Hofer, Sibylle, „Freier Mann im freien Staat” Persönlichkeitsschutz in der Schweiz

and Sibylle Hofer


“Freier Mann im freien Staat”. The Protection of Legal Personality in Switzerland. The Swiss Civil Code (1912) guarantees a comprehensive protection of legal personality. In this respect there exists a fundamental difference to the civil code of Germany (1900). The difference can be traced back to the 19th century when in Switzerland legal personality was not merely understood as an abstract legal entity, but rather as an expression of citizenship. The protection of legal personality therefore included the protection of personal freedom. This freedom was not only understood to protect a person’s capacity to act in his legal sphere, but also to protect his political rights and for this reason democracy.

Resulting from this understanding it became self-evident that the protection of legal personality had to be comprehensive. This concept pervades Eugen Huber’s writings and especially his legislative contributions to the creation of the Swiss Civil Code. Thereby he constructed a model which was particularly referred to by prominent public law scholars later in times of political crisis (the 1940s).

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The Zeitschrift für Rechtsgeschichte (ZRG, also known as the Savigny Journal) represents an integral part of European legal history research, having made a significant contribution to the current state of the discipline.