I want to file a lawsuit with the Berlin District Court. in Germany, paragraph 78 of the procedural code applies, according to which all plaintiffs are required to hire a lawyer. I am a capable person and I believe that no one has the right to restrict me in representing my interests. If the documents on the claim are not accepted from me, I will appeal and I will go to the ECHR. What are my chances of breaking the system?

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    What exactly are you planing to do which 'expect more than four years imprisonment'? Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 11:41
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    The crux is: What amount are you suing for? There is a hard line when you have to have a lawyer (depends on the matter, amount and court you sue in), and your belief of "no one has the right to restrict me in representing my interests" is plainly wrong under german law.
    – Trish
    Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 11:45
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    The question is if a Landgericht (district court), where §78 applies, is responsible at all. A Landgericht is for serious cases such a murder, manslaughter, robbery and other offenses for which a prison sentence of more than four years or high financial claims (over €5000). Otherwise an Amtsgericht is responsible where §78 does not apply. Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 12:01
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    Landgericht and Oberlandgericht are called regional courts ; An Amtsgericht are called local courts in the semi official translation: Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO) Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 12:13
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    Worth keeping in mind that in a criminal case, at least, in a case where a lawyer is required, the government would provide one if you can't afford one, so it isn't a matter of someone being denied due process in a criminal case due to inability to hire a lawyer. On the other hand, €5000 is not really a lot of money relative to the cost of a lawyer (although the minimal cost for a lawyer in a smallish civil case in Germany is substantially smaller than in the U.S. or U.K. for example, because of the way that the civil courts and the legal profession are structured there).
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 22:46

1 Answer 1


Close to zero, provided that §78 ZPO really applies in your case.

You want to overturn established law and precedent on the grounds that it violates your notion of justice and civil or human rights. Such things happen, but doing so without professional representation is close to impossible. You have two realistic options -- get a lawyer for your initial case, or get a lawyer for your appeal as it works through the institutions (which is likely to fail).

  • "Anwaltszwang" is not against any higher law, and overturning it is impossible in civil legal system
    – Trish
    Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 17:10
  • @Trish, we can't know until there is a recent case in the BVG or ECHR. Consider the 1983 census case, which recognized informational self-determination as the logical consequence of other, enumerated rights in the constitution. They might reinterpret Art. 103, for instance. But I agree that overturning Anwaltszwang is almost impossible this way.
    – o.m.
    Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 17:19
  • that Anwaltszwang would violate the constitution can't be deduced from the matter though. In fact, it is very much in line with the Grundgesetz: BVerfG, Beschluss vom 11. Oktober 1976, Az. 1 BvR 373/76 & BVerfG, Beschluss vom 20. August 1992, Az. 2 BvR 1000/92. Likewise, the EU court for human rights confirmed twice that it is not violating the human rights charter - in 1986 and 1999.
    – Trish
    Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 17:36
  • The 1986 case is " CASE OF GILLOW v. THE UNITED KINGDOM (ARTICLE 50) (Application no. 9063/80)", the 1999 case is "CASE OF WAITE AND KENNEDY v. GERMANY (Application no. 26083/94)"
    – Trish
    Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 17:37
  • @Trish, isn't Waite a labor case? I have no doubt that the OP will fail, the difference here is between almost impossible and totally impossible.
    – o.m.
    Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 18:04

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