Family Courts in Germany

thumb_14_2"Mr. Bumble" (Illustration) is a satirical figure from the novel , "Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens, which he wrote in 1838 as a critcism of the British social system of the time. Bumble, as the Communal Beadle, had the task of taking children into care. Were they under 8 years of age, then he would deliver them into the custody of "Mrs. Mann". Otherwise, he delivered them to the Community Workhouse, which was run more like a prison. From there the children were sold as slaves, especially to the mining and textile  industries as well as chimney sweeps.

There are "Bumble" structures behind the massive child care industry in Germany today, which has an annual budget of some 21 billion Euros. The post-war years in Germany saw a mutation of the child care system, which gradually changed its base from ideology to commercialism.  Children in care were poorly educated, and made to work long hours without any social insurance. A substantial proportion of them were regularly beaten, sexually abused and even murdered. This situation still exists today.

Of course, there is a requirement of the system to legalize these abuses through some kind of court procedure. Germany has set up so-called family courts for this purpose. These courts have serious major deficits in both procedure and work quality. The judgments are, as a result, unsafe and unsound, so that it is not possible  to differentiate between just and unjust decisions. Families fleeing the country are thus being criminalized by international extradition warrants, issued as a result of the breech of court orders made out by these tribunals.

The EU aids and abets these courts by virtue of EC-Regulation 2201/2003, which provides for the mutual recognition of judgements of the family courts within the boundaries of the  EU. The EU-Commission, Director General of Justice Freedom and Security,  is responsible for issuing this regulation, apparently without any form of critical control. The reply of the current incumbent of this post, Prof. Faull, to the complaint can be seen here.    EU letter of reply



The reply is an affront to everyone but the German authorities and contains some of their favorite evasion tactics. The two points addressed were not contained in the complaint [3] but invented by the EU-Commission. This is strangely reminiscent of the answers to complaints in Germany.  They invent a content for the complaint and deal with the invention in the redress. This tactic is then covered by higher authority. This can only heighten the suspicion, that the German authorities somehow had a hand in the answer.

A list of the major deficiencies of the family  courts is included in the executive summary of the complaint[1] or the introductory paragraphs of the full report[3]. This list of six checks and balances amounts to the difference between the rule of law and arbitrary justice. As such, it is typical of the kind of unbelievable "fudge" by the German Justice system, which predates Bismarck's Reich.

A suitable continuation of the German "fudge" is the treatment of complaints by the Federal Constitutional Court. This is discussed in depth in Annex "A" to the report [3]. This is an analysis of the  the statistical figures published by the Court itself and reveals an 86.5 % rate of denial of due process, which only compounds the abuses committed by, for example, the family courts. Human Rights are, therefore, in Germany hypothetical and unattainable qualities.

The extent, to which politically susceptible judiciaries actually collude with expert witnesses is unknown at present. However, the system in use, the so-called "Chummy Lists", which are maintained by judiciaries, doubtlessly for the purpose of providing work for old school friends and   long-standing acquaintances among the expert witnesses, are certainly not responsible for any outbreaks of correctness. Missing key elements of reporting, such as a declaration of the qualifications and experience of the experts, must lead one to think that many experts do not posess these vital preconditions for family court work. Some of them may even be confidence tricksters. 

This impression is reinforced by the abominable work quality of both the courts and their experts, for which statistics are provided in Annex "B" of the report [3], and completes a picture of asymmetry, in which the cards are stacked up against the families. Furthermore, the lack of transparency caused by the Germany's non-implementation of the "Freedom of Information(FOI)  Laws (Annex "C" to the Report [3]) can only serve to deepen the suspicion that we have here a system of special courts with the sole purpose ensuring that that the 21 billion Euro budget gets expended on the acquisition of children, regardless of whether their families have deserved such a measure, or not.

The report [3] is a damning account of the activities of the German Family Courts. It is hardly a basis for EU cooperation, rather a blot on the face of EU democracy. The recommendation is, therefore, to suspend Germany from the  EC-Regulation 2201/2003 until such time as her family courts can be brought up to standard. In view of the traditional obduracy of German judiciaries, this could take a very long time.


Peter Briody
1. Executive Summary (German) (Link)
2. Executive Summary (English) (
Full Report (English) (Link)
4. Signature sheet ( 
Link )
5. Source for the Illustration  (
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