U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

World Factbook of Criminal Justice Systems: Germany

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 1993
This report provides information and statistics on Germany's criminal justice system, including its police, courts, and corrections.

The Federal Republic of Germany is a federal state created by the German Federal Constitution. The nation consists of 16 states, each with its own constitution. The Federal Government and the states have concurrent jurisdiction, which includes police powers, cultural issues, local government matters, and the application of civil and criminal law. Laws are enacted by the Bundestag or Lower House of the German Parliament. The upper house (Bundesrat) is a representative body of the states based on their population. The legal system is guided by federal laws that apply nationwide. Those specifically applicable to the criminal justice system are the Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedures. The Federal Constitutional Court, the highest court in the land, can review and challenge the constitutionality of all statutes, including those that incorporate international treaties into German law. This report's section on crime considers the classification of crimes and crime statistics on murder, theft, rape, and drug offenses. A section on crime victims addresses the groups most victimized by crime, victims' assistance agencies, the role of victims in prosecution and sentencing, and victim's rights legislation. A section on police describes administration, resources, technology, training and qualifications, and discretion. Other sections of the report focus on prosecutorial and judicial process, the judicial system, penalties and sentencing, prisons, and extradition and treaties. 37 footnotes and 33 references

Date Published: June 1, 1993