Law—Made in Germany: global – effective – cost-efficient

125 years ago this month the British parliament required that goods made abroad and sold in Britain state their country of origin. Hence was born “Made in Germany.” To the chagrin of the British, it became a badge of high quality and not a warning of inferiority. Now, it’s being used against the Law Society of England and Wales. A few years ago the Law Society published a brochure designed to entice foreign litigants to sue in England. The German Ministry of Justice responded with its own brochure, recently released in a second edition: Law—Made in Germany: global – effective – cost efficient. You can download a free copy at

In the brochure the Minister of Justice writes: “‘Made in Germany’ is not just a quality seal reserved for German cars or machinery, it is equally applicable to German law. Our laws protect private property and civil liberties, they guarantee social harmony and economic success. “

“For entrepreneurs, German law constitutes a genuine competitive advantage. It is predictable, affordable and enforceable. Our law codes ensure legal certainty. Whoever loses his case in court will have to bear the costs of the litigation. Once a court has made its rulings, its judgments are enforced swiftly and effectively. It is primarily for the sake of legal certainty and swift enforcement that German law does not recognize some legal concepts, such as class actions or punitive damages, which are common in other legal systems.”

As an advertising lawyer, I am skeptical of claims such as these as puffery. But after thirty-five years of study and work with the German system, I believe them. The German system is a court reformer’s paradise.

The French and Germans have cooperated on another brochure for both their systems. It is Continental law—global—predictable—flexible—cost-effective. It is available at

These brochures are concise introductions to Continental systems. They are accessible to non-lawyers. They are highly recommended for anyone interested in alternatives to our dysfunctional system.

Read more: Maxeiner, James R., Law – Made in Germany: Global Standort or Global Standard? (June 3, 2012). Draft of article for book to be published October 2012. Available at SSRN:

One Comment

  • The US may have more lawyers per capita than any nation in history. Why would it be in the interests of the profession (or the many law schools and their faculties) to have a legal system that is “predictable—flexible—cost-effective” ?