Mistakes and Retrials within Criminal Proceedings

Project period

01.10.2019 – 30.11.2022

Prroject staff

Prof. Dr. Thomas Bliesener (applicant)

Merten Neumann (project staff)

  • Prof. Dr. Karsten Altenhain, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Lehrstuhl für Strafrecht, Wirtschaftsstrafrecht und Medienrecht
  • Prof. Dr. Renate Volbert, Psychologische Hochschule Berlin, Professur für Rechtspsychologie

German Research Foundation (DFG)

Project description

The aim of the project coordinated by the KFN is to gain insights into the following aspects:

  1. a) Which mistakes can result in misjudgements within criminal proceedings?
  2. b) What is the decision-making process with regard to the opening of the retrial?
  3. c) Are certain errors more difficult to claim than others because of the requirements of the retrial procedure?

Based on these findings, suggestions for proceedings and rules will be developed. These should contribute towards the avoidance of misjudgements to the greatest possible extent.

By using a representative sample of retrial applications from all federal states within the framework of a quantitative file-analysis, it is possible to examine which mistakes are claimed as well as what kind of circumstances evoke mistakes. Furthermore the procedure itself is analysed in terms of who is initiating the retrial applications (e.g.: convicts, lawyers, third parties) and how the retrial applications are handled during all the steps of the decision-making process regarding the possible re-opening of a trial.

On top of that, selected retrial applications will be analysed qualitatively to examine exactly how new mistakes occur. All associated partners will take part in this qualitative analysis.

In addition to the file-analysis, expert interviews will be conducted to examine the run-up to retrial applications.