German courts & proceedings

Everyone litigating in Germany can rely on the independence of German courts. Corruption within the judicial authorities is not an issue in Germany.

As is the case with substantive law, German procedural law is also systematically and clearly structured in the form of codes. The Code of Civil Procedure (Zivilprozessordnung, abbreviated as ZPO) governs civil proceedings and therefore provides the foundation for the work of both judges and lawyers.

In the German civil trial system the judge actively steers the proceedings. This facilitates the efficient conduct of the proceedings, while maintaining a focus on decisive issues.

The court is responsible for the structure and organisation of the proceedings, including the service of the statement of claim, written pleadings and court decisions. The court also summons ordinary witnesses as well as expert witnesses. For further information about German courts and proceedings, click Pdf at the right.