Victims' rights - by country

Can I appeal against the court's judgment or decision?

Is further appeal possible?

What rights do I have after the judgment becomes final?

Further information

Can I appeal against the court's judgment or decision ?

As a private accessory prosecutor or if you are entitled to join the proceedings as a private accessory prosecutor, you can in principle appeal a judgment. However, an appeal is not possible, for example, if you are merely not satisfied with the sentence. If you or your lawyer are present at the hearing, the time-limit for your appeal starts with the pronouncement of the judgment. Otherwise it starts after the judgment is sent to you. The deadline is usually one week.

As a private prosecutor you have rights that are comparable to those of a public prosecutor in normal proceedings.

Is further appeal possible?

You may file further appeals in line with the provisions applicable to the relevant instance.

What rights do I have after the judgment becomes final?

If you apply for it, you have the right to be informed whether proceedings have been terminated, how the trial has ended, including whether the accused has been instructed not to contact you or communicate with you. You can also be informed whether a custodial measure has been ordered against the accused or has ended or - in the event of a legitimate interest - whether a relaxation of the conditions of detention or leave has been granted for the first time. You can only get a copy of the judgment if you are a private accessory prosecutor.

If you apply in writing, you may receive information about where the accused is living after he/she is released from prison and about his/her financial situation if you are intending to make a claim related to the crime.

You can continue to be covered by protection measures if the threat against you persists.

Further information:

  • German Code of Criminal Procedure (Strafprozessordnung) – in German and English
  • German Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch) – in German and in English.

1. Private accessory prosecutor
As soon as the public prosecutor has sent the indictment to the court, you can then join the proceedings as a private accessory prosecutor in order to be actively involved in the proceedings and to complement the work of the public prosecutor. You can already declare that you will be joining the proceedings during the preliminary investigations and you can, under certain circumstances, already be assigned a lawyer. Those who are authorised to join the proceedings as private accessory prosecutors are firstly the victims of certain criminal offences against a person, such as sexual violence, bodily injury, trafficking in humans, stalking and attempted homicide, and secondly the victims of all types of criminal offences as a result of which they suffer serious consequences. If the accused is a juvenile, you can become a private accessory prosecutor only by way of exception.
There is no time-limit for joining proceedings as a private accessory prosecutor. You can do so even after the judgment if you want to appeal it. You may be supported and represented by a lawyer.
Last update: 13/04/2018

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