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Chapter 44: Franz Klein (1854–1926)
44 Franz Klein (1854–1926) 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...
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