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Levin Goldschmidt

Levin Goldschmidt

German jurist and academic
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro German jurist and academic
Countries Germany
Occupations Judge Educator
Gender male
Birth 30 May 1829 (Gdańsk)
Death 16 July 1897 (Bad Wilhelmshöhe)
Education University of Bonn
The details

Levin Goldschmidt (17 May 1828 – 16 July 1897) was a German jurist.


From 1847 to 1851 he pursued his studies at the universities of Berlin, Bonn, and Heidelberg, receiving his doctor's degree in 1851 from the University of Halle. He practised for several years in the courts of Danzig, became privatdozent at the University of Heidelberg in 1855, and was appointed associate professor in 1860. During the years 1857 to 1860 he published Kritik des Entwurfs eines Handelsgesetzbuchs für die Preussischen Staaten and Gutachten über den Entwurf eines Deutschen Handelsgesetzbuchs nach den Beschlüssen Zweiter Lesung, which at once attracted attention to him as a critical jurist. During the same period he published Der Lucca-Pistoja-Aktienstreit, Frankfurt, 1859 (Supplement, 1861). He was the founder (1858) of the Zeitschrift für das Gesamte Handelsrecht.

Goldschmidt's scholarship was next displayed in his Encyclopädie der Rechtswissenschaft im Grundriss, Heidelberg, 1862. He then began the great work which occupied him during the remainder of his life, but which he did not live to complete, namely, Das Handbuch des Handelsrechts, Erlangen, 1864–68. This is the work with which his fame as a historical jurist is identified, it being recognized as a masterly presentation of the general history of commercial law.

In 1866, Goldschmidt was promoted to a professorship in the law faculty at Heidelberg. He next received the appointment of Justizrat in the Bundesgericht at Leipzig, afterward occupying a judicial position at the Reichsoberhandelsgericht (de). In 1875 he became professor of commercial law in Berlin University, and received the title Geheimer Justizrat. From 1875 to 1877 he was also a member of the German Reichstag, representing the city of Leipzig.

Of his further publications the following deserve special mention: Das Dreijährige Studium der Rechts- und Staatswissenschaften, Berlin, 1878; Erwerbs- und Wirtschaftsgenossenschaften, Studien und Vorschläge, Stuttgart, 1882; Rechtsstudium und Prüfungsordnung, ib. 1887; Die Haftpflicht der Genossen und das Umlageverfahren, Berlin, 1888; System des Handelsrechts, Stuttgart, 1887, 4th ed., 1891.

He died in Bad Wilhelmshöhe (de), now a neighborhood of Kassel.

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