Law of Enforcement (Germany)

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Sentence execution is the execution of a in a criminal judgment given judgment and means forcing the penalty by government bodies . It differs from the penal system in that the latter regulates the “how”, the former the “whether” of the execution of a sentence. The criminal enforcement law is a branch of the criminal procedure law , in Germany set out in § 449 et seq. Code of Criminal Procedure . However, this regulation has so far been very sketchy, which is why the federal states have agreed on a joint text of a penal enforcement order that is not binding on the courts, but is completely unchallenged in practice.

The enforcement procedure is used to monitor the type, scope and, if applicable, duration of the sentence. Fines and ( substitute) custodial sentences are particularly accessible to the execution of a sentence . In the case of custodial sentences , questions of a possible suspension of the sentence , arrest at the beginning of the sentence and premature suspension of the remaining sentence as well as the subsequent supervision of probation belong to the execution of sentences. In legal systems in which there is the death penalty , the execution of the convicted person is part of the execution of the sentence.

The execution of a sentence can, however, be suspended until the decision on the request for clemency is made if there are significant grounds for clemency and the public interest does not require immediate execution.

Also at criminal enforcement include measures of correction and prevention , such as the placement in preventive detention , and finally measures of criminal asset recovery as the decline .

In principle, the judiciary is responsible for the execution of sentences . In Germany, according to § 451 StPO, the public prosecutor's office , here the judicial officer , is the enforcement authority for judgments and penalties under adult criminal law , while the juvenile judge acts as the enforcement officer for convictions under youth criminal law. In Germany, the judicial control of the execution of sentences and the execution of sentences rests essentially with the Penal Enforcement Chambers ( Section 462a StPO).

Sometimes questions of the execution of sentences already play a role in the preliminary investigation . For example, the police can withhold a security deposit to ensure the later enforcement of a fine , or provisional measures such as arrest in rem to secure a later asset recovery.


  • Ulrich Kamann: Handbook for the execution of sentences and the execution of sentences , ZAP Verlag / LexisNexis, 2nd edition 2008, 928 pages, ISBN 978-3-89655-309-6

Individual evidence

  1. [1] Enforcement Code