In the name of the law

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Television series
Original title In the name of the law
Country of production Germany
original language German
Year (s) 1994-2007
length 45 minutes
Episodes 193 in 16 seasons ( List )
genre Drama , crime thriller
idea Harald Vock
production Michael Alexander ,
Alexander von Hohenthal ,
Jan-Richard Schuster
music Wilhelm Stegmeier
First broadcast September 20, 1994 on RTL

In the name of the law is a German television series that was produced by RTL from October 1994 to 2007 . It is part of the drama and crime genre and describes the work of the police and public prosecutor as well as their cooperation in combating criminal offenses. Reps were broadcast in Germany until September 2014 on RTL Nitro and currently on RTLplus .


"The following story is based on fact. It depicts the cooperation between the police and the prosecution in combating crime. The prosecution hires the police to investigate the crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice. The police and the prosecution act on behalf of the law."

Almost always at least one murder case is involved, which is often also connected to other capital crimes . The location is Berlin .

Typical of the series is the fading out of the protagonists' private lives . They do not have particularly human or unconventional character traits (as is typical of many other crime series), nor do they express any emotions during the educational work . The plot mostly relates only to the criminal case.

Charisma and concept

In terms of its concept, the series was created closely based on the American television series Law & Order , which has existed since 1990 , in which similar factors play a role. In the name of the law was in Germany, in the first seasons, more successful than the original. For years it was able to get an average of 4 to 6 million viewers on the 9:15 p.m. slot (initially on Thursdays, then on Tuesdays) until it was moved to Monday evening and reached fewer viewers. The last two seasons ran long after the series was discontinued, the reasons for which are still unclear, on Thursdays at 11:15 p.m. RTL repeats the series over and over again on this slot. Episode 18 of the series has twice the running time of 90 minutes. There the murder of the first partner of Inspector Kehler is solved.

Episode list


The only character who has been there since the series began is Chief Detective Stefan Kehler. Initially, his partner was Chief Detective Mike Eschenbach ( Matthias Bullach ), who only appeared in the first 17 episodes. His body was found burned as a result of 18 facade frauds. His successor, Detective Inspector Peter Wolniak ( Uwe Fellensiek ), played in episodes 18 to 50. His fate on the series was never resolved. He was followed as detective inspector Ralf Bongartz ( Max Gertsch ), and after his series exit Wolfgang Krewe as inspector Alex Bonhoff. The public prosecutor's office did not change for the first time after 10 years. In 1994, Kalashnikov was used free house Magdalena Ritter as a substitute for Britta Schmeling . In the meantime, Schmeling was also represented by Brigitte Beyeler as public prosecutor Susanne Clausen. In 105 episodes, i.e. a good half, Klaus Schindler played the coroner Dr. Duhler.


In the episode blood feud of the RTL series section 40 , the officers Stefan Kehler and Alex Bonhoff can be seen. This crossover is particularly remarkable because the series differ greatly from the system. While In the Name of the Law the focus is completely on the criminal case, Section 40 focuses on the personalities of the police officers.


Uwe Fellensiek was before his role as Detective Superintendent Peter Wolniak subsequently playoff seen as footballer Hardy Bittner, who killed his brother. Axel Pape played a criminal doctor in the episode Fatal Creation , who was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder at the end of the episode. He later starred regularly on the series as Senior Attorney Dr. To see Tobias Kampen. In various other supporting roles, too, actors repeatedly appear in different roles.


As with the American model Law and Order, the public prosecutor's office appears in the series as the party responsible for clarifying the facts by hearing witnesses and the accused. While this corresponds to the criminal process in the United States, it is in contradiction to German criminal procedural law , in which the principle of official investigation of the court applies and the prosecution is not primarily responsible for the questioning. In the same context there is also the continuous use of the term “search warrant”, which is, however, referred to as “ search warrant ” in German law .

There is also the consistent error in the series that all cases are always tried by the same judges regardless of the name of the perpetrator. In reality, on the other hand, the rules of procedure of the court at the beginning of the year irrevocably specify for which name range (first letter of the surname) a judge is responsible in the current year. This competence must not be deviated from, as this would constitute a violation of Article 101 of the Basic Law. ("Nobody may be withdrawn from their legal judge .")

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Entry on the episode "Blood feud" in the Internet Movie Database