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Law of Search and Seizure, and the Law of Arrest and Short-Term Detention, in Germany: A Critical Assessment (From Coercive Measures in a Socio-legal Comparison of the People's Republic of China and Germany, P 175-198, 2004, Hans-Jorg Albrecht and Chen Guangzhong, eds. -- See NCJ-210122

NCJ Number
Susanne Walther
Date Published
24 pages
This paper presents an overview of selected standard compulsory measures (search and seizure, arrest, and short-term detention) and examines how German criminal procedure law deals with select measures.
Central to any legal system of investigative measures is the law of search and seizure, as well as the law of arrest and short-term detention. These measures define, and limit, key powers of prosecution in criminal cases. They can also be viewed as touchstones for the policy choices made by the legal system discussed. These measures are law enforcement tools that are not only intrusive but also compulsory. They are basic rule of law standards in criminal investigations. This paper describes these select standard compulsory measures; searches, seizures, and arrests. In describing search and seizure, it is described in the context of premises and belongings and of a person and covers the areas of constitutional aspects, types of searches, seizure-inspection of papers, and defense problems. In the area of arrest, identification, and short-term detention, the areas of constitutional aspects, arrests and short-term detentions, detention to secure accelerated trial, and detention for purposes of identification are described. It is important to recognize the importance of strengthening the preventive side of modern checks-and-balances systems of criminal procedure.