The justice ministers of the federal states are calling on the federal government to provide financial support for the expansion of the judiciary and the digitization of the courts.

The decision of the Conference of Justice Ministers does not give any figures, but the Hamburg Justice Senator Anna Gallina (Greens) speaks of federal funding of “at least 220 million euros within two years”.

Gallina had given the impetus to extend and further develop the pact for the rule of law from 2019, which is now expiring.

It is about "strengthening trust in the rule of law in the long term," she said on Thursday.

Helene Bubrowski

Political correspondent in Berlin.

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    In their decision, the Justice Ministers pointed out that new laws would require “considerable additional human resources” in the coming years. It is to be expected, for example, that the tightening of penalties for child abuse and child pornography will lead to an additional burden, since recruitment and penalty orders will no longer be possible in future.

    The federal states also incur costs from the task of digitization, in particular the introduction of electronic files, the database land register and electronic registers. These modernizations offer "not only great potential for accelerating judicial proceedings and dealing with mass proceedings", but also made it considerably easier for citizens to access justice, according to the decision. The Hessian Justice Minister Eva Kühne-Hörmann (CDU) complained on Thursday about the "constant burden" for the federal states.

    The federal government had already co-financed job creation in the federal states with a total of 220 million euros. In the coalition agreement, the CDU, CSU and SPD had agreed that a total of 2,000 new jobs would be created in the judiciary. As the Federal Ministry of Justice announced last week, 2,700 new positions were created in the agreed period between 2017 and 2021 and 2,500 of them have already been filled.

    The North Rhine-Westphalian Justice Minister Peter Biesenbach (CDU), chairman of the Justice Ministers' Conference, described the cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Justice as "highly unsatisfactory", which was not only related to the pact for the rule of law. He hopes that the future leaders of the house will “open up much more and seek solidarity with the countries” instead of perceiving them as competition. "We know the needs from practice, while the theory is in Berlin," says Biesenbach. Gallina distanced itself from this assessment of the work of the Federal Ministry of Justice.