www.nullapoena.de Rechtsanwalt Michael Rosenthal Home
Bismarckstrasse 61 · D-76133 Karlsruhe · Phone +49 721 8697929 · Fax +49 721 8697919 · email anwalt@nullapoena.de
Information   » General for Lawyers about my Chambers in German



Is the website of Michael Rosenthal, lawyer, in Karlsruhe, Germany.

A specialist in criminal law, focussing particularly on cases involving business crime and transnational allegations.

The chapel


This Page:

Introduction to the Site

The links at the top of the page indicate:

General deals with criminal law.

For Students: here are some helpful suggestions concerning the first "Juristische Staatspruefung" (state law examination) at Heidelberg University.

Information is something one constantly needs ... Finding access to the sources can be tedious. Here is a selection of links to legal sources and institutions.

Chambers is intended to offer you a glimpse of my chambers. You may download the form for a power of attorney from there.


Where does the name "Nulla Poena" come from ?    (Stefan Binder)
Source: The Deutsche SchuelerAkademie 1999 documentation -- Braunschweig II -- Kurs 2.3.

The principle of legality "nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege" protects citizens from being punished arbitrarily or out of all proportion. Thus citizens are not only protected by the law but also from the law. Hence the penal code also incorporates a guarantee function. The core of the Principle of Legality is composed of two clauses:

  • "Nullum crimen sine lege" (= No crime without a law): where no law prohibits certain conduct, according to Art. 103 of the constitution (Grundgesetz) (= § 1 Penal Code) such conduct cannot be characterized as a crime after its occurrence, nor can it be a crime unless so defined by law.
  • "Nulla poena sine lege" (= No punishment without law): A crime exists only by operation of law, and therefore the form and the degree of punishment cannot be assessed outside the law. Just as there must be a declaration of the law’s intention to make an act a crime, so its punishment must be promulgated through the same process.

Four prohibitions can be derived from these two clauses:

"Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege scripta" (prohibition of punishment by unwritten law): The punishability must be laid down in accordance with the Legality Principle. Written legislation must exist, unwritten (customary) law provides no basis for punishment.

"Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege stricta" (prohibition of analogy): The penal analogy bans, for the protection of the perpetrator, the transferance of one legislation to another unlegislated situation, in order to justify the punishability of the perpetrator. On the contrary, the use of an analogy in favour of the perpetrator is permitted.

"Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege praevia" (prohibition against ex post facto laws): It is forbidden to impose ex post facto sanctions for a crime, or to introduce a more severe sanction or to intensify/tighten the sanctions. Punishability and punishment must have been legislated beforehand.

"Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege certa" (prohibition of unclear terms in criminal statutes): The elements of a crime and respective penalty must be defined exactly. Only sufficiently specified sanctions can instruct the judge precisely in which particular behaviour is punishable and how.

The history of the Principle of Legality goes back to Roman law where the prohibition of retroactive punishment existed. For a long time, however, the use of customary law was normal (see Art. 105 of the Peinliche Gerichtsordnung Karls V. of 1532, so-called Carolina), which led to a certain arbitrariness and legal insecurity. During the Englightenment more precise laws were formulated and the Legality Principle was incorporated, for example, in the Austrian penal code of Joseph II. (the so-called Josephina 1787) and the the Bavarian Penal Code of 1813. The latter was drafted by Paul Johann Anselm Ritter von Feuerbach who established the basic principle found in the Latin legal rule "nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege".

This is the basic principle after which this site is named. For information on other legal systems click the survey on the pages of the University of Ottawa.


This Page:



This Page:

Site design

Any Browser This website has not been "optimised" for any particular browser or resolution. It should be -- I hope -- compatible not only with older versions of Netscape and Opera but also with Mosaic or Lynx and even with DOS-Browsers such as Arachne. Of course, it won't look exactly the same everywhere (the frames around the texts sometimes look very different). But that really would have involved an enormous input.

The fun-surfer probably will not land on a lawyer's site. But the surfer seeking something specific can certainly manage without pictures and the like. Frames? These are also unnecessary. Apparently there are people who, on principle, still only use text-browsers ... In any case, clarity and a short loading time take priority over "design".

HTML 4.01 Who needs Flash and Buttons, only to enter a site? The Internet should also be accessible for equipment which is not state-of-the-art, such as the 28.8 KB-Modem in Nepal, even if no-one there is looking for a lawyer in Germany. In addition, minimalistic Sites are great fun (e.g. timepiece). This Site is flexible: Suggestions, tips, criticism and such like are always welcome.


What we once were hoping for from Cyberspace ...

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

Governments of the Industrial World ... On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

... I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.

... We did not invite you. ... Cyberspace does not lie within your borders. Do not think that you can build it, as though it were a public construction project. You cannot. It is an act of nature and it grows itself through our collective actions.

You have not engaged in our great and gathering conversation, nor did you create the wealth of our marketplaces. You do not know our culture, our ethics, or the unwritten codes that already provide our society more order than could be obtained by any of your impositions. ...

We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.

We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.

Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are based on matter, There is no matter here. ...

We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.

John Barlow: Declaration of Independence,
Davos, Switzerland, February 8, 1996

Another illusion

Scintillating grid

This is -- for all intents and purposes -- a graphic demonstration of a recent American presidential election. Black points for Bush, white for Gore. Just in case, perhaps there should be a recount.

More from the Fachhochschule Aalen


This Page:

Security information:
You are welcome to contact the Chambers by Email. But it must be understood that email is as secure and confidential as a postcard written in pencil. Still who knows: since September 11th, 2001 it is possible that a certain firm and other "services" have so many encrypted mails to decipher that they don't have any time for the unencrypted ...

I cannot accept any liability for the content of linked pages. When I tested the links they worked, and the pages were not offensive.

Details according to § 6 Teledienstegesetz:
Something really helpful: Since January 1, 2002, German lawyers have to state on their sites:

The local bar, together with its address: Rechtsanwaltskammer Karlsruhe, Reinhold-Frank-Strasse 72, D-76133 Karlsruhe. Ok?

The job title of a Rechtsanwalt (lawyer): It is "Rechtsanwalt". You would not have guessed that, would you? Because there are also Rechtsanwaelte in other German speaking countries, the law wishes me to clarify that I am a Rechtsanwalt in my own country: the "Bundesrepublik Deutschland".

The applicable rules of professional conduct: the Bundesrechtsanwaltsordnung, the Berufsordnung, the Fachanwaltsordnung, the Gebuehrenordnung, and, for the field of international work the rules for lawyers in the European Community.


Navigation here is completely incomprehensible? Crawl-it searches the complete site.
Michael Rosenthal, Rechtsanwalt
Bismarckstrasse 61
76133 Karlsruhe
Phone +49 721 8697929
Fax +49 721 8697919
email anwalt@nullapoena.de
August 2002