chapter  7
16 Pages

Germany

WithWerner Beulke

It was not until 22 March 1997 that the taking of samples for means of DNA analysis (genetic fingerprinting) was formally recognised in legislation. Traces found on suspects and on victims–mainly traces of hair, blood and semen–had always been examined according to current scientific progress, and were introduced into criminal investigations as a means of proof according to the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure (StPO). The Code of Criminal Procedure distinguishes between 'accused'–suspected persons–and other persons, that is, non-suspects. The Parliamentary Group of the Social-Democrats of Germany (SPD) has proposed its own draft code. On 6 December 1996, the Bundestag passed the StVAG 1997, which was based on the previous drafts by the Federal Ministry of Justice and the SPD. It is a punishable offence for an expert concerned with DNA analysis to pass on test results that exist in the form of data.