How often do you break the law?

Right in everyday life

What is law and what are laws?


Law is there to regulate the coexistence between people.

It consists of many different rules that everyone must adhere to.

The rules are in the law. There are a huge number of laws.

Each area has its own or even several laws.


The special thing about these rules is that the state can enforce the rules.

So if you break the law and the law, there are consequences.

That can be a punishment.

If you don't implement the consequences, then the state can do it.

For example, if you get a fine and don't pay, the state can take the money away from you.

If necessary, he may use “force”.

This means that he can act against a person's will. For example, if you have to go to jail.

It is important that the consequences ONLY can be implemented by the state.

You can't just say: you owe me money and then steal the money.

You have to go to the court and say: he or she owes me money.

The court works for the state.

The judges at the court must obey the law.

The judges then make a decision on behalf of the state.

This decision has to be respected and kept.

The laws are made by the legislature.

In Austria this is the parliament.

There, the National Council and the Federal Council jointly make laws for all of Austria.

The state parliament makes the laws for the federal states.


The law can be divided into 3 major areas:


  • There is Criminal law. Criminal law prohibits some behavior. If you violate it, you will be punished. For example, you shouldn't hurt anyone. If you intentionally hurt someone you either have to pay money or go to jail. The most important law is the Criminal Code (StGB)


  • There is public law. That is the part of law that regulates the relationship between the state and its citizens. The most important law is the constitution. But there are many different important laws in public law.


  • There is Private law. That is the part of law that regulates the relationships between citizens. The most important law is the General Civil Code (ABGB). It was written in 1811.


The module “Law in Everyday Life” deals with the most important issues from private law.

Private law affects us particularly often in everyday life.

Often we don't even notice it.

For example, when I go shopping in the supermarket, I always make a sales contract.

When I take the subway, I also sign a contract.

Such a contract is called a transport contract.

It is therefore important that everyone knows their rights in such contracts.