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"The impression that the judiciary is behind the maintenance of the Twitter account"


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"The impression that the judiciary is behind the maintenance of the Twitter account"

WORLD: Mr. Eisenreich, the federal states have been complaining for a long time that the federal government must do more to promote the judiciary. Last Friday there was a meeting between you, the justice ministers of Hamburg and Lower Saxony, and Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP). How satisfied are you with the outcome of the interview?

Georg Eisenreich: It is good that after almost a year in office as the Federal Minister of Justice, there was an initial detailed personal exchange with the federal states on the Pact for the Rule of Law. However, his offer is inadequate in every respect and does not fulfill the coalition agreement.

WORLD: There it says: “We are consolidating the pact for the rule of law with the countries and expanding it with a digital pact”. The previous federal government had pledged 220 million euros to the federal states as part of the first pact for the creation of at least 2,000 new judicial positions; the Federal Ministry of Justice is now promising a further 200 million euros. To what extent does this violate the coalition agreement?

Eisenreich: These 200 million should flow exclusively into individual digitization projects. The announced "continuation" of funding in the human resources area is completely ignored, although the federal states have even created 2700 new positions in the judiciary and public prosecutor's area, which of course cause ongoing costs. As far as the cost of digitization is concerned, 200 million is simply not enough.

WORLD: What would be an appropriate sum for digitization?

Eisenreich: We are orienting ourselves on the calculations of the E-Justice Council, which considers 350 million a year as a contribution from the federal government to be necessary for the next three years - and not tied to individual media-effective showcase projects, as the Federal Minister of Justice apparently has in mind.

WORLD: The central digitization project is the introduction of the e-file by the end of 2025, ultimately a system for digital document processing, as has long been common practice in numerous industries and is already being successfully tested in some courts. How can that be so expensive? And why should the federal government pay for this alone?

Eisenreich: The overall costs are significantly higher. If you extrapolate the costs necessary for Bavaria, then that would be over 900 million euros a year nationwide. So the federal government should only take over part of it. It is not just about the electronic file, but also about the costs for external IT specialists, the expansion of the IT infrastructure such as network components, servers or cloud offers, the equipment of all workplaces and all court and office buildings as well as development and maintenance of special software. The obligation to introduce the electronic file is also based on a federal law.

WORLD: Including the personnel promotion, your demands add up to almost 1.3 billion euros. That would be almost six times what the last federal government paid. Why should the Federal Minister of Justice agree? According to the Basic Law, the judiciary is a matter for the federal states - and the federal budget is already extremely burdened by the Ukraine war.

Eisenreich: If you add up costs over several years, the amounts are always high. The judiciary budget in Bavaria alone amounts to over eight billion euros for three years. Especially in view of the Ukraine war, we should appreciate the value of a functioning rule of law and strengthen it. Indeed, the responsibility for this lies with the countries, and we live up to this responsibility and invest large sums of money.

Mr. Buschmann promised the states 50 million euros for the coming year, with Bavaria receiving eight million according to the usual distribution key. My annual budget for the judiciary is 2.8 billion euros - so the federal government's participation would only be around 0.3 percent.

Bus and train should also remain attractive in autumn and winter, which is why the federal and state transport ministers are discussing a nationwide public transport ticket. And politicians continue to argue about the third relief package, but this threatens to fail in the Bundesrat.

Source: WORLD

WORLD: The federal government is also adding up the costs with the special fund for the Bundeswehr, three aid packages and an impending recession.

Eisenreich: My country colleagues and I are nevertheless aware that we are in difficult times and that the federal government has high special expenses that nobody could have counted on a year ago. We are therefore ready for further negotiations. It is important that the Federal Minister of Justice is in discussion with the federal states and that we develop a common understanding. We expect the federal government to share appropriately in the costs it incurs through federal legislation. In addition, the federal government must advance important legal reforms that we urgently need for the digitization of the judiciary.

So far, however, there has been the impression that the judiciary ranks behind the maintenance of his Twitter account when it comes to the priorities of the Federal Minister of Justice. The proposals of the conference of justice ministers, such as how the federal government could relieve the courts through reforms in mass proceedings such as the diesel lawsuits, are on the table. It doesn't cost a cent. But nothing has happened there either.

"Kick-off Politics" is WELT's daily news podcast. The most important topic analyzed by WELT editors and the dates of the day. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music or directly via RSS feed.

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