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Report No. 277

(iv) The German Criminal Code

3.22 In terms of other specific statutes, the German Criminal Code called the 'Strafgesetzbuch' (in effect since 1872) in its sections 97a and 97b deals with the cases of suffering caused due to excessive length of the proceedings before the Federal Constitutional Court, providing for "adequate compensation" to victims of such delays; where the reasonableness of the length of the proceedings shall be established on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the Federal Constitutional Court's tasks and position.

A decision on compensation and reparation hereunder requires a formal complaint against judicial delay (Verzögerungsbeschwerde).31 The provision also talks in terms of a non-pecuniary disadvantage, which shall be assumed to exist if a case has taken excessively long. Compensation for such a disadvantage may only be claimed if the circumstances of the individual case do not permit a different kind of redress, in particular a declaration that the length of the proceedings was excessive.32

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