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penal order

(Sections 407 ff. of the German Code of Criminal Procedure (StPO))
A penal order is an order imposing punishment and is obtained in simplified (summary) procedures for minor criminal offences. It can result in a final (non-appealable) conviction without an oral trial.
A penal order can be issued on the application of the public prosecutor in the case of minor criminal offences. The legal penalties that can be ordered pursuant to it are limited. These include such things as fines or, if the accused is represented by defence counsel, a prison term of up to one year if the enforcement of such is suspended and the accused put on probation. The accused has two weeks within which he respectively she can lodge an appeal against the penal order. If this is done, then a trial takes place.

preventive incarceration

(Section 66 of German Criminal Code (StGB))
Preventive incarceration is a disciplinary measure for the prevention of future crimes and is enforced after the regular prison sentence.
It may be ordered under specific conditions. The person must have already been sentenced to a prison term of at least two years for the commission of an intentional crime, and the overall assessment of the perpetrator and his/her crime must show that he respectively she is a danger to the general public. Therefore preventive incarceration, as opposed to regular imprisonment, is based solely on how dangerous the criminal is for the general public.

prohibition of torture

The prohibition of torture and of cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment is one of the few human rights norms that are inalienable and binding without exception, even on states that have not ratified the particular human rights covenants (ius cogens).


It is legal to practice prostitution in Germany. Prostitution may be carried out on the basis of a dependent employment relationship (i. e. a regular employer/employee relationship) or on a self-employed basis. It is also legal to operate premises for prostitution and to make use of the sexual services of a prostitute.
The German Criminal Code (StGB) penalizes certain acts in relation to prostitution, i. e. those acts that violate the (sexual) self-determination rights of persons working as prostitutes. Examples of these include exercising control over a prostitute (section 181a StGB), exploiting prostitutes (section 180a StGB), human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation (section 232 StGB).

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