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Fundamentals of the enforcement of measures: Review of the forensic psychiatric colloquium in the winter semester 2023/24

Fundamentals of the enforcement of measures: Review of the forensic psychiatric colloquium in the winter semester 2023/24

© Juristische Fakultät Hannover

The forensic-psychiatric colloquium offered in connection with the lecture "Criminal Sanctions" provides students in focus 4 ("Criminal Prosecution and Criminal Defense") with an overview of how to deal with mentally ill offenders. The colloquium consists of three parts. In the first part, Prof. Dr. B.-D. Meier gives an overview of the conditions under which a lack of or significantly reduced culpability (Sections 20, 21 of the German Criminal Code (StGB)) can be considered and under which placement in a psychiatric hospital or in a detention facility (Sections 63, 64 StGB) can be considered. In the second part, the former presiding judge at Göttingen Regional Court, Matthias Koller, provides an overview of the regulations governing the enforcement of sentences (Sections 67 to 67h StGB), focusing in particular on the requirements for the termination of sentences by suspending further enforcement on probation or by discharge. The course concludes with an excursion to the Clinic for Forensic Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in Wunstorf, where the prison system is operated in accordance with Section 63 of the German Criminal Code (StGB) and where the students are given a vivid impression of the importance of the prison system for the inmates and the prison staff with patient presentations and a tour of the premises. In the winter semester 2023/24, the students were welcomed here for the first time by the head physician and prison manager Ulrike Vogel.

The event with Mr. Koller took place in the winter semester 2023/24 on January 11, 2024. One participant summarized her impressions as follows:

"Under the title "Fundamentals of the enforcement of sentences in accordance with Sections 67 to 67h of the German Criminal Code", Mr. Koller guided the audience through the various factual and legal aspects of this type of enforcement. He underlined his explanations with current examples, graphic illustrations of various data sets and quotes from media reports, thereby emphasizing the social relevance of the topic. 

He not only provided the audience with an insight into the development of the various types of disciplinary orders in recent years, but also emphasized the precarious occupancy situation in disciplinary facilities, the level of resources actually required and the statistical effects of a stay in a disciplinary facility in terms of recidivism. Mr. Koller also reported on the difficulty of achieving a fair balance between the individual's right to freedom and the general public's need for security. He also emphasized the importance of the principle of proportionality in the context of this tension. 

Finally, Mr. Koller provided an overview of the time after the end of the placement, which requirements exist for this and which different prognosis standards are to be used as a basis. The event ended with a lively discussion between the participants and Mr. Koller. On behalf of all the participants, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Koller once again for this extremely interesting and informative presentation."

About specialization area 4

In the focus area "Criminal Prosecution and Criminal Defense", knowledge and skills in the field of criminal law are expanded and deepened. You can find information on the content and the program here.

All nine specializations of the Faculty of Law Hannover can be found here.

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