District court Frankfurt groans under the burdens
mith clear words, Wilhelm Wolf, President of the Frankfurt Regional Court, warned that the judiciary will soon no longer be able to maintain operations as it is at present in the face of increasing burdens. “I am very concerned about the further development of the regional court,” he said: “If there are no structural changes, we will find ourselves in very difficult waters.” If you look at signs dying that are important for the future, that is, new burdens and the personnel situation, one comes to the conclusion: “We have our backs to the wall, maybe even against the wall.”
As far as the criminal chambers are concerned, each judge Wolf is currently doing 20 percent more than the personnel key provides. “Basically, 30 judges or ten chambers are already missing.” Seven are currently at the regional court, and more will follow. Wolf says preparing the proceedings alone costs the judges five times as much time as other cases because of the sheer volume of data. The negotiations are also “extremely time-consuming”, either because material is often delivered, on the other hand because the defense lawyers “appear intensely in view of the impending penalties and the question of the extent to which the evidence may even be used is unanswered.
New criminal chambers – but only in other federal states
The German Association of Judges also recently warned that dying from this software alone will bring public prosecutors and criminal courts to their limits, not to mention other crypto cell phone providers. Wolf said that the Frankfurt-based Central Office for Combating Internet Crime (ZIT) – it has been in charge of proceedings and has been reinforced with several public prosecutors – had promised that the Rhine-Main region would come. There is talk of around 50: “They would bring us to the limit of what we can manage.” Is comparable to Frankfurt, three, in Lübeck and Leipzig one each.
According to Wolf, the civil chambers are also coming under massive pressure. This has to do with procedures associated with the premium adjustment in private health insurance. A new wave will also begin in the next few months: mass proceedings against the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) due to possible omissions in the Wirecard case. According to Wolf, the regional court will initially face 1,500 cases, with complaints that are hundreds of pages long. According to the President, the “trick” is that more than 20,000 further proceedings with cost promises from legal protection insurances have been announced.
What is also to be done? “I have the hope and expectation that the budget legislator will deal with the issue.” Three to four new criminal chambers are necessary, in the civil area three or more if more proceedings come. Wolf also appealed to the legislature, in view of mass proceedings, to discuss whether individual lawsuits cannot be suspended until a model or collective action has been concluded or until a decision by the highest court is reached. “The institutions of the rule of law are not used there, as the legislature had imagined.”
Another question: even if new jobs are created – can the court even recruit qualified young people? This has been proving difficult for years, and working conditions are not getting any better. In addition, psychological stress also takes its toll on senior judges. “It can’t go on like this,” said Wolf.