Criminal procedure in Europa / Strafprozesse in Europa

For some reason best know to itself, the local paper had an article comparing criminal procedure throughout Europe on the front of their Magazin section at the weekend (Click to enlarge).


There is it again – that hackneyed old scene of the judges in their ceremonial wigs, probably at the Lord Chancellor’s Breakfast. I’m not sure what it tells us about criminal justice in Europe, though.

The topic of the article is: Germany has a very large proportion of judges, and they are overworked. So how do other countries manage with fewer (professional) judges?

German judges write more (in England you have the oral pronouncement of judgment, backed up by a transcript by a court reporter).

German courts have more witnesses physically present in court (at least in comparison with the Netherlands, Italy and France – I suspect not in comparison with Britain)

In German courts, it is easiest to use applications/motions to drag out proceedings

In Germany, special expedited proceedings are possible only for minor offences; elsewhere, if the accused agrees, expedited proceedings are possible when more is at stake.

2 thoughts on “Criminal procedure in Europa / Strafprozesse in Europa

  1. UK civil judges also tend to be more work-shy – work shier? – than Austrian & German judges. They prefer litigants to keep out of the courts altogether and go to ADR – alternative/ appropriate dispute resolution – like arbitration, conciliation and mediation.

    Even the DCA – Dept. for Const. Affairs – in your weblink claims the online civil claims service may send out the wrong message by encouraging claimants to use the courts service.

    One Eng. civil judge also went so far as to describe himself as a ‘consumer’ – wanting Counsel’s pleadings (statements of case) on diskette, choice parts of which he could then duly and lazily lift in his judgment without a corresponding Trados-type costs discount for repetition.

    How UK criminal judges wriggle out of work, I’m not quite sure, but suspect constant trial adjournments and breaking at 4.00 p.m. GMT every day are a start.

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