Forming Criminal Organisations

Forming Criminal Organisations in Europe

Forming Criminal Organisations in Germany

Provisions relating to forming criminal organisations in the German Criminal Code [1]: This criminal issue is covered by Chapter Seven, under the heading “Offences Against Public Order,” located in Section 129 Forming criminal organisations, which reads: (1) Whosoever forms an organisation the aims or activities of which are directed at the commission of offences or whosoever participates in such an organisation as a member, recruits members or supporters for it or supports it, shall be liable to imprisonment of not more than five years or a fine. (2) Subsection (1) above shall not apply if the organisation is a political party which the Federal Constitutional Court has not declared to be unconstitutional; 1. 2. if the commission of offences is of merely minor significance for the objectives or activities or 3. to the extent that the objectives or activities of the organisation relate to offences under sections 84 to 87. (3) The attempt to form an organisation as indicated in subsection (1) above shall be punishable. (4) If the offender is one of the ringleaders or hintermen or the case is otherwise especially serious the penalty shall be imprisonment from six months to five years; the penalty shall be imprisonment from six months to ten years if the aim or the activity of the criminal organisation is directed at the commission of an offence set out in section 100c (2) No 1 (a), (c), (d), (e), and (g) with the exception of offences pursuant to section 239a or section 239b, (h) to (m) Nos 2 to 5 and 7 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. (5) The court may order a discharge under subsections (1) and (3) above in the case of accomplices whose guilt is of a minor nature or whose contribution is of minor significance. (6) The court may in its discretion mitigate the sentence (section 49 (2)) or order a discharge under these provisions if the offender voluntarily and earnestly makes efforts to prevent the continued existence of the organisation or the commission of an offence consistent with its aims; or 1. voluntarily discloses his knowledge to a government authority in time so that offences the planning of which he is aware of may be prevented; 2. if the offender succeeds in preventing the continued existence of the organisation or if this is achieved without his efforts he shall not incur criminal liability.



  1. The content of the translated German penal code in relation to forming criminal organisations is current as of 2010

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