Fri, May. 19, 2006

Plea Agreement Deal

HG - Washington.   On May 19, 2006, Berlin Attorney Brigitte Zypries issued a press release on a bill to allow plea agreements in the German criminal procedure. The Supreme Court, Bundesgerichtshof, had defined the parameters of such agreements for which the Code of Criminal Procedure, Strafprozessordnung, fails to provide a legal basis or rules. The bill is supposed to ensure legal certainty.

The Department of Justice lists the following criteria for Absprachen in its release: Courts are to encourage the parties to make themselves available for negotiations and other communications. Courts may disclose their assessment of the matter early. Only the sentence may be the subject matter of a plea agreement. A waiver of an appeal is prohibited. The court must always educate the defendant on the consequences of the agreement. Finally, any negotiations must take place in public and, therefore, in the court room.

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