Compensation receipt

In a judgment of November 7, 2007 ( 5 AZR 880/06 ), the Fifth Senate dealt with the legal quality and scope of the declarations made in a so-called compensation receipt. He decided that legal technical means of the parties’ will to clarify their legal relationship include, in particular, the remission contract, the constitutive and the declaratory acknowledgment of guilt. Whether there is a negative legal acknowledgment of guilt or just a confirmatory declaration of knowledge depends on the understanding of a bona fide recipient of the declaration. The person is obliged in good faith to examine with due attention what the person making the declaration meant, taking into account all the circumstances that are apparent to him. The principle of interpretation that reflects the interests of both sides must also be taken into account. A declaratory negative acknowledgment of guilt only confirms what the parties believe is already legal. It does not prevent further claims being raised. The determination of a willingness to waive in accordance with § 397 BGB requires high standards. Even if the creditor’s declaration appears clear, a waiver may not be accepted without all of the surrounding circumstances being taken into account when determining the declared intention to enter into the contract. If it is clear that a claim has arisen, this circumstance generally prohibits the assumption that the creditor has his right under Section 397 Paragraph. 1 (decree agreement) or para. 2 BGB (constitutive negative acknowledgment of guilt) was abandoned again.