The German Society for Legislation – DGG


Since laws define the circumstances in which a culturally diverse society functions, law making is a substantial tool of a modern state. The Parliament and the Government have to observe whether the intended effects of a law have occurred, in order to determine the potential need for changes.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesetzgebung (German Society for Legislation) was founded in Bonn in 1987 by Prof. Dr. Karpen, a law professor at the University of Hamburg as well as Herbert Helmrich, a conservative politician and lawyer, after both jurisprudence and legal practice had increasingly become interested in the topic of law making.

The goal of the DGG is to impulse the improvement of legislation on a national and regional as well as local level, by organizing events with a view to current propositions of laws and legal policies. Also, the DGG gives out an award for “good legislation” to distinguish outstanding and exemplary laws or academic projects in the field of legislation. Its unique selling point is the proximity to politicians and government officials, who are the protagonists of the legislative procedures.

The society’s members come from different professional fields, ranging from members of parliament, government officials, university professors, solicitors to people who simply are interested in the critical examination of and constructive change in legislation.   

Examples of “good legislation” are the winner projects identified by the “good legislation” prize. The latest laureate was the Bavarian State with a law modernizing the Bavarian Service Law by making it more straightforward and flexible and eliminating bureaucracy. ( V. picture on the right of the winners of the 2016 “good legislation” prize)

“Good legislation” sets itself apart by precise language and a good structure of the law as well the prerequisites to practically set it into force. These “good” laws are not as easily challenged in court and contribute to the strengthening of trust in our legal order, making the obedience to the law by the people more likely.

Consequently, all players in society somehow benefit from the DGG’s work.

More information about the DGG

This text was kindly written by Ms. Katharina Wunderlich and sent to the IAL.

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