Bobbi, national or equivalent of Germany, after admitted to enter, refuses to leave from public (government) premises at the close of business hours despite being given due notice.

What laws and precedent are applicable for willful trespass or similar actions in Germany?

  • I asked this question after Germany for Member States of the EU, and it was found to wage and got closed. So I thought I’d just ask each Member State one after the other. But also doesn’t make a lot of sense to have 27 different questions with the only difference being the jurisdiction. So thought we could specifically ask them one by one and when one is answered, it can get merged into the parent one which would relates to the EU. Couldn’t come up with anything better to get answers for each — no one would answer for Malta or Luxembourg when an answer is already accepted
    – kisspuska
    Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 3:50
  • I’ll abide whichever rule should apply! I just plan to get each questions answered. And having them — at least initially — separate, does help getting answers since it gives the incentive of the scores/reputations/badges etc. as well as gets on the top and allows a focus on one jurisdiction at a time. So whoever closed the general Member States question probably did the right thing I feel like now we ask these separately. The only question now is if they should be merged or be left fully separate
    – kisspuska
    Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 4:05
  • @kisspuska I read somewhere that other-jurisdiction answers are encouraged, but not required Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 10:42

3 Answers 3


What laws and precedent are applicable for willful trespass or similar actions in Germany?

It will depend on Bobbi's intentions and justification for not leaving.

Trespass is defined by § 123 StGB (non-binding translation on the official site) as:

(1) Whoever unlawfully enters the private premises, business premises or other enclosed property of another, or closed premises designated for public service or transportation, or whoever stays there without being authorised to do so and does not leave when requested to do so by the authorised person incurs a penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or a fine.

(2) The offence is prosecuted only upon request.

The case law for § 123 StGB includes this AG Haldensleben judgement on the objective justification of trespass:

A trespassing can be justified by an emergency situation if environmental activists break into an animal breeding facility in order to document violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

Also, as referred to in the comments, § 124 StGB increases the maximum sentence to two years if the unlawful trespass was aggravated by being carried out by "crowd"

  • 3
    As explained in the linked question, the German word "befrieded" should be translated to "enclosed", not "pacified", in this context. Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 7:48
  • Although it now seems redundant, I've left the link in place as there are some interesting discussions over at GermanSE about befrieded
    – user35069
    Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 8:02
  • 2
    There are semi-official English translations of § 123 StGB and numeorus other German Federal Acts available directly on the official legislation website of the German Federal Ministry of Justice you already linked (gesetze-im-internet.de). These are of course not legally binding, but way better than Google Translate, for sure. Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 17:56
  • @amadeusmadeus added that translation to the accepted answer
    – kisspuska
    Commented Jul 7, 2021 at 0:07

What are the laws for trespassing in Austria?

§ 109 StGB relates to trespass with force and/or violence:

(1) Anyone who forces entry into the home of another person or threatens to use force is to be punished with imprisonment of up to one year or with a fine of up to 720 daily rates.

(2) The perpetrator may only be prosecuted with the authorization of the person who has violated his rights.

(3) Anyone who, in the manner described in Paragraph 1, enters a house, a dwelling, an enclosed space that is intended for public service or is used for the exercise of a profession or trade, or into an enclosed space directly belonging to a house, in which

    1. he intends to use violence against a person or thing located there,
    1. he or, with his knowledge, another participant (§ 12) carries a weapon or other means with him in order to overcome or prevent the resistance of a person, or
    1. the intrusion of several people is forced to be punished with imprisonment of up to three years

§ 339 ABGB relates to non-violent trespass:

Whatever the property may be, no one is authorized to disturb it unauthorized. The disturbed person has the right to demand the prohibition of the intervention and compensation for the proven damage in court.

The quoted provisions have been automatically translated by Google - my apologies if the syntax, grammar etc is wrong

  • Thank you, do you happen to be aware of any justification or exemption of culpability? Maybe based on higher tribunals’ decisions?
    – kisspuska
    Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 18:07
  • Nope. No luck, sorry. Austrian case law is not the easiest to read and even harder to search.
    – user35069
    Commented Jul 7, 2021 at 12:36
  • Much more already than what I could find!
    – kisspuska
    Commented Jul 7, 2021 at 15:18

This is called "Hausfriedensbruch" in Germany, here is a small summary from Wikipedia (Google-translation):

The offense of trespassing is regulated in Germany in §§ 123 f. StGB and, in addition to the basic offense (§ 123 StGB), also includes the qualification of serious trespassing (§ 124 StGB).

For trespassing within the meaning of Section 123 StGB, the maximum penalty is one year imprisonment, which results in a three-year limitation period according to Section 78 StGB.

  • I wonder if they have special laws for trespassing in certain buildings, like the USA has specific laws against trespassing in buildings like the Capitol. And "government premises" might trigger such rules.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 10:19
  • 124 StGB says that if a group of people breaks into a private location, business, or into a closed room of the civil service (= all kind of government factilities), that is the "severe version" which gives a maximum 2-year sentence for all included.
    – UweD
    Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 10:47
  • @gnasher729 what specific US laws exist against trespassing in the capitol?
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 12:16

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