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The Elgar Companion to Law and Economics, Second Edition

Edited by Jürgen G. Backhaus

This thoroughly updated and revised edition of a popular and authoritative reference work introduces the reader to the major concepts and leading contributors in the field of law and economics. The Companion features accessible, informative and provocative entries on all the significant issues, and breaks new ground by bringing together widely dispersed yet theoretically congruent ideas.
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Chapter 44: Franz Klein (1854–1926)

Peter Lewisch


Peter Lewisch I Franz Klein, Viennese law professor and Austrian Minister of Justice, is best known as the drafter of the Austrian Civil Procedural Code (ZPO), a codification that has been praised (by Wolf, epilogue to Zeit- und Geistesströmungen im Prozesse, see Klein, 1958) as ‘the most influential modern civil procedural codification altogether’. Apart from his rich legal work, both doctrinal and legislative, Klein also engaged in politics towards the end of his life, participating in the St Germain peace negotiations and, however unsuccessfully, leading a political party in Austria’s 1919 general elections. Since historical details regarding the personality of Franz Klein are well documented in the literature (see in particular the contributions in Franz Klein Forschungsband, Hofmeister, 1988), this survey concentrates on those aspects of his legal work that are of interest from a law and economics perspective, most notably his reform of the Austrian civil procedure. II Klein was ‘Viennese’ throughout his life. Born in Vienna, as the son of an artisan, he enrolled in law at the University of Vienna (1872–76), achieved his PhD (Habilitation) in civil procedural law (thesis: ‘Die schuldhafte Parteihandlung – Eine Untersuchung aus dem Civilprocessrechte’, published 1885) in 1883, and subsequently assumed a position in the university administration (Kanzleidirektor). This – in itself quite uninteresting – position granted him enough leisure for scientific work. In 1891, Klein was made an associate professor of civil procedural law at the University of Vienna; in the same year his venia legendi was extended...

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