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East Germany Table of Contents

East Germany

The Legal System

Crime control takes place on two levels. The first level involves the leadership of state organs and their functionaries, who plan all social processes. These organs, including national government agencies, local government, and industrial enterprises, have established the system of criminal law. The second level is based upon rigorous exposure, persecution, and punishment of criminals and elimination of the causes of criminal acts. This second level involves active participation by citizens through service on conflict commissions, arbitration commissions, and juries.

These two levels concentrate actual power and authority in the criminal system in the hands of the government and the SED by reserving to them the sole responsibility for establishing social processes and laws. The second level involves the masses in enforcement of state laws and processes. In this sense, "involving the masses" is a euphemism for social pressure to enforce the law by creating an atmosphere of intolerance toward criminals.

Data as of July 1987