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NCJ Number: 64001 Find in a Library
Title: CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS - A GIFT TO COLLEAGUES IN THE ALTERNATIVE CIRCLE
Journal: ZEITSCHRIFT FUER DIE GESAMTE STRAFRECHTSWISSENSCHAFT  Volume:27  Issue:3  Dated:(1977)  Pages:639-648
Author(s): R SCHMITT
Corporate Author: Walter de Gruyter & Co
Germany (Unified)
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Walter de Gruyter & Co
1 Berlin 30, Germany United
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: A SIMPLIFIED, ALTERNATIVE FORM OF WEST GERMAN CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS IS ADVOCATED TO REDUCE TIME SPENT TRYING PETTY CRIMES.
Abstract: DISTINGUISHING PETTY FROM SERIOUS CRIMES IS OFTEN DIFFICULT LEGALLY BUT ATTEMPTS ARE BEING MADE TO CLARIFY THE LAWS. REFORM IS NEEDED BECAUSE OF THE TENDENCY TO REPLACE JUDGES' DECISIONS WITH FINES IMPOSED BY ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES AND WITH PROSECUTORIAL INTERVENTION, A PROCESS WHICH IS MOVING COURT DECISIONS IN THE DIRECTION OF INQUISITORIAL PROCEEDINGS. CIVIL PROCEEDINGS CANNOT BE PRACTICALLY APPLIED, AS THIS ALTERNATIVE IS EXPENSIVE AND DISCRIMINATES AGAINST THE POOR AND HELPLESS. THE TWO VIABLE ALTERNATIVES ARE ORAL TRIALS ('RULE PROCEEDINGS'), WHICH MUST BE SIMPLIFIED, OR WRITTEN PROCEEDINGS WITHOUT A TRIAL (AS IN THE CASE OF FINES), WHICH DO NOT ALLOW DEFENDANTS THEIR DAY IN COURT UNLESS THEY REQUEST TRIALS AND WHICH ARE ONLY PRACTICAL IF CASES ARE COMPLETELY RESOLVED WITH THE WRITTEN PROCEDURE. TO DECIDE WHICH ALTERNATIVE IS PREFERABLE, ONE MUST SETTLE DOUBTS RAISED ABOUT THE SPEEDED-UP ORAL TRIAL; E.G., WHILE THE OFFENDERS' PERSONALITIES ARE NOT STUDIED THOROUGHLY IN SHORT ORAL TRIALS, AT LEAST THE JUDGE HAS A FIRST-HAND IMPRESSION OF THE OFFENDERS. RAPID ORAL PROCEEDINGS ARE ONLY POSSIBLE IN CLEAR-CUT CASES AND WOULD REQUIRE COURT DETERMINATION OF THE EXTENT OF EVIDENCE TO BE PRESENTED, AS WELL AS COURT APPOINTMENT OF DEFENSE COUNSEL LONG ENOUGH BEFORE THE TRIAL TO PERMIT STUDY OF THE CASE. EVENTUALLY, APPEALS COURTS WOULD ALSO HAVE TO STREAMLINE THEIR PROCEEDINGS TO PREVENT A NEW BOTTLENECK RESULTING FROM OFFENDERS' APPEALS PROCEEDINGS. ALTHOUGH JUDGES TEND TO FAVOR THE WRITTEN PROCEDURE, BOTH ALTERNATIVES SHOULD BE STUDIED FURTHER TO FACILITATE MEANINGFUL REFORM. --IN GERMAN. (KMD)
Index Term(s): Court case flow; Court case flow management; Court reform; Court reorganization; Defense counsel; Germany; Law reform; Misdemeanor; Trial procedures
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64001

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