Criminal jurisdiction

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The criminal jurisdiction is a jurisdiction in the field of criminal matters . It is fulfilled by criminal courts. With the broader concept of criminal justice both the criminal can legally care also with the exercise of the same entrusted as judicial authorities meant.


The criminal jurisdiction is part of the ordinary jurisdiction ( § 12 GVG ).

The stages of appeal in Germany consists of the district courts ( Chamber : criminal judge or jury court ), regional courts (Chamber: small or large criminal court ), the higher regional courts (Chamber: Criminal Division ) and the Federal Court of Justice (Chamber: Criminal Division). There are no special military criminal courts in Germany.

The first instance jurisdiction of the criminal jurisdiction depends on the alleged criminal offense and the expected punishment. In principle, the tribunals of the regional courts have jurisdiction over criminal matters that do not belong before the local courts or the higher regional court ( Section 74 (1) GVG).

The local courts are responsible if the expected sentence does not exceed four years of imprisonment (so-called penal ban) and no preventive detention or placement in a psychiatric hospital can be considered as measures of reform and security . These legal consequences may not be imposed by the local court.

The first instance jurisdiction of the higher regional courts in criminal matters is genuinely the regional jurisdiction in certain serious state protection offenses and in principle the criminal jurisdiction of the federal government, which is exercised in the context of organ lending by the highest courts of the federal states. The catalog of offenses is limited to the offenses of the International Criminal Code and state protection offenses . In the case of certain offenses that are dealt with by the Attorney General for political reasons, the jurisdiction of the Higher Regional Court is also given.

The tribunals of the regional court decide, as the court of appeal, on the judgments of the local courts or in the first instance in criminal matters that belong to the jurisdiction of the jury court , in simple state security matters and economic criminal matters .

If the case is of particular importance, the regional court can also be invoked as the first instance instead of the otherwise competent local court. The district court can impose all measures of reform and security. There is no punishment ban as with the tribunals of the district court.

Against the judgments of the district courts is the leap-frog ( § 335 Code of Criminal Procedure ) and against the judgments of the small Criminal Court (appeal judgments) the revision ( § 333 Code of Criminal Procedure ) to the superior courts open.

Against the judgments of the jury courts and other large criminal chambers the appeal of the appeal to the Federal Court of Justice . If only state law is affected (in particular no procedural objection is raised), the higher regional court is formally responsible. Such constellations are, however, very rare.

An appeal to the Federal Court of Justice is possible against the judgments of the criminal senate at the Higher Regional Court.

International criminal justice

The International Criminal Court (ICC), based in The Hague, has its own criminal jurisdiction at the supra-international level .

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Helmut Rüßmann : The instances of the judgment process in the criminal process. Graph. In: Saarland University . Retrieved September 26, 2019 .