviated form of the title of the series (see table below for the federal courts), volume number, page where decision starts, pinpoint reference (if needed).


BVerfGE Entscheidungen des Bundesverfassungsgerichts German 100 E90
BAGE Entscheidungen des Bundesarbeitsgerichts German 100 E70
BVerwGE Entscheidungen des Bundesverwaltungsgerichts German 100 E100
BSGE Entscheidungen des Bundessozialgerichts German 100 E80
BFHE Sammlung der Entscheidungen und Gutachten des
BGHZ Entscheidungen des Bundesgerichtshofes in Zivilsachen German 100 E61d
BGHSt Entscheidungen des Bundesgerichtshofes in Strafsachen German 100 E61g


Major German law journals can also publish decisions, so you may encounter a second/parallel citation to eg a citation to NJW-RR, the Neue Juristische Wochenschrift - Rechtsprechungs-Report.