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German Law Research

Civil Law Notaries

A "notary" in civil law countries like Germany is not the same as a "notary public" in the United States.  

In Germany, a notary (Notar/Notarin) is a highly-qualified individual who has been trained as an attorney.  A German notary provides advice to clients on legal transactions, as well as drafting, authenticating, and registering legal instruments like wills, deeds, corporate registration applications, trusts, etc.  A notary can also serve as a mediator for legal disputes. 

There are actually two types of notaries in Germany.  In the majority of German states, a notary holds the title "Nurnotar" ("notary alone").  In these states, the notary works only as a civil servant and not as an attorney.  A Nurnotar must undergo a very strict screening and examination process to ensure that he or she is qualified and well-suited for notarial service.

In some German states, mainly those in the northwest of the country and Berlin, it is possible to be an "Anwaltsnotar" ("attorney-notary").  An Anwaltsnotar is required to carefully avoid any conflict of interest, and can only perform notarial functions for legal matters in which he or she does not represent of the parties as an attorney.

Under German federal law, the work of notaries is regulated by the Bundesnotarordnung (BNotO) (Federal Notarial Code) and the Beurkundungsgesetz (BeurkG) (Notarization Act).

German Notarial Law: Secondary Sources

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Library of Congress Subject Headings are used in library catalogs to help users find materials on a particular topic. The links below are to search results lists for subject headings related to German notary law in Harvard's Hollis library catalog.