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Legal matters

General law, EC Service Directive, federal and federal state law

Here you can learn more about legal foundations in general such as judicial and extra-judicial remedies.

You can also find some interesting facts about EU, federal and federal state laws.

Legal foundations and judicial remedies

In their databases, the state of Schleswig-Holstein and the Federal Ministry of Justice provide information on state-specific and nationwide legal provisions.

The following information provide a general overview of essential formal judicial remedies and proceedings applying to disputes with competent authorities, between service providers and recipients or between service providers as well as of consulting services.

Please refer to the competent authority for further and specific information. Furthermore, it might be necessary to employ a lawyer.


Filing of objections or appeals against administrative decisions is a formal judicial remedy.

The associated proceedings are set out in the relevant regulations and laws.

If an administrative decisions was taken based on an objection or an appeal, you can take action against this decision before the competent court.

Apart form the specialised legislation, the following procedural rules basically govern the judicial proceedings:

  • for disputes involving public law, the Code of Administrative Court Procedure (VwGO)
  • for disputes involving civil law, the Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO)
  • for disputes involving labour law, the Labour Court Law (ArbGG)
  • for disputes involving social law, book X of the German Social Code (SGB X) and the Social Court Law (SGG)
  • for disputes involving tax law, the Fiscal Code of Germany (AO) and the Financial Court Law (FGO)

The jurisdiction of a court is governed by the subject matter of the dispute (or in some cases by the amount in dispute). Due to the hierarchical structure of the courts, there are different procedural stages, also known as instances. Thanks to these hierarchical levels of review, a decision made by a court of lower instance can be passed on to a court of higher instance for review.

If the appeal is dismissed by the first instance, there are different judicial remedies and jurisdictions available that are generally explained in the instructions on the right to appeal contained in the decision taken by the first instance.

You find further information on jurisdictions and the structure of courts here
as well as on the web pages of the Justice Portal of the state of Schleswig-Holstein.

Disputes between competent authorities and service providers

There are extra-judicial (pre-judicial) and judicial remedies to formally appeal against administrative decisions.


Extra-judicial remedies

Decisions made by administrative bodies (administrative decisions) normally include instructions on legal remedies.

Instructions on legal remedies contain information on options to file and appeal as well as

  • how this is to be done,
  • within which period and
  • against whom

the judicial remedy is to be brought.

If no instructions on legal remedies are included in the ruling, the judicial remedies and prerequisites can be obtained from the authority issuing the decision or can be found in the relevant Court Procedure. Specific deadlines that might apply must be adhered to.

By filing an objection or appeal, the authority that has issued the appealed decision is required to review the appealed decision.

If the matter cannot be settled, action against the decision can be taken before the competent court.

Judicial remedies

The purpose of taking action is to obtain a court decision issued by the competent court. The type of action depends on the plaintiff's request: Adopting, annulment/abolition of an administrative decision, decision on the existence or non-existence of a legal relationship or the nullity of an administrative decision, refraining from or bringing about an administrative action.

Example: If the application for declaration of a deemed clearance is rejected by the competent authority that should have issued the decision, declaratory action for non-declared deemed clearance can be filed with the administrative court.

In some cases, effective legal protection can be obtained already prior to the main court proceedings through a preliminary injunction.

Disputes involving civil law

Disputes involving civil law can be settled out of court through conciliation proceedings, arbitration proceedings or mediation.

Disputes involving civil law give the ability (i.a.) to take legal action under civil law before an ordinary court. Disputes between a private individuals such as buyer and seller or service provider and recipient are settled by local courts, regional courts, the higher regional court or, if required, by the court of last instance, the Federal Court of Justice.

Matters with an amount in dispute of up to €5,000 must be filed with the local court. For matters with an amount in dispute of more than €5,000, the regional court is the court of first instance. In regional courts, higher regional courts and the Federal Court of Justice, representation by a lawyer is mandatory.

It depends on the place of residence of the debtor which court shall have exclusive jurisdiction.

If there is entitlement to payment of a certain amount of money, the legal dunning procedure can be a fast and cost-efficient alternative. The "Dunning Court" (in German: "Mahngericht") in Schleswig offers a corresponding automated procedure.

There are specific proceedings and legal procedures for competitive disputes (such as temporary injunctions with regard to urgent matters).

Portal 21

The online service Portal 21 provides information for entrepreneurs and consumers on

  • general regulatory frameworks that may apply to the provision of cross-border services, e.g. International Private Law, Civil Law (Contract Law, Warranty Law, and Company Law), Insolvency Law and Intellectual Property Law as well as on
  • judicial remedies available in case of disputes between service providers and recipients (judicial remedies, extra-judicial resolutions as well as judicial remedies for consumers)

The chapter on judicial remedies informs entrepreneurs about competent courts, dunning procedures, small claims procedures, summary cause procedures, legal fees as well as recognition and enforcement of decisions. The section on extra-judicial resolution contains information on arbitration and mediation.

The judicial remedies for consumers, on the other hand, advise about options with regard to individual and collective law enforcement for consumers such as judicial and extra-judicial resolution, group action proceedings and the consumer protection and cooperation network (CPC).

to Portal 21


Information provided by the Chambers

The Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Trades and Crafts in Schleswig-Holstein offer a broad range of information on the different areas of law and provide answers to questions relating to the resolution of disputes.

to the overview of Chambers in Schleswig-Holstein


Information provided by the Consumer Advice Centre Schleswig-Holstein

The Consumer Advice Centre Schleswig-Holstein provides support in legal matters, especially for service recipients. Please refer to the web pages of the Consumer Advice Centre Schleswig-Holstein for more information and contact data of the different advice centres.

to the Consumer Advice Centre Schleswig-Holstein


Information provided by the European Consumer Centre in Kiel

In cooperation with the site in Kehl, the European Consumer Centre in Kiel forms the European Consumer Centre Germany which provides assistance to consumers in Germany and all across Europe in cases of cross-borders conflicts .

The pages of the European Consumer Centre inform about

  • the opportunities and risks of the European internal market
  • the rights and obligations relating to cross-border purchase of goods and services
  • complaint options against service providers based in other EU countries
  • extra-judicial conciliation.

The service is generally free of charge. A fee is charged for brochures dispatched by mail.

to the European Consumer Centre Germany


Advice provided by experts and lawyers

If you require assistance of an expert, you can use the databases of the Chambers in Schleswig-Holstein to find experts responsible for the specific issue in question.

Legal advice is provided by lawyers. The client service of the Chamber of Lawyers Schleswig-Holstein assist you in finding a lawyer.

to the Chamber of Lawyers Schleswig-Holstein


Federal Employment Agency

The Federal Employment Agency provides information i.a. about the following topics and legal foundations:


  • Manpower requirements
  • Situation on the labour market
  • Training and education
  • Financial support

Legal foundations:

  • Redundancy money
  • Partial retirement
  • Notifiable lay-offs
  • Contract staffing
  • Employment of foreigners
  • Employment
  • Obligation to refund unemployment benefits
  • Insolvency proceedings
  • Short-time worker benefit
  • Private employment agencies
  • Rights of persons with disabilities

to the web portal of the Federal Employment Agency


The European Services Directive, short: Services Directive

On EUR-Lex you find an interesting overview of the EU Service Directive.

to the web side of EUR-Lex


Federal law

In a joint project with juris GmbH, the Federal Office of Justice provides free online access for interested citizens to almost all federal laws.
The laws and statutory ordinances are made available in the currently applicable version and are continuously consolidated by the documentation service of the Federal Office of Justice.

To access the laws available on the Internet, please click on the following link:

to the Juris-Portal (laws on the Internet)


Federal state law

The federal state law of Schleswig-Holstein comprises laws, state orders and administrative regulations applicable in the state of Schleswig-Holstein. The citizen's service is offered free of charge on the Internet. Registration is not required.

Laws are statutory provisions passed by the parliament that contain legally binding regulations for an undetermined number of people. Statutory ordinances, too, count among statutory provisions and contain binding regulations. However, statutory ordinances are passed by an authority on the grounds of a legal authorisation.

Administrative regulations are regulations relating to the administration and serve to ensure a harmonised approach of authorities to administrative procedures by providing, e.g., provisions relating to the interpretation of laws and provisions. Administrative regulations are also referred to as decrees, directives and public notices.

Both full-text search and title search is possible to research the content of the page. In addition, there is a comprehensive list of all laws and provisions or administrative regulations. You can also research the Directory of Legislation containing all laws and state provisions published in the gazette of laws and ordinances of Schleswig-Holstein or the Directory of Decrees containing all administrative regulations published in the official journal of Schleswig-Holstein.

No liability is assumed for the completeness and correctness of the contents. The texts published in the journals are valid.

Below you find the links to the database containing the state laws as well as to other web pages on state law that you might be interested in.

to the state law database

to the Directory of Legislation

to the Directory of Decrees


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