Background: Since 1 January 1991, a law regulating the accomodation of psychologically ill people in psychiatric hospitals and departments has come into effect. In other inpatient treatment and care settings such as nursing homes, institutions caring for the disabled and hospitals other than psychiatric hospitals, freedom restraint was continuedly practised without legal regulation until the nursing home inhabitation law was decided upon in 2004.Aim of this work: This dissertation aims to outline the urgency for this legislation, the subject matter of the law as well as the development of the jurisdiction and the related practical implications.Methods: Court judgements regarding this legal regulation where compared with the development of avoidance strategies for freedom restraint arrangements.Results: An overview of court judgements for the past seven years after the nursing home inhabitation law took effect, shows that these led to the development of professional standards and technical tools to reduce or avoid freedom restrictive interventions in institutions.Conclusion: The implementation of the nursing home inhabitation law created legal clarification and improved the standard of knowledge. A variety of strategies are available for health professionals. Additional legal clarification and development is necessary in regards to the implementation of the law in hospitals as well as in the use of medicines resulting in freedom restraint. In the areas of home care and support, freedom restraining measures are not yet regulated. The legislator is urged to act, especially in regards to the care and support provided by independent (home) carers.