Allgemeines Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, ABGB
Allgemeines Buergerliches Gesetzbuch (General Austrian Civil Code of
Law, ABGB), Austrian codification of civil law, announced June 1,
1811, went into effect for the entire German-speaking realm of the
Austro-Hungarian Empire on January 1, 1812; taken over by the Republic
of Austria in 1918, has also applied in Burgenland since 1922.
Preliminary work toward a "Codex universalis" had already begun in
1753 under Maria Theresia ( Codex Theresianus), intermediary works
leading to the ABGB were the Josephinisches Gesetzbuch and the West
Galician Code; F. von Zeiler can be regarded as the ABGB's most
important editor. The ABGB originated from the ideas of the
Enlightenment and natural rights; it principally postulates the
equality and freedom of the individual without completely abolishing
the old feudalist order of the estates. In the long course of its
application in Austrian law, it has been amended frequently (e.g.
1914-1916 in 3 partial amendments and in the 1970s' reform of family
law). Although important areas are governed by special laws outside of
the ABGB (e.g. domicile law, industrial law, parts of marital law), it
is still seen as the crystallisation point of Austrian civil law and
the study thereof.
Editions: Manzsche Taschengesetzesausgabe, 161991; P. Rummel, Kommentar zum ABGB, 2 vols., 21990/1992.
This contribution was taken from an Austrian Encyclopaedia "Österreich Lexikon" © 1995 by Verlagsgemeinschaft Österreich-Lexikon. Pictures and links (if applicable) have been removed. To view them click the link above to get to the Austrian version. That version is also updated more frequently.