AbstraktThe Code of Private Law in the Canton of Zurich (Privatrechtliches Gesetzbuch für den Kanton Zürich – PGB) is described as the perfect model for the Swiss Civil Code in the literature devoted to the subject matter of codification of private law in the Swiss Confederation. It was the first modern civil code in Switzerland which was imbued with German tradition and legal culture. At the same time, it represented a high level of scientific sophistication. The Code of Private Law in the Canton of Zurich proved the vitality of German law in Switzerland. Moreover, its stable foundations in the national spirit resulted
in a high level of social acceptance for the legal solutions included within. However, the question remains to what extent one can determine the influence of the Code of Private Law in the Canton of Zurich on the project and on the final shape of the Swiss Civil Code (ZGB). Also the question is to what extent one should treat these codes as independent works, even though they were created on the basis of the same initial assumptions. The
influence of The Code of Private Law in the Canton of Zurich on the Swiss Civil Code most completely depicts the inheritance law. Firstly, it directly interferes with the personal sphere of a citizen’s life and, consequently, it has to be rooted in the national culture and tradition in order to be effective. Secondly, it is the part of law which was the most diversified regulatory area in Switzerland in the period prior to the unification. The description of the Code of Private Law in the Canton of Zurich as “the perfect model” for the Swiss Civil Code is accurate. However, it is the author’s opinion that this
statement is an exaggeration. The basic connection between the Code of Private Law in the Canton of Zurich and the Swiss Civil Code is expressed in the method of conducting the preparatory work for the codification work. It is also expressed by the adopted method of selection of the source material which was to serve as demonstrative material in the unification work. However, there is no evidence which would attest that the Swiss Civil Code’s contents were based on the regulations found in the Code of Private Law in the Canton of Zurich. The close relationship of both laws is expressed not in the contents but rather in the ideological assumptions of the conducted codification works.