Germany's Criminal Justice: Comparing the Statutes Between Two Countries

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As stated above, that is how the prosecution works in both Germany and the United States. The defense council is the next topic that will be discussed. In German trials held in district courts, the right to counsel is mandatory and will be appointed even if the defendant does not want representation. However, this will only happen if the defendant has not already obtained private counsel. Germany does not have a public defender system intact whereas the American court system does. In Germany, the presiding judge of the trial can appoint any member of the bar that it pleases. However, if a defendant would like a certain lawyer, the judge must comply and obtain said lawyer. If the court is held in a county setting, where almost 98% of all trials are held, the defendant has no general right to council. Yet, counsel can be appointed only if one of seven conditions applies. These conditions are: • The defendant is charged with a felony • The prohibition to practice a profession may be ordered • The defendant has spent at least three months in pretrial detention • A psychiatric examination or treatment of the defendant may be necessary • The previous defense counsel was discharged by the court because he was suspected of being an accomplice in the offense to be tried • The facts or law of the case are extraordinarily complicated • The defendant is unable to conduct his/her own defense (Frase & Weigend, 1995/1995, p. 324). Under these circumstances, there will be no trial that can
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