Page 1 – A case for the prosecutor
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Question: Professor Merkel, you belong to a group of six criminal law professors,
the after the presentation of the presented by the German Bishops' Conference
abuse study Have filed a complaint against unknown. Why do you have that
After reading the study on the sexual abuse of children by clerics is us
It has become clear that the prosecution of these serious crimes has not yet begun
required degree is done.
Question: What is this from your point of view?
Also and especially because the church has important documents for identification
possible perpetrator, not published. Even the authors of the study
received the documents only anonymized. I want the internal work of the will
do not question the Catholic Church; but unfortunately he goes along with a defense
the competent state bodies. This is unacceptable in a constitutional state.
Question: Many bishops emphasize that they cooperate with prosecutors.
One would like to ask what "cooperating" means exactly here. Anyway, I recommend the
Bishops to read their own study. In it, the readiness of the Catholic Church to prosecute sexual abuse cases is criticized by scientists
referred to as "not very pronounced".
Born in 1950, is Professor Emeritus of Criminal Law and Philosophy of Law at the University of Hamburg. Since 2008 he is a member of the German Ethics Council. He is also a member of the advisory board of the Giordano Bruno Foundation and winner of the Jean Améry Essay Prize.
Question: Why is there a criminal investigation in addition to the scientific at all
Your view required?
For three reasons: Firstly, there is a right of the victims, that the committed against them
Criminal offenses are also clarified and subject to state jurisdiction as in
Contexts in which the perpetrators do not belong to such a powerful institution as the Catholic Church. Second, the persecution is necessary to protect the criminal
Norms themselves that were broken. When the state starts, law enforcement selective
negligent to handle, when powerful institutions are involved, the norms,
on which criminal law rests to erode and their general validity
Question: And the third reason?
Has – if you like, a little paternalistic – the church itself in view. When
Institution of high moral standing, it should avoid any impression, its
Solidarity belongs less to the victims than to the perpetrators of their own ranks. That is at
serious crimes completely missed. The appearance seems to harm the church
Question: Why does not the public prosecutor's office investigate on its own? An ad
it does not necessarily need it.
Right. Actually, the prosecutors are ex officio for investigation
Committed. Why they are in the 27 Catholic dioceses so far in the investigation
I can only speculate about that. Our ad anyway
prosecutors should remember their duty.
Question: Justice Minister Katarina Barley recently called on the Catholic Church to give her
Personal files to the prosecutor's offices to provide. Why are they confiscating
Prosecutors do not simply file the case if the church is not ready to cooperate
This article is from TIME no. 46/2018. Here you can read the entire issue.
They could. The public prosecutor's offices have according to the Code of Criminal Procedure
Possibility to initiate preliminary proceedings against unknown persons. Then you can also join
Do not even conduct suspicious searches and ensure evidence. I
suppose there will be such searches on our ad as well.
Question: The study commissioned by the Episcopal Conference is designed so that each
personal responsibility is blurred. Should this be one from their point of view
make criminal prosecution impossible?
I believe it was the de facto reason why the prosecutor's offices turned themselves in
shrugged off with a shrug. You thought you did not have enough clues, some
Justified initial suspicion.
Question: You disagree.