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Indemnity ( lat. Indemnitas , the harmlessness; indemnātio , -onis f, which indemnification '.), D. H. The freedom of responsibility, describes the release from criminal (possibly also civil ) prosecution. It constitutes a procedural obstacle in criminal proceedings, while immunity for MPs only inhibits criminal prosecution for the duration of the mandate and therefore does not constitute a real procedural obstacle.

Indemnity is also a term for the subsequent legitimation of illegal, unauthorized or in a state of emergency decisions of the government by a parliament or the competent sovereign .

Indemnity in Germany

In Germany , according to Article 46 (1) of the Basic Law (GG) and Section 36 of the Criminal Code, both members of the Bundestag and Landtag as well as members of the Federal Assembly enjoy indemnity for their statements. You may therefore at no time - not even after the expiry of your mandate - be prosecuted in court or official or otherwise held accountable outside Parliament because of a vote or a statement you have made in Parliament or its committees . It applies to all judicial proceedings, including criminal and civil actions. The only exceptions are defamation according to § 187 StGB and denigration of the memory of the deceased. The indemnity is a reason for exclusion from punishment and, unlike immunity, can not be lifted by parliament or any other body.

The indemnity is intended to ensure that the members of parliament can only act according to their conscience, and to ensure that parliament is able to function. The executive and judiciary are deprived of the opportunity to influence voting behavior and the composition of parliament for alleged or actual offenses. In this respect, indemnity also serves to separate powers . Parliament itself ensures the protection of honor and work discipline. In accordance with the rules of procedure , for example , a call to order , a call to the matter, withdrawal of the word and eviction from the hall come into consideration.

In Germany the indemnity of members of parliament is regulated in Article 46.1 of the Basic Law. The German constitutions of 1849 ( Paulskirche constitution ), 1871 ( Bismarckian constitution ) and 1919 ( Weimar constitution ) made no exceptions to the member’s indemnity.

See also


  • Protection of the MP's freedom of speech , in: FAZ of January 28, 2005, p. 2.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ WORLD: suspended sentence for NPD politicians pastors . In: THE WORLD . August 16, 2012 ( [accessed May 17, 2018]).