Bernhard Windscheid

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Bernhard Windscheid (July 26, 1817 in Düsseldorf – October 26, 1892, Leipzig) was a German jurist and a member of the pandectistic school of law thought. He became famous with his essay on the legal concept of action, which sparkled a debate with Theodor Muther that is said to have initiated the studies of the processal law as we know it today.

Windscheid's thesis established the modern German law concept of Anspruch (roughly, a legally enforceable claim), distinguishing it from the Roman law concept of actio. His principal work was his Lehrbuch des Pandektenrechts, and this was the main source of inspiration for the German Civil Code BGB. Between 1873 and 1883, Windscheid took part in the commission in charge of the drafting of the German Civil Code.

Additionally, Windscheid worked as a teacher at several universities in Germany and Switzerland, including Basel, Greifswald, München, Heidelberg, and Leipzig.

Academic Genealogy
Notable students

Main Works[edit]

    • first published, Düsseldorf 1862–1870. (digitalised volume by MPIER; in German 1, 2,1, 2,2 u. 3)
    • 3. ed., Düsseldorf 1870. (digitalised volume by MPIER; in German 1, 2 u. 3)
    • 5. ed., Stuttgart 1879. (digitalised volume by MPIER; in German 1, 2 u. 3)
    • 6. ed., Frankfurt a. M. 1887. (digitalised volume by MPIER; in German 1, 2 u. 3)
    • 9. ed., Leipzig, 1906, edited by Theodor Kipp, is the edition usually cited.
  • Gesammelte Reden und Abhandlungen. Leipzig, 1904.


  • Ulrich Falk: Ein Gelehrter wie Windscheid : Erkundungen auf den Feldern der sogenannten Bergriffsjurisprudenz (1999)

External links[edit]