The “Kriminologisches Journal” (KrimJ) is a quarterly scientific journal which is published by Beltz-Juventa. The journal features original scientific articles, discussion papers, practice and research reports on criminological theory and practice in German and English language. The thematic focus is on critical approaches to the structures and measures of social control bodies. All manuscripts undergo selective editorial and peer-review assessment prior to acceptance for publication. The peer-review process is strictly anonymous.

The “Kriminologisches Journal” is available both in print and online. Single issues and subscriptions are available at Beltz Juventa.

Issue 2/2020


Special Issue: "Police Law Reforms"












Editorial: Introducing the Special Issue "Police Law Reforms"

Johannes Busch, Hannah Espìn Grau, Dirk Lampe


Full Papers

Vom Kreuzberg zum Breitscheidplatz. Gefährder statt Gefahrenabwehr in den neuen Polizeigesetzen (German)

From Kreuzberg to Breitscheidplatz. Prevention of terrorist suspects instead of danger prevention in the new German police legislation

Tristan Barczak

Since the so-called Kreuzberg judgment of the Prussian Higher Administrative Court of 1882, the competence of the police was limited to the aversion of specific threats to public safety. The liberal, constitutional state had the self-certitude to wait with defensive measures until very shortly before the damaging event occurred. A modern preventive state committed to the precautionary principle is no longer willing to take such a risk: Especially the latest police statutes enacted in the German states try to prevent potential dangers like terrorism altogether, rather than intercepting the course of events. As a result of this, it is no longer the physical occurrence but the individual itself (the suspect of terrorist activity) who is considered as a risk. Since free individuals do not follow predictable patterns, the presumption of risks in police law concentrates more on general assessments of groups or standardised situations. In consequence, subjectivisation as well as de-individualisation are leaving a mark on German security law.


„Eine drohende Gefahr für die Demokratie?“ Eine Auseinandersetzung mit dem polizeilichen Gefahrenbegriff am Beispiel des Versammlungsrechts (German)

„A danger for democracy?” Recent police law reforms in Germany and their consequences for the right of assembly

Saskia Piotrowski und Marius Kühne

Recent reforms of German police laws are characterized by an expansion of police’s power and restrictions of civil liberties. Essential for this development is a changing conception of “danger” as a legal construct that enables or forbids preventive action by police forces. Several state laws try to widen definitions of potentially “dangerous” situations to allow for earlier and easier police measures under such circumstances. This paper compares the different reform approaches taken by German federal states and critically analyses those reforms with a special view on their impact on political activism and the constitutional right of protest.


Was droht mit der drohenden Gefahr? Die Vorverlagerung polizeilicher Eingriffsbefugnisse auf dem verfassungsrechtlichen Prüfstand (German)

Is the ‘threat of danger’ unconstitutional?

Hannah Ruschemeier

The police are responsible averting and preventing dangers accruing from individuals. This task is more of a challenge than ever before, due to the ubiquity of terrorist threats and the use of new technologies by criminals. The new term of ‘threat of danger’ decreases the threshold of probability for police measures and raises concerns regarding the constitutional boundaries.


Technologieentwicklung und Polizei: intensivere Grundrechtseingriffe auch ohne Gesetzesänderung (German)

New Technologies and the Police: Infringements of fundamental rights without legislative changes

Jan Fährmann, Hartmut Aden und Alexander Bosch

Public debates about legislation granting additional powers to the police for the use of technology tend to neglect the negative consequences of improved police technology as it relates to fundamental rights. Even without amending the relevant laws, technology can more intensively infringe on the fundamental rights of citizens if the performance of a technology is improved. An example of the potential intrusiveness of enhanced police technology is advanced video surveillance software that now allows authorities to identify individuals automatically. This paper argues that legislation often neglects the impact that police technology can have on the individuals concerned and on the preconditions that may make the use of police technology acceptable for them. Clearly defined legal authority and a fundamental rights-friendly design of police technology may contribute to resolve this deficit.


Lernfähige Systeme, lernfähiges Polizeirecht. Regulierung von künstlicher Intelligenz am Beispiel von Videoüberwachung und Datenabgleich (German)

Intelligent Systems, Intelligent Police Laws

Sebastian J. Golla

The German Police uses methods of artificial intelligence for video surveillance and data analysis. This article discusses how to regulate the use of AI for police purposes and examines some relevant provisions in the recently reformed German Police Laws.


Präventiver Freiheitsentzug zur Terrorismusbekämpfung? Zur faktischen Derogation von Menschenrechten ohne Not (German)

Preventive Deprivation of Liberty to fight Terrorism? On virtual Derogation of Human Rights without Emergency Reason

Grischa Merkel

Using the example of the “Gesetz über die Aufgaben und Befugnisse der Bayerischen Staatlichen Polizei” (BayPAG), this paper demonstrates that specific extensions of the power of police to withdraw individual liberty most likely put constitutional guarantees at risk. Deprivation of liberty justified by targeting so-called endangerers is not in accordance with the ECHR. This virtual derogation of Art. 5 EMRK is not backed up by public emergency considering the few manageable politically motivated attacks in Germany.


Krimmigration in der Verflechtung von Polizei- und Migrationsrecht. Pre-Crime, ban-Opticon und Präventivgewahrsam (German)

Crimmigration within the convergences of police law and migration law. Pre-Crime, ban-opticon and preventive police detention

Christine M. Graebsch

This article deals with aspects of recent police law reforms within the context of crimmigration law. The interlacement of crime control and migration control especially arises where offences are expected in the future (pre-crime) as opposed to the prosecution of crimes of the past. Accordingly, police law is, due to its orientation towards security and averting dangers, especially interesting in this respect. Connections to migration control are illustrated by using the examples of police checks without previous suspicion, residence and exclusion orders as well as preventive detention by the police. The analysis is based on legal doctrine as well as the scarce empirical knowledge that is available about law in action in Germany. The question is raised how these recent legal changes affect the development of control policies. Research results from Great Britain are used to examine how precrime detention can be perceived by addressed individuals.





Open-Access publications

Open Access publications

From issue 1/2022 onwards all English-language papers published in the Kriminologisches Journals will be made available as open access papers. The papers can be downloaded from the publisher's homepage or via content-select. Additionally the download links can be found if you click on the respective issues.

German papers can also be published via open access within the framework of the usual conditions of our publisher Beltz Juventa.

Changes on the Editorial Board

New editors-in-chief of the Kriminologisches Journal

As of Issue 2/2021the position of editor-in-chief passed over from Meropi Tzanetakis to Christine Graebsch and Jens Puschke.

Drugs and Digital Technologies

Call for Abstracts for a special issue of the KrimJ

Illicit drug markets are undergoing a significant transformation: digital technologies have a profound influence on how illicit drugs are accessed, and they have also changed information- sharing about drugs. In addition, the proliferation of information and communication technologies has changed law enforcement activity. Digitalisation also comes with rapid changes in communicative environments across time and geographic location. While online forums and other internet resources have massively increased the amount of available information and discourse on psychoactive substances for more than two decades, mobile phones, encrypted platforms, cryptocurrencies, social media and messaging applications have recently diversified the ways in which illicit drugs are distributed. This diversity includes hybrid forms of distribution, e.g. using social media applications to make physical appointments.


New Editorial Board

New Editors of the Kriminologisches Journal

As of January 1st 2021 the Editorial Board of the Kriminologisches Journal consists of Prof. Dr. Jens Puschke LL.M, Dr. Meropi Tzanetakis, Dr. Simon Egbert, Prof. Dr. Christine Graebsch, Prof. Dr. Dörte Negnal und Dr. Bernd Werse.