The dock remains empty

Last generation boycotts expedited procedures

Berlin, June 12.02.2024, 7, 30:XNUMX a.m – A principle of the protest of the last generation was and always is: We stand by what we do with our name and face, we face the legal consequences for our protest. However, next week several Last Generation supporters will not show up for their court date - for good reason. 

In 2023, the Tiergarten District Court set up two separate departments that were only responsible for processing accelerated proceedings - apparently selectively targeting last generation supporters. This special jurisdiction, which makes a fair legal discussion of the protest actions almost impossible, met with widespread criticism from the start. [1] [2]

At the end of last year, the Berlin judiciary found that its attempt to convict him in a summary trial had failed. The special chambers were dissolved. [3] 

Nevertheless, the Berlin public prosecutor's office is undeterred in its practice of expedited proceedings. The increasing frequency with which she requests these is alarming.

The reactions of the courts are varied. A judge, for example, rejects all accelerated procedures and writes as justification: “Procedures such as the present one are not suitable for a simple and quick negotiation due to the mostly contentious and controversial issue of 'climate change' and the associated question of possible justifications.”. Another judge pointed out that he would not have time for such proceedings until 2025 at the earliest.

However, the procedures are often accepted as accelerated procedures and are scheduled at very short notice. In some cases, the summonses even arrive after the court date. There is often no indictment, so it is not clear what allegations are being made.

At least 15 expedited procedures for Last Generation supporters are scheduled for this week.

Those affected have a space in which they can explain why they consciously accepted rule violations in order to draw attention to the federal government's destructive climate policy. Procedures in which summonses can be made up to 24 hours before the appointment, requests for evidence can be rejected more easily and earlier minutes are simply read out instead of hearing witnesses in court are not suitable for this.

A large proportion of those affected by the accelerated proceedings next week have therefore decided not to accept this approach and not to appear at the court hearing next week. 

The courts should be confronted with the question of whether they really want to resort to measures such as arrest warrants or accept that those affected are entitled to normal court proceedings with all procedural options.