2. Who is bound by agreements?
In 2009, a central standard on understandings was inserted into the Code of Criminal Procedure: § 257c StPO. This only provides a binding obligation for the court. Defense, public prosecutor’s office and defendant are not bound to agreements in any case. A judge cannot be forced to come to an agreement. In general, the court can only be bound by what is legally permissible.
If something is agreed upon, which may not be agreed upon at all, no binding effect occurs in this respect. Also § 257c Abs. 4 StPO provides several possibilities, which let a once occurred connection void again.
The law formulates the omission of the commitment as follows:
„The court shall cease to be bound by a negotiated agreement if legal or factually significant circumstances have been overlooked or have arisen and the court therefore becomes convinced that the prospective sentencing range is no longer appropriate to the gravity of the offence or the degree of guilt.”
If, after an negotiated agreement, it turns out that the defendant’s confession made the subject of the agreement was wrong, the defence counsel can no longer hold the court to what was agreed for the case of the confession. If, however, the binding of the court ceases after the accused has made a “genuine” confession, it should not be usable. It should not be allowed to use it at his expense.