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Welcome to the Federal Office of Justice

The Federal Office of Justice in Bonn is the central service authority of the federal German judiciary, and is the port of call for international legal transactions. It is part of the subordinate area of the Federal Ministry of Justice. Whilst the tasks of the judiciary (rulings and administration) in the Federal Republic of Germany in principle are performed by the individual Federal Länder, the Federation is only responsible for individual tasks. The establishment of the Federal Office of Justice on 1 January 2007 has led to the reorganisation of the administration of justice at federal level, among other things in order to create greater transparency and to cater for individual needs. By re-orientating the administrative structures, in particular the responsibilities are combined in the fields of international legal relations, of the register system (the Federal Central Criminal Register and the Central Register of Companies and the Central Public Prosecution Register), as well as the tasks of the general administration of justice (judicial statistics, Judicial Payment Enforcement Agency).

  • Furthermore, the Federal Office of Justice carries out functions in
  • foreign maintenance proceedings
  • foreign adoption proceedings
  • international custody conflicts
  • proceedings on the granting of hardship benefits for victims of right-wing extremist attacks and terrorist offences
  • consumer protection matters in accordance with the Act on Applications for an Injunction (UnterlassungsklagengesetzUKlaG), and
  • proceedings for breach of disclosure obligations in accordance with the Commercial Code (Handelsgesetzbuch) and other provisions.

To improve European cooperation, Germany and France took the initiative in the spring of 2003 to create a network of the national criminal registers in the European Union, in which the Federal Office of Justice works with the Federal Central Criminal Register which it operates.

The Federal Office of Justice is the central point of call when it comes to cross-border criminal, civil and commercial matters, (international mutual assistance). Over and above this, the Federal Office of Justice supports the Federal Ministry of Justice in announcements and notifications, in the documentation of statutes, as well as by means of scientific information in the field of research into legal facts, criminology and crime prevention.

As an additional service of its Internet presentation, the Federal Office of Justice also offers selected parts of its German-language information in other languages.

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