Volunteer work Appointment as a schöffe Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

Schöffinnen are honorary judges in criminal proceedings. They contribute their life and professional experience to the decisions and can thus contribute to a life-like truth and justice. Schöffinnen and Schöffen do not need any special legal knowledge.

When reaching a verdict, the judges vote in full and with the same voting rights as the professional judges on the facts, the guilt of the accused and the sentence.

They are used in the district courts within the framework of the Schöffengericht and the extended Schöffengericht. In the regional courts they are active in the Small and Large Criminal Chambers.

Schöffinnen and Schöffen are elected for a term of office of five years.

There are no charges.


  • German citizenship
  • Empowerment to the German language
  • Completion of the age of 25
  • Age maximum 70 years of age at the beginning of the term of office
  • Residence in the district of the administrative authority responsible for drawing up the lists of proposals
  • Health suitability
  • Ability to hold a public office
  • No ongoing investigation
  • No judgment on a custodial sentence of more than 6 months for an intentional act
  • No professional pursuit in the professions
    • Professional judges
    • Prosecutors or prosecutors
    • Lawyers
    • Notaries
    • Police officers or police officers and pastors


Main judges shall be called on directly to the respective days of the court's sitting.

Auxiliary judges, on the other hand, are only used if the main judges are prevented from doing so for important reasons or at unscheduled meetings of the court.

The order of use of the auxiliary schools will be drawn at the beginning of the parliamentary term.

  • Weitere Informationen auf der Seite des Niedersächsischen Justizministeriums
  • Weitere Informationen zum Schöffenamt

Related Links

  • §§ 28 ff. Gerichtsverfassungsgesetz (GVG)

For the elections of the Schöffinnen and Schöffen, lists of proposals are drawn up by the representation of the municipalities or municipalities.

Candidates for the office may be nominated to the competent body. If fewer people are proposed than needed, the competent body proposes suitable candidates on its or her part.

The list of proposals is made by decision of the municipal or municipal council.

The lists of proposals shall be interpreted in public after the list has been drawn up for inspection. Anyone can appeal against the candidates within a period of one week on the grounds that certain candidates are not suitable for the office.

The lists of proposals and any objections will be sent to the local district court. There, the Electoral Committee meets, which includes, among other things, seven confidants elected by the local municipality. It is chaired by a judge at the district court. The Committee first decides on the objections and then selects from the list of proposals the necessary number of main and auxiliary committees.

At the end of each year, the order in which the principals attend the ordinary meetings of the following financial year shall be determined by the court by a draw.

The judges shall be sworn in at the beginning of their duties in a public session of the Court of First Instance. The oath or a corresponding vow can be made with or without a religious affirmation formula ("as true as God help me"). The swearing-in shall be valid for the entire duration of the parliamentary term.

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Lower Saxony Ministry of Justice

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