The demand by the Hessian judiciary for a noticeable increase in personnel is reflected in the budget deliberations of the state parliament.

The opposition is demanding about twice as many positions as the governing coalition has planned so far.

The budget for the current year is not scheduled to be passed until the beginning of February because the state government had to liquidate the special fund that had been declared unconstitutional and correct its budget draft accordingly.

Ewald Hetrodt

Correspondent for the Rhein-Main-Zeitung in Wiesbaden.

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The Greens in the state parliament recalled that exactly 236.5 new positions for judges and public prosecutors were created between 2017 and 2021.

In the current year, more staff will be added.

The Green MP Hildegard Förster-Heldmann reported that the government factions had requested 15 more posts than the 18 posts planned for this year in the budget draft.

In addition, they are committed to ensuring that the pact for the rule of law, a cooperation between the federal and state governments to strengthen the judiciary, is continued.

It is a task for the state as a whole to maintain the functioning of the judiciary.

The FDP parliamentary group is requesting 30 additional positions for judges and public prosecutors in addition to the 33 positions planned by Black-Green.

"High time to end the shortage in the judiciary"

"The Hessian courts have rightly been drawing attention to their dramatic situation for a long time," states FDP MP Bettina Schardt-Sauer.

"A modern constitutional state needs a modern judiciary that is adequately staffed and technically equipped." According to the calculations of the Liberals in the 2022 budget, almost one million euros would have to be planned for the 30 positions of the so-called R salary.

From the point of view of the FDP, this could be financed by canceling other projects.

For example, one can save the 1.5 million euros that are estimated for the merger of Hessian nature conservation institutions to form the Center for Biodiversity.

The Social Democrats have also tabled amendments. Justice Minister Eva Kühne-Hörmann is sticking his head in the sand, says SPD faction leader Günter Rudolph. "We live in times in which our democratic community faces extraordinary challenges - politically and socially as well as economically and ecologically," says Rudolph.

Corona deniers and so-called lateral thinkers not only questioned the protective rules against the spread of the virus, but also the state and its institutions themselves.

A liberal democracy must oppose this.

"With social education and political education, but also with a judiciary that must have sufficient resources to consistently punish offenses." That is why it is high time to end the lack of personnel and financial resources in the judiciary that has been evident for years.

A strong state is the basic requirement for a strong democracy, according to Rudolph.

The ability of the courts and public prosecutor's offices to function is at risk

The Social Democrats are estimating more than 900,000 euros for additional judges and public prosecutors at district and regional courts alone.

Appropriate posts in the specialist courts are also to be added.

The fact that the current debate is not primarily about judicial officials such as magistrates or IT experts, but about judges and public prosecutors is due to the concrete fears that the Hessian Judges Association and a number of court presidents have publicly expressed.

According to this, the ability of the courts and public prosecutor's offices to function is endangered in view of the growing number of increasingly complex and time-consuming procedures.

Cases being heard at the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court were cited as examples.

After the Lübcke murder trial, the first trial under the principle of universal jurisdiction for the genocide of the Yazidis ended there in November.

Now a Syrian doctor who is said to have tortured has to answer in another case of international importance.

In the case of Lieutenant Franco A., who is said to have been determined to carry out attacks disguised as a refugee, the last witness was supposed to be heard this week.

But the defense attorneys announced ten to fifteen more requests for evidence.