German trial in English/Jonny K und die englische Rechtssprache

Suspect pleads not guilty in fatal beating trial write The Local, opening an interesting possibility in German criminal trials, where we wondered whether you were ever asked how you plead:

The suspected ringleader of a vicious beating that left 20-year-old Jonny K dead at Berlin’s central Alexanderplatz train station, pled not guilty on Monday as his trial began.

Google books shows a book called International Criminal Procedure: The Interface of Civil Law and Common Law, edited by Linda Carter and Fausto Pocar, which says:

Civil law systems also continue to favor confessions over guilty pleas. In contrast to guilty pleas, confessions are typically more detailed and do not entirely eliminate the trial process. Instead, courts receiving a confession are expected to continue the proceedings and review the evidence supporting the credibility of the confession. This is consistent with the traditional commitment of continental systems to uncovering the precise truth of the case.

Deutsche Welle does as well in Jonny K. murder trial begins in Berlin

The victim’s sister Tina K. will appear as a co-plaintiff.

(Actually, The Local uses co-plaintiff too). At least co-plaintiff is in the legal dictionaries, but I always wonder about plaintiff in a criminal trial. I used to call it private co-prosecutor, an invention of my own, when I was teaching. I have also recorded accessory prosecution for Nebenklage.

I found a Northern Ireland case where the term co-plaintiffs was used, but it referred to joint plaintiffs in a civil case. (In England and Wales, the term plaintiff has unfortunately been replaced by claimant).

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