August 3, 2012
The Civil Code of Germany by 1896 provides a network of paragraphs. Based on the pandectist structure it allows not only to show the regulations of persons, property etc. in Germany but also to explain the logical dependencies between paragraphs as a closed system. The law is divided into five books: General Part, Law of Obligations, Property Law, Family Law and the Inheritance Law. From a systemic perspective each paragraph represents a node with a number of references to other paragraphs.
The challenge was to show the range of references between the paragraphs and to figure out the overall complexity. In the development of the arc visualization the paragraphs follow a logical order. A total number of 2385 paragraphs should be visualized through columns and every arc represents a reference to another paragraph. As a result the visualization shows that references are not only limited to the books instead the paragraphs are connected over the whole Civil Code. The most paragraphs which are referenced are §§206 and 207 with 16 counts. These two paragraphs are playing a fundamental role in the Civil Code from an abstract perspective. On the other side the most referencing paragraph is §1266 with 54 counts which defines the usage of §§ 1205 to 1257. From a structural overview the visualization shows in an asthetic way the beauty of the law with simple forms.