Amending section 46 of the Criminal Code

You can find the full version of section 46 of the Criminal Code here (German).

A debate has been ongoing in Germany since 2010 regarding whether or not racist and otherwise inhuman motives should be investigated in criminal proceedings and explicitly incorporated into section 46 subsection 2 of the Criminal Code as grounds for sentencing.

Many countries in the European Union already have provisions for explicit penalties for hate crime in their criminal justice systems. In some countries, a more severe sentence is provided for in cases where the crime was motivated by hatred. In Germany, however, there exists neither a separate category of offence for hate crime, nor an explicit provision for more severe penalties.

In December 2011, SPD members of parliament published a draft amendment to this effect. In February 2012, the Green Party put forward a motion in the Bundestag (Federal Diet, or lower house of parliament) regarding the effective prosecution of crimes motivated by prejudice. In April 2012, the Bundesrat (Federal Council, or upper house), in turn, presented a draft bill.

As a result of differing political and legal assessments within the Bundestag, no legislative proposal has been decided upon yet.

© Büro zur Umsetzung von Gleichbehandlung e.V. 2011