Walther Burckhardt, Das Geld. Vortrag gehalten an der Jahresversammlung des Bernischen Juristenvereins in Worb, am 3. November 1934, publ. In Zeitschrift des Bernischen Juristenvereins, 71. Jg., Bern 1935, p. 6-32.
This text is a transcription of a speech held by Prof. Dr. Walther Burckhardt held at the annual meeting of the Bernese Lawyer’s Association in 1934.
Prof. Burckhardt presents both an abstract and theoretical question of what money is. He makes a reference to economists, who have disputed this question for a long time, and he compares them to lawyers, who have apparently remained silent on this issue.
By posing methodological questions, Prof. Burckhardt points out that the term money, in the context of legislation and policy, is a legal term that a lawyer must define with the help of an economist. The legal definition obtained therewith then forms the starting point for further discussions about money. An important part of the presentation includes the definition, the role and the purpose of money. Prof. Burckhardt places special attention on putting the legal term in the context of the legal system:
“If what is said is correct, then money is a concept of private law; or, said more precisely, a notion that the private economic order, and with this private law, namely private property and freedom of contract, presupposes.” (p.13)
In the course of the speech, new aspects and questions are presented that build upon the question posed at the beginning. For Prof. Burckhardt, the objective is not about answering the initial question; rather, he tries to demonstrate the interaction and the relationship between economics, law and politics.
You can find a scan (PDF) of the original text here: Walter Burckhardt – Das Geld