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Guest lecture: Corinna Barrett Lain, , S.D. Roberts & Sandra Moore Professor of Law, University of Richmond School of Law, Virginia, USA

Title: The worst of the worst: five death penalty problems and the court decisions that refused to solve them

Date: 18 June 2024

Location: Hörsaal XVIII im Hauptgebäude


Guest lecture: Dr. Laura Anna Klein

Title: REPRODUKTIVE RECHTE Von Meilensteinen im internationalen Recht bis zur aktuellen Situation in Deutschland

Date: 2 June 2024 at 6 p. m.

Location: University of Cologne, Tagungsraum 0.04, Seminargebäude


Guest lecture Dr. Erik Duesberg

Title: Ich geh' mit dir wohin du willst - Grenzüberschreitende Strafverfolgung und -verteidigung in Europa

Date: 11 June 2024

Location: University of Cologne, Hauptgebäude, Hörsaal XVIII


Guest lecture: Prof Corinna Barrett Lain

Title: THE TANGLED HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN DEATH PENALTY – why the US embraced death while Europe discarded it

Time: 29.05.2024 um 18 Uhr

Location: Tagungsraum 0.04, Seminargebäude



Report: Guest lecture Prof. Corinna Barrett Lain

On 4 June 2024, Prof. Corinna Barrett Lain, S.D. Roberts & Sandra Moore Professor of Law at the University of Richmond, Virginia, USA, spoke to students about current events in the USA as part of the Criminal Law II lecture.

Prof. Lain began with an overview of the American criminal justice system, providing also fascinating insights into her former work as a state prosecutor. She then addressed Donald Trump's latest conviction for falsifying business records to cover up a hush-money payment in order to influence the election in 2016. Prof. Lain explained both the background to the case as well as its potential impact on the presidential elections coming up this year. Afterwards, she responded to numerous questions and comments from the students, resulting in a lively discussion about the impact of the conviction.

Marie Coenen


Report: Guest lecture Corinna Barrett Lain

On Wednesday, 29.5.24, Prof. Dr Corinna Lain gave a lecture on ‘The Tangled History of the American Death Penalty: Why the US embraced death while Europe discarded it’ as part of the ICCL’s talk series on international criminal law. Prof. Lain is the S.D. Roberts & Sandra Moore Professor of Law at the University of Richmond, Virginia, USA, and holds an ICCL Fellowship.

Prof. Lain began her lecture by describing the situation in the 1960s, which was characterized by a global movement to abolish the death penalty. In the course of this movement, a large part of Western Europe abolished the death penalty. The US was also part of this movement. The number of death sentences and executions was at a record low and public sentiment was increasingly turning against the death penalty, which largely related to the American Civil Rights Movement, which was at its peak at the time. In a historic judgement of 1972 (Furman v. Georgia), the Supreme Court then declared the death penalty unconstitutional by five votes to four. The death penalty thus no longer existed, all outstanding death sentences were changed to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole (life without parole) and not a single execution was carried out in the US until 1977.

In 1976, however, the tide turned again with another Supreme Court decision (Gregg v. Georgia): In Furman v. Georgia, the unconstitutionality of the death penalty had not been based on a per se incompatibility of the death penalty with the constitution, but rather on the fact that the laws of the States provided no criteria to decide the imposition of the death penalty. In response to this, various States had enacted new regulations that set out more detailed criteria for the imposition of the death penalty and were (supposedly) intended to prevent arbitrary imposition in the meantime. In Gregg v. Georgia, the Supreme Court confirmed that these new laws were constitutional and that there was no general constitutional problem with the death penalty. This opened up the possibility for the States to reintroduce the death penalty as long as only some – as Prof Lain noted: hardly meaningful – criteria for the imposition of the death penalty were established. Numerous States made use of this opportunity.

After taking a closer look at the death penalty proceedings and highlighting the work of lawyers who tirelessly fight against the death penalty, Prof Lain pointed out that the US is currently in a similar position as it was in the 1960s: More and more States are abolishing the death penalty of their own accord, fewer and fewer death sentences are being passed and executions carried out, and approval ratings for the death penalty among the population are also falling steadily. It remains to be seen what will happen with the American death penalty in the future.

The lecture was followed by a lively discussion, which will be continued at Prof. Lain's second lecture on 18.6.24 (‘The worst of the worst: Five death penalty problems and the court decisions that refused to solve them’).

Lena Wasser





Report: Guest lecture Dr. Luigi Scollo

On 07.05.2024, Dr. Luigi Scollo, postdoctoral research fellow at the Università degli studi di Bergamo, Italy, gave a lecture on „Models for combating international corruption: A multilevel analysis“ as part of the Institute for Comparative Criminal Law’s talk series on international criminal law. The fight against international corruption is a research focus of Dr. Scollo, who is currently a visiting scholar at the Institute.

Dr. Scollo began his lecture by outlining the negative effects international corruption can have on society. These include, for example, market-distorting effects, the deepening of social inequality and the influencing of domestic and foreign political decision-making processes. He then presented the „US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (1977)“ that was passed in 1977 in the wake of the Watergate scandal as a means to combat international corruption. The US attempted to persuade other countries to adopt its model. When this was largely unsuccessful, the US began to intensify its own prosecution efforts under the Act around the globe. Today, the US is responsible for a great majority of the global prosecution of international corruption.

Dr. Scollo identified the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act as the world’s most efficient anti-corruption law. This is particularly due to the fact that criminal liability under this Act does not depend on a proven „corruption pact“. Instead, „questionable payments“ can be sufficient for criminal liability. In addition, corruption cases in the US are rarely dealt with in lengthy criminal proceedings before the court. Rather, „deals“ are concluded between law enforcement authorities and the accused, in which the accused agrees to pay a penalty. Dr. Scollo sees further reasons for the efficiency of the US model in the almost global applicability of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the criminal liability of legal persons („corporate liability“).

In his conclusion, Dr. Scollo spoke out in favour of establishing a model based on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in Europe, but also pointed out possible hurdles under EU law. This was the subject of a lively discussion after his lecture.

Lena Wasser

Report: Guest lecture Prof. Dr. Attilio Nisco

On 23 January 2024, Prof. Dr. Attilio Nisco, professor of criminal law at the Università di Bologna, gave a lecture on ‘The relevance of organisational fault for corporate criminal liability’ as part of our talk series on international criminal law.

Prof. Nisco started his lecture by contrasting two currently discussed approaches for establishing criminal liability of legal persons. One approach is based on a transfer of criminal liability. The guilt of individuals acting on behalf of the corporation is attributed to the legal entity. In contrast, the other approach constitutes a separate criminal responsibility of legal persons. It is their duty to prevent business-related offences through organisational measures. According to Prof. Nisco, the breach of this duty and the resulting criminal offence can be seen as a separate offence committed by the legal person. However, it must be considered that organisational fault of legal persons is not the same as individual culpability of natural persons.

By combining the two approaches, Italy has opted for ‘administrative liability’ of legal persons with Decree no. 231/2001: This liability is based on an offence committed by an individual acting in the corporation’s interest or for its benefit. However, legal entities cannot be held liable if a suitable and effective compliance programme is in place. In this context, Prof. Nisco outlined the development of Italian case law, which had undergone a change of direction following the judgement of the Court of Cassation in the Impregilo case. Previously, the decisive factor for the liability of legal persons was whether an individual acted in the interest or for the benefit of the company, while the existence of preventive organisational measures was of little importance. Now, a connection between the offence and the breach of the company's organisational duties is required. Further, the proof of suitable organisational measures no longer has to be provided by the legal person concerned, but the burden of proof of an ineffective compliance system now rests on the prosecution.

To conclude, Prof. Nisco addressed what he considered to be two crucial questions with regard to organisational fault as a decisive factor for corporate criminal liability. In addition to the question of how the criterion of organisational fault could be further developed, it is questionable whether it is at all suitable for establishing criminal liability of legal persons. On the one hand, subjective circumstances relating to the ‘personality’ of the company could in the future also be considered in the context of organisational fault. On the other hand, even such a further development would not solve the fundamental issue that a legal entity is a legal fiction and therefore cannot act culpably like a natural person. In addition, it also remains unclear whether and how provisions of the General Part of the Criminal Code can be applied to legal persons. Prof. Nisco therefore argued in favour of regulating liability of legal entities as a special form under administrative law instead of criminal law.

In the following lively discussion, these suggestions were taken up once again and the current legal situation in Italy and Germany was critically assessed.

Marie Coenen


Report: Guest lecture Prof. Dr. Andreas Schloenhardt

On Oct. 30, 2023, Prof. Dr. Andreas Schloenhardt, criminal law professor at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and at the University of Vienna, gave a lecture on „Colonialism, Common Law and Codification: The Development of Criminal Law in the British Empire“ as part of our talk series on international criminal law.

Prof. Schloenhardt began his lecture with a historical introduction. He described how the British Empire steadily expanded since the beginning of the colonization movements in the 16th century and how the colonial rulers in the various occupied territories dealt with the existing criminal law systems in very different ways. While in some colonies, the existing criminal law was at least partially „accepted“ and a mixture of indigenous and colonial criminal law was created (e.g. in India), in other places the indigenous criminal law was immediately and comprehensively replaced by a separate, colonial criminal law system regardless of local customs (e.g. in New South Wales, Australia).

Prof. Schloenhardt then explained in more detail how criminal law developed in the colonies and what influence this had on developments in Great Britain itself and in other parts of the world. One example of this is the development in India: Here, the „Indian Penal Code“ came into force in 1862; a penal code that had been drafted by a Law Commission appointed by the colonial government and headed by Thomas Babington Macauly. The Indian Penal Code - although amended many times in the meantime - is India‘s applicable penal code to this day. Inspired by the Indian Penal Code, codification efforts were also made in Great Britain itself in the 19th century. For example, the English jurist and philosopher James Fitzjames Stephens, inspired by a stay in India, drew up the so-called „Stephens Code“ for the English government, a comprehensive codification of the customary criminal law regulations in force in England at the time. However, the draft law based on Stephen's work was rejected by the English parliament - a codification was deemed unnecessary. It was, though, taken up in other parts of the Empire, e. g. in Canada and New Zealand. This example clearly shows how developments in criminal law differed within the Empire and how they still influenced one another.

To conclude his lecture, Prof. Schloenhardt turned his attention to the present. He contrasted the advantages and disadvantages of common law and codified law and finally raised the question of whether the remnants of colonial criminal law in the former colonies should be regarded more as a „colonial burden“ or a „colonial heritage“. Prof. Schloenhardt did not answer this question, but gave some food for thought: The fact that colonial criminal law was forced on the indigenous population, often without any consideration or involvement of the local people, speaks in favor of viewing it as a burden, as do the blatant negative consequences colonial law had and partly still has today for indigenous groups. On the other hand, the fact that developments in criminal law in the colonial territories often ran parallel to developments in other, non-colonized parts of the world could possibly speak in favour of viewing it as a „heritage“.

These impulses were taken up in lively discussions over finger food and drinks after the lecture.

Lena Wasser

Report: Guest lecture Prof. Dr. Annette Weinke

On Oct. 17, 2023, Prof. Weinke, historian at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, gave an in-depth insight into "The criminal law science of the Bonn Republic and its interpretation of the Nazi past".

During National Socialism, the "self-mobilization of German criminal jurisprudence" in the sense of a "guiding and legitimizing science" for the Nazi ideology of race and Lebensraum went hand in hand with an institutional and personnel growth while Jews and democrats were simultaneously removed from their offices. In terms of content, the signs pointed to the radicalization of an already existing völkisch-biologistic science of criminal law, which advocated the segregation of "aliens" and thus prepared the ground for later extermination policies.

Paradoxically, the focus of the Allies' denazification efforts, which were still strong in the beginning, was at the same time a step toward the "rehabilitation, reintegration and reconsolidation" of West German criminal jurisprudence. Its protagonists, as well as other law professors, were to be won over for the democratization policy of the Western occupying powers. This is exemplified by the appearance of the highly Nazi-incriminated criminal lawyers Franz Exner and Edmund Mezger as defense attorneys in the Nuremberg "Juristenprozess." While - based on the famous Radbruch essay (SJZ 1946, 105-108) - the so-called positivism legend allowed (supposedly defenseless) criminal lawyers to distance themselves sweepingly from the Nazi past, appeals for self-criticism (Bader, Arndt, Zinn) went unheard. The Great Criminal Law Commission, established in 1954 and chaired for many years by Edmund Mezger, was made up of other criminal lawyers with Nazi past, some of whom had been involved in tightening the law in the "Third Reich". The first female professors, Anne-Eva Brauneck and Hilde Kaufmann, were admitted to this circle in the 1960s. Like other areas of society, the scientific community of criminal jurisprudence was structured according to the need for security and stability in the young Federal Republic, which explains, among other things, the continuity of personnel.

It is true that today there has been a certain opening of criminal jurisprudence to the newer historiography of culture, with a contextualization made possible by categories such as generation, gender, class, milieu, politics, and also economics. However, there is still no analytically sharpened concept of generation that has broken the structure of a tendency to equate "criminal jurisprudence" with classically male "grand dogmatists." The long-standing outsider position of women, remigrants or professional "exotics" therefore continues to have an effect in the professional community today.

Afterwards, there was an interesting debate, with perspectives from the students and pupils of incriminated professors as well as from the perspective of historians.

Max Wrobel

Report: Guest lecture Dr Johanna Rinceanu, LL.M. (Washington, D.C.)

On 23 May 2023, Dr Johanna Rinceanu, LL.M. (Washington, D.C.) gave a lecture on the topic " Vom NetzDG zum DSA - Menschenrechte in der digitalen Krise" (From the NetzDG to the DSA - Human Rights in the Digital Crisis) as part of the talk series "internationales Strafrecht". Dr. Rinceanu is a Senior Researcher in the Criminal Law Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law in Freiburg i. Br.

After an introduction into the transformative power of social media, which as an infosphere alters both self-perception and the perception of others, the lecturer presented the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG), the German attempt to regulate social media, which came into force in 2017. The aim of the law is to eliminate disruptions to public safety in social networks and to change the debate culture of private actors in these networks. To achieve this goal, the NetzDG is directed at providers of social networks with more than two million monthly users in Germany, who are obliged, among other things, in accordance with a "notice-and-takedown model" to delete or block hate speech, fake news and other illegal content on their platforms after a complaint within 24 hours respectively within seven days. In particular, the imposition of an obligation to report, according to which IT service providers transmit content to the Bundeskriminalamt (Federal Criminal Police Office) to enable the prosecution of criminal offences, which has been reported to the IT service provider in a complaint and which has been removed or blocked by the IT service provider, is problematic. Users are informed about the transfer of data to the BKA no sooner than four weeks after the transfer.

The lecturer drew attention to the fact that the NetzDG largely transferred the enforcement of the law to private profit-oriented companies. In this way, the state was shirking its constitutional responsibility and accepting massive restrictions on the freedom of expression, but also on the freedom of occupation. Dr. Rinceanu focused her remarks in the following on the freedom of expression laid out in Art. 19 para. 1 ICCPR, Art. 10 ECHR, Art. 5 GG. The obligation of private providers to remove unlawful content creates a private parallel justice system, which structurally endangers freedom of expression and thus democratic discourse. The expected replacement of the NetzDG by the Digital Services Act (DSA) of the European Union would hardly change the regulatory situation - the "notice-and-takedown mechanism" would remain in place with regard to "illegal content" (Art. 3 (h) DSA). Thus, overblocking and overfiltering are to be expected. Dr. Rinceanu countered that media regulation must be thought of differently, from a "netiquette" of tolerance, pluralism, equality and respect for diversity. A dialogue between groups, active opposition to hate comments, counter-speech and education oriented towards fundamental and human rights were therefore necessary.

The lecture was followed by a lively discussion about the sense and benefits of the current platform regulation in Germany, regulatory alternatives such as those in the USA, limits to freedom of expression and preventive approaches for a more gentle balance of interests.

Christine Untch

Report: Guest Lecture Andrés Ritter

On 23 January 2023, Andrés Ritter, the German European Prosecutor and Deputy European Chief Prosecutor at the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) in Luxembourg, visited the Institute for Comparative Criminal Law. In the premises of the Cologne International Fo­rum, Mr. Ritter delivered a lecture as part of the Institute's talk series on international criminal law. The lecture was simultaneously an event within the collaborative project "Transnational Organised Crime: Organised Crime, Criminal Procedure, and Prisons" of the Universities of Queensland (Australia), Ferrara (Italy), Vienna (Austria), Zurich (Switzerland) and Cologne, in which research is conducted on transnational organised crime.

"The European Public Prosecutors Office – Background of the first supranational prosecutor's office and its relevance in the fight against organised crime" was the title of Mr. Ritter's presen­tation. After some welcoming words and a brief introduction into the topic by Prof. Dr. Weisser, Mr. Ritter started his lecture with an introduction to the history, competences, struc­ture and role of the EPPO. A special emphasis was placed on the challenges the EPPO has faced and still faces since the idea was first proposed in 1995 - opposition from member states and non-har­monised national law to name a few. In the main part of his talk, Mr. Ritter gave an in-depth insight into the daily work of the EPPO and the special role it plays in the fight against trans­national organised crime to the detriment of the European Union’s financial inter­ests. The cap­tivating lecture was enriched by numerous highly topical anecdotes Mr. Ritter shared about the operational reality of the EPPO.

Before the event progressed into a lively discussion, Mr. Ritter outlined some perspectives be­ing discussed for the future of the EPPO, such as an expansion of the competences to other fields of crime such as the prosecution of transnational terrorism, transnational environmental crimes and international cybercrime but also the presently debated issue of the offence of cir­cumventing sanctions imposed by the EU.

In the discussion that followed, the audience had the opportunity to delve deeper into what had been presented and beyond. Contributions ranged from fundamental questions about the role of the EPPO and the collaboration with national prosecution authorities to highly specific legal aspects of the work of the EPPO such as the competent judge for investigative measures in cases concerning multiple member states.

Jonathan Macziola

Prof. Dr. Andreas Schloenhardt

Im Rahmen der Gesprächsreihe „Internationales Strafrecht“ war am 15.12.22 Professor Dr. Andreas Schloenhardt bei uns zu Gast. Prof. Schloenhardt ist Professor für Strafrecht an der University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australien und Honorarprofessor für ausländisches und internationales Strafrecht an der Universität Wien. Sein Vortrag trug den Titel „Plantdaddies and Trophyhunters“ und befasste sich mit dem illegalen Tier- und Pflanzenhandel; einem seiner aktuellen Forschungsschwerpunkte.

Prof. Schloenhardt leitete seinen Vortrag mit einem allgemeinen Überblick über den illegalen Tier- und Pflanzenhandel, seine Eigenschaften und Auswirkungen ein. Es handelt sich um einen global vernetzten Markt, der schätzungsweise zwischen 5 und 20 Milliarden US-Dollar Umsatz pro Jahr generiert. Seine negativen Folgen sind ebenso vielfältig wie gravierend: Er trägt zum Artensterben und dem Rückgang der Biodiversität bei, geht mit Tierquälerei, Ressourcenerschöpfung und der Bildung von Zoonosen einher und wird häufig von Gewalt, Bedrohungen und Korruption begleitet.

Prof. Schloenhardt berichtete dann über bereits bestehende internationale Abkommen gegen den illegalen Tier- und Pflanzenhandel, insbesondere im Bereich des Umweltschutzes und der Handelsregulierung. Am bekanntesten ist das CITES-Abkommen, das den Import und Export von geschützten Arten reguliert. Wenngleich es die Vertragsstaaten grundsätzlich verpflichtet, den Handel mit vom Aussterben bedrohten Arten zu untersagen, so enthält das Abkommen doch zahlreiche Ausnahmen und Schutzlücken, die von Kriminellen ausgenutzt werden. Strafrechtliche Abkommen gibt es bis dato nicht.

Der letzte Teil des Vortrags drehte sich um die Frage, ob ein neues internationales Abkommen zur strafrechtlichen Regulierung des illegalen Tier- und Pflanzenhandels abgeschlossen werden sollte, das Kriminalisierungspflichten enthält und die Kooperation der Strafverfolgungsbehörden stärkt. Diese Idee wird seit einigen Jahren unter verschiedenen Gesichtspunkten diskutiert. Prof. Schloenhardt stellte uns einige dieser Ansätze vor – der wohl populärste ist der Vorschlag der „Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime“, der die Schaffung eines neuen Zusatzprotokolls zur United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (sog. Palermo-Konvention) vorsieht. Prof. Schloenhardt wies dabei auf die Vorteile eines solchen Zusatzprotokolls hin - insbesondere die erleichterte Umsetzbarkeit durch die Anbindung an die Palermo-Konvention und die Vereinheitlichung von Begrifflichkeiten und Strafvorschriften -, äußerte aber auch Bedenken: So wird die Kriminalisierung das Kernproblem - die hohe Nachfrage nach bedrohten Arten - nicht bekämpfen, zudem würde es durch die unterschiedliche Umsetzung in den Vertragsstaaten wieder zur Uneinheitlichkeit kommen, und schließlich mangelt es vielen Staaten am politischen Willen, das durchaus lukrative Geschäft mit bedrohten Tieren und Pflanzen konsequent zu unterbinden. Es wird sich in den kommenden Jahren zeigen, ob ein Konsens über ein strafrechtliches Abkommen gefunden werden kann und wenn ja, mit welchem Inhalt.

Im Anschluss an den Vortrag entstand eine lebhafte Diskussion über Sinnhaftigkeit, Umsetzbarkeit und Ausgestaltungsmöglichkeiten eines internationalen Abkommens, die bei Fingerfood und Getränken fortgesetzt wurde.


Lena Wasser

Dr. Renate Rosenberg

Am 29.11.2022 hielt Frau Dr. Renate Rosenberg LL.M. einen Vortrag zu dem Thema „Schwangerschaftsspätabbrüche – Ärztliches Handeln und rechtlicher Rahmen“ in der Gesprächsreihe Internationales Strafrecht. Frau Dr. Rosenberg ist Fachärztin für Geburtsmedizin, spezielle Geburtshilfe und Perinatologie in Münster und absolvierte einen Masterstudiengang in Medizinrecht an der WWU Münster.

Nach einer kurzen Einführung durch Frau Prof. Dr. Weißer skizzierte Frau Dr. Rosenberg zunächst die historische Entwicklung der Kriminalisierung von Schwangerschaftsabbrüchen und stellte den aktuellen rechtlichen Rahmen und die sich hieraus für PränatalmedizinerInnen ergebenden praktischen Probleme vor. Anknüpfungspunkte bildeten dabei die Entscheidung des Bundesgerichtshofes im „Berliner Zwillingsfall“ aus dem Jahre 2019 (BGHSt 65, 163) und die Einstellungsverfügung der Staatsanwaltschaft Oldenburg im Falle des „Oldenburger Babys“ (NStZ 1999, 461). Eindrucksvoll schilderte Frau Dr. Rosenberg die besondere Situation in Fällen des Schwangerschaftsspätabbruchs bei Erkrankungen des Ungeborenen und die umstrittene Frage, ob dem Spätabbruch ein Fetozid vorausgehen oder eine Entbindung des Kindes mit anschließender palliativer Begleitung erfolgen sollte. Frau Dr. Rosenberg formulierte konkrete Vorschläge für eine praxistauglichere und damit rechtssichere Handhabe durch betroffene ÄrztInnen.

Im Rahmen der anschließenden Diskussion wurde Frau Dr. Rosenberg von ihren KollegInnen Frau Dr. Cornelie Müller-Hofstede, Fachärztin für Humangenetik in Münster, und Herrn Prof. Dr. Alexander Scharf, Facharzt für Pränatalmedizin in Mainz, unterstützt. Neben Fragen zum „Berliner Zwillingsfall“ und dem des „Oldenburger Babys“ konnten auch einige medizinisch-praktische Fragen geklärt werden. Dann wurde besonders die Erwartungshaltung der Gesellschaft gegenüber der schwangeren Frau und ihre Perspektive in den Blick genommen. Schwerpunkt der Diskussion bildete die Frage, inwieweit das Strafrecht überhaupt das richtige Werkzeug für die Bewertung von Schwangerschafts(spät)abbrüchen darstellt. Im Hinblick auf die Fortschritte in der Humangenetik kam die Frage auf, ob Spätabbrüche durch bessere Diagnosemöglichkeiten womöglich künftig ganz verhindert werden könnten. Die lebhafte Diskussion entwickelte sich dabei immer mehr zu einem gegenseitigen Austausch, sodass auch juristische Fragestellungen der MedizinerInnen diskutiert wurden.


Christine Untch

Prof. Dr. Avlana Eisenberg

Im Oktober besuchte uns Prof. Dr. Avlana K. Eisenberg, die an der Florida State University aus strafrechtlicher und kriminologischer Perspektive unter anderem zu Hassverbrechen und Strafvollzug forscht. Über diese Forschung berichtete sie zum Abschluss ihres Besuchs im Rahmen des Vortrags „Addressing the Trauma of Hate Crimes“.

Strafen für Hasskriminalität gibt es in den Vereinigten Staaten auf Bundesebene und in den meisten Bundesstaaten. Hasskriminalität bedeutet die Kombination eines Verbrechens, z.B. einer Körperverletzung oder eines Totschlags, mit einem diskriminierenden Motiv, wobei die in den Strafgesetzen normierten diskriminierenden Merkmale – wie Rasse, Behinderung oder Geschlecht – und die Anforderungen daran, wie sich dieses diskriminierende Merkmal ausdrückt – z.B. als Motivation für die Tat oder lediglich durch die Auswahl des Opfers – variieren. Schließlich können Hassverbrechen entweder als gesonderte Delikte oder als Ergänzung zu bereits bestehenden Straftaten bestraft werden.

Diese Regelungsstruktur begründet Zweifel daran, ob die Bestrafung von Hasskriminalität zu mehr Gleichberechtigung und Toleranz in der Gesellschaft führen kann, wie es sich die Befürworter der Regelungen erhoffen. Angesichts ohnehin hoher Strafen für Delikte wie Körperverletzung oder Totschlag kann einer zusätzlichen Freiheitsstrafe für das diskriminierende Element der Tat die normdurchsetzende Kraft fehlen. Darüber hinaus sind Täter von Hassverbrechen häufig Überzeugungstäter, die diskriminierenden Ideologien anhängen und international vernetzt sind. „Spektakuläre“ Hassverbrechen und die darauf folgende Berichterstattung – auch über Strafverfahren zur Aufklärung der Verbrechen – dienen als Inspiration und Motivation für andere Täter, auch über Ländergrenzen hinweg. Schuldspruch und Strafe erfüllen, so Prof. Eisenberg, nicht ihren Zweck (Abschreckung), sondern bewirken das Gegenteil: Ansporn. Am Beispiel des Falls Ahmoud Arbery – ein Schwarzer Mann, der in Georgia von drei weißen Männern getötet wurde – erläuterte Prof. Eisenberg schließlich, wie rassistische Strukturen in Polizei und Justiz die Verfolgung von Hasskriminalität weiter erschweren.

Angesichts der Schwierigkeiten bei der Verfolgung von Hasskriminalität auf klassischem Weg schlug Prof. Eisenberg „restorative justice“, also – je nach Modell – eine Auseinandersetzung zwischen Täter und Opfer eines Hassverbrechens, als Alternativmodell vor. Dieser Vorschlag gab auch den Anstoß zur anschließenden Diskussion: Sollten es gerade die – in der Regel gegen Minderheiten oder gesellschaftlich unterdrückte Gruppen begangenen – Hassverbrechen sein, für die man das stärkste Mittel des Staates, das Strafrecht, durch restorative justice – Alternativen ersetzt? Wie wird bei restorative justice die expressive Funktion des Schuldspruchs, die für die Befürworter von Hasskriminalitätsgesetzen so wichtig ist, gewährleistet – gerade auch über die eigenen Landesgrenzen hinaus? Der Vorschlag, sich vergleichend mit ähnlichen Ansätzen zur Aufarbeitung des Apartheid-Regimes in Südafrika auseinanderzusetzen, bereicherte die Veranstaltung um ein weiteres internationales Element.

Laura Midey