Organised Crime Policies in Germany

  • Michael Kilchling
Part of the Studies Of Organized Crime book series (SOOC, volume 4)

During the 1990s, organised crime and the ways to react to this empirically rather unknown phenomenon (Albrecht, 1998) was the subject of highly controversial debates in Germany. Sometimes strong disputes between pro and contra organised- crime ideologies could be witnessed which, in retrospect, appear to some degree irrational. Just one highlight in this context shall be mentioned here: the profound disagreement on how to write the term organised crime in a politically correct manner – an issue that was cultivated in politics as well as in academic circles. On the one side there were the proponents of capital letters – Organisierte Kriminalität – who accused those who wrote the adjective ‘organised’ in accordance with the rules of German grammar with a small initial letter of underestimating or even trivialising the threat of organised crime. The ‘small writers’ on the other hand saw the capitalisation as a symbol of the exaggeration or even creation of a (virtual) danger that in reality does not exist.1 It is certainly true that for both sides, the writing style was used as a political symbol. Even today no uniform style of writing has been established. From a present point of view, however, such an ideological involvement which is without precedence within the usually quite austere disciplines of criminal law and criminal procedure appears rather strange. Nowadays most authors choose their own style presumably without reflecting any longer on the possible political message of a capital or a small letter.


Money Laundering Criminal Code Organise Crime Criminal Procedure Criminal Policy 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Kilchling
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal LawGermany

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