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Guiding Litigation: Applying Law to Facts in Germany


James R. Maxeiner


University of Baltimore - School of Law

April 15, 2008

Common Good Forum, The Boundaries of Litigation: A Forum Addressing the Alignment of Civil Justice with Social Goals, Washington DC, April 15, 2008

Abstract:     
"Judges should apply the law, not make it." That plea appears perennially in American politics. American legal scholars belittle it as a "simple-minded demand" that is "silly and misleading. It is not; it is what the public rightly expects from law. H.L.A. Hart, reminded U.S. jurists that "conventional legal thought in all countries conceives as the standard judicial function: the impartial application of determinant existing rules in the settlement of disputes."

This essay discusses the German method of judicial applying of law to facts. called, in German, the "Relationstechnik," that is, in English, literally "relationship technique." This essay shows how it helps make German civil justice work effectively and justly.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 17

Keywords: law applying, legal method, subsumption, Relationstechnik, relationship technique, legal reasoning

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Date posted: August 19, 2008 ; Last revised: September 19, 2008

Suggested Citation

Maxeiner, James R., Guiding Litigation: Applying Law to Facts in Germany (April 15, 2008). Common Good Forum, The Boundaries of Litigation: A Forum Addressing the Alignment of Civil Justice with Social Goals, Washington DC, April 15, 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1230453

Contact Information

James R. Maxeiner (Contact Author)
University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )
1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States
410-837-4628 (Phone)
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