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Criminal prosecution /
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2017: number of defendants convicted down 3% year on year

In 2017, the courts in Germany convicted approximately 716,000 defendants by final judgment. The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) also reports that this was a decrease of roughly 21,800 people, or 3.0%, compared with the previous year. The criminal proceedings against approximately a further 159,200 people ended with other court decisions, including about 133,700 cases where the proceedings were dismissed. Since 2007, when criminal prosecution statistics were first collected in the whole of Germany, the number of proceedings completed in the courts has decreased (-21%), as has the number of convictions by final judgment (-20%).

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Judicial proceedings

In 2017 public prosecution offices completed 4.9 million criminal investigation proceedings

As reported by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) 4.9 million criminal investigation proceedings were completed by public prosecution offices in Germany in 2017. This was a decrease of 6.2% on 2016 (about 5.2 million proceedings).

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Parental custody awarded to both parents in 96% of divorce proceedings

This image shows two people who turn away from each other (© panthermedia.net /photodeti)

In nearly all cases of divorce (96%) in 2013 involving joint minors, parental custody was awarded to both parents (63.425 proceedings) because neither of the parents had applied for sole custody under Section 1671 (1) of the German Civil Code.

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Investigation proceedings by public prosecutors in Germany

In 2013, the public prosecution offices in Germany terminated 4.5 million investigation proceedings. Public debate often focuses on how the proceedings are terminated.

Public prosecutors can end investigation proceedings by bringing charges. From a statistical point of view, however, this is not the general rule. Using the statistics compiled by public prosecutors and prosecutors at local courts, the German-language report on "Staat­sanschwalt­schaftliche Ermittlungs­tätigkeit in Deutschland" examines the overall structure of proceedings terminated by public prosecution offices and quantifies the relationship between bringing charges and other types of termination.

Additional Information

Data on refugees

Logo: Refugees: Population

On our special page you will find information on people seeking refuge.

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