Aarhus University Seal


CEPDISC SEMINAR with John Körtner (co-author Niklas Harder)

Title: Discrimination in the German Judiciary: Evidence from Official Statistics

Info about event


Monday 27 November 2023,  at 14:00 - 15:30





Speaker: John Körtner, PhD student at the IDHEAP of the University of Lausanne & DeZIM Associate member, Integration Department

Abstract: Discrimination by the judiciary is debated extensively among academics, politicians, and the public. However, providing evidence based on publicly available statistics is challenging because the statistical records are selected on the actors' decisions in the process. In this article, we look at the available statistics in Germany and discuss their potential to inform the debate. We analyze official criminal and prosecution statistics and test for discrimination in the judges' decision to hear a case. Specifically, we examine the rates at which German citizens and individuals without German citizenship are heard in court and the rates at which they are sentenced. We find that non-Germans are more often acquitted for violent crimes than Germans indicating discriminatory thresholds. We do not find the same for non-violent crimes. We assess the plausibility of different mechanisms and document the potential for fallacies.


If you are not a CEPDISC fellow and wish to join pleace contact maj.carlsen@ps.au.dk