Text und Kontext – Einführung in das Symposium über die Entstehung von Gesetzen in rechtsvergleichender Perspektive
Volume 78 (2014) / Issue 2, pp. 315-328 (14)
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Text and Context – Introduction to the Symposium on the Process of Law Making in Comparative Perspective On 29 June 2013, on the occasion of the annual meeting of the Association of Friends of the Hamburg Max Planck Institute, a symposium took place on the topic of »The Process of Law Making«. This essay is based on the lecture introducing that symposium. First, it provides an overview of the position in Germany: the procedure to be adopted, the different actors involved, and the documents produced in the various stages of law making by means of legislation. Secondly, the essay analyzes the role and influence of legal scholarship in the process of law making by means of legislation. And, thirdly, it reflects on the fact that the application of a statute normally involves two stages. A statute is a text that has been formulated at a specific time by specific persons and in response to, or in contemplation of, specific problems or challenges. It needs to be understood against that background and in that context. This implies a historical approach. Such understanding provides a reliable basis for a critical reflection of that text from today's perspective, and in view of the challenges and problems with which the modern lawyer is faced.