With the new law against hate crime, the German Judges Association expects up to 150,000 new proceedings per year. "A significant part of it will also occupy the criminal courts afterwards," said Federal Managing Director Sven Rebehn. According to the usual personnel codes of the judiciary, around 400 additional public prosecutors and criminal judges are needed nationwide to be able to deal with the new tasks.
The new law against hate crime will be a major feat for the criminal justice system. Nonetheless, Rebehn said it was right that the German government should pursue threats, hatred and incitement online more consistently and expand penal regulations. "The rule of law is required to set clear boundaries for the spiral of hatred and violence. But it will not work without significantly more personnel and a further specialization in the judiciary."
Federal data protection officer Ulrich Kelber had previously expressed considerable concerns about the legal plans. According to a report by the Handelsblatt , he referred to "serious interference with fundamental rights" in a statement.
Law provides access to user accounts
Specifically, he therefore referred, among other things, to the obligation in the draft law for providers to grant investigative authorities access to their users' online accounts if necessary. This is only possible in violation of data protection regulations, since the passwords of their customers are stored cryptographically encrypted. In his view, it was therefore partially doubtful whether the plans were compatible with the Basic Law.
The German Association of Journalists made similar comments on the proposed law. The draft threatens the well-intentioned intention to contain hate crime effectively by counteracting it by serious cuts in fundamental rights, said DJV Federal President Frank Überall. This could give authorities comprehensive access to communication devices and data storage. Special protective measures for professional secrecy holders such as journalists are only rudimentary.
Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) presented her legal plans to combat hate crime on the Internet a few weeks ago. According to this, network operators will have to report serious crimes such as death threats, the reward and approval of offenses, sedition and acts of violence in the future. At the same time, they should also provide data that allow the authorities to prosecute.