Intermediate proceedings

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The interim procedure is a term from German criminal procedure law . He referred to between investigations (or Pre-Trial ) and the main process underlying section of the criminal knowledge process .

The interim proceedings begin with the receipt of the indictment by the competent court and end with the decision on whether or not to open the main proceedings. The interim proceedings are regulated by law in Section Four of Book Two of the Code of Criminal Procedure ( Sections 199 to 211 of the Code of Criminal Procedure).


According to Section 199 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the court that is also responsible for the main hearing is responsible for deciding whether to open the main proceedings . Who decides prosecutor for the collection of public prosecution ( § 170 para. 1 StPO), it has to open up the indictment along with the files to the court with the request, the main method to send.

Post-indictment proceedings

According to Section 201 (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the chairman of the court responsible under Section 199 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has to send the indictment to the accused and give him the opportunity to comment. Is a case of necessary defense before and the accused at this time has no defense , it also is a public defender to order ( § 142 para. 2 StPO).

The court then examines whether the indictment meets the requirements of Section 200 StPO. If this is not the case, the indictment must first be returned to the public prosecutor for correction. If the public prosecutor's office refuses to correct the indictment and the court sticks to its view that there is no effective indictment, it will refuse to open the main proceedings.

The court called on must also check its jurisdiction (see above). If it considers its responsibility to be given, there are of course no further problems. If the court seised considers itself to be factually incompetent, the further procedure depends on whether it accepts the jurisdiction of a higher-order court or a lower-order court. If the court seised considers a lower-level court to have jurisdiction, it can open the main proceedings immediately before this court ( Section 209 (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure). The lower level court is bound by this decision. If, on the other hand, the court seised accepts the jurisdiction of a higher-order court, it must submit the files to this court for a decision through the intermediary of the public prosecutor's office ( Section 209 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure).

Finally, the court seised can, if it deems this appropriate to better clarify the matter, order individual evidence to be taken ( Section 202 StPO).

Content of the court decision

If there is sufficient suspicion, including illegality and guilt ( Section 20  StGB), the court decides on admission of the indictment and opening of the main proceedings. It is not bound by the public prosecutor's requests (Section 206 StGB). This opening resolution also formulates the material for the main proceedings to be carried out; The existence of an effective opening resolution is a procedural requirement for the main proceedings . If the court or an appellate court later finds that the opening order is ineffective, which must be examined ex officio in every stage of the proceedings, it must discontinue the proceedings . As with another procedural obstacle, the existence of which becomes apparent after the main proceedings have been opened, this is done outside the main hearing by means of a resolution ( Section 206a (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure), within the main hearing by means of a judgment ( Section 260 (3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure).

The defendant cannot contest the opening decision ( Section 210 (1) StPO).

If the court denies there is sufficient suspicion, it rejects the opening. The public prosecutor's office has the right to appeal immediately against the decision not to open the proceedings ( Section 210 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure).

A provisional suspension of the proceedings is possible if a temporary obstacle in the person of the accused, in particular his absence, prevents the conduct of the main proceedings ( Section 205 StPO).

The court must also terminate the proceedings by way of a decision outside of the main hearing if the criminality of the offense ceases to exist after its commission, but before the decision is made due to a change in the law ( Section 206b StPO).

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Meyer-Goßner / Schmitt, StPO, § 203 Rn. 2