Translations of German statutes

There are two good places on the Web to search for English translations of German statutes: the German Law Archive and Carob (not a blog) – at Carob, click on the words ‘German Laws’ at the top of the page.

You can’t rely on the quality of the translations. If a statute is not there, it’s worth trying a search engine – there are often new translations somewhere to be found.

Sometimes it’s worth having a translation in book form. My favourite translation of the Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch) is by Simon Goren – latest edition 1994, covering the German text in January 1992. The University of Hull has some excerpts from an earlier (1975) edition with two co-authors.

I also have the Commercial Code and the Code of Civil Procedure translated by Goren. At one time it occurred to me to wonder if he was still translating, and I then found an obituary (pdf file by Kathleen Carrick:

Goren was born in 1913 and died in 2000. He was a Hungarian Jew who emigrated to Turkey, followed by Palestine, Israel, and in 1959 the United States.

bq. Born in Hungary, Professor Goren escaped the despotism of Nazi Germany
by immigrating to Turkey and then to Palestine, where he earned a Diploma of
Law from the British Mandatory Government’s Law School in Jerusalem. Simon
was a prosecutor and attorney in Israel until he immigrated to the United States in
1959. In the U.S. he became a librarian, obtaining his M.L.S. from Columbia
University in 1960. Simon’s first position in his new profession of law librarianship
was at the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen, and Hamilton in New York
City. In 1964 Simon joined the staff at the Cornell University School of Law as
an assistant law librarian. After three years at Cornell, he was hired by the Western
Reserve University School of Law in 1967, where he served as Law Librarian and
Professor of Law until he retired in 1983. At his retirement, CWRU awarded him
the title of Professor Emeritus in recognition of his service and scholarship.

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