Bundesjustizministerium und der Werdenfelser Weg

Statement of the German Federal Government regarding the three concluding observations made in paragraph 20, which were adopted in the framework of the presentation of the sixth periodic report of Germany (CCPR/C/DEU/6) by the Human Rights Committee on 30 and 31 October 2012 (2944th and 2945th meetings).

Berlin, 21 October 2013

In its response to the List of Issues, the Federal Government already pointed out several such measures, including the “ReduFix” projects and the “Werdenfelser Weg”. In the following, a range of measures carried out at the federal and Land level will be given as examples: “Werdenfelser Weg“ The so-called “Werdenfelser Weg” is a procedural approach developed by GarmischPartenkirchen Local Court and the adult guardianship division at the district commissioner’s office in Garmisch-Partenkirchen which is available within the applicable legal framework for adult guardianship and procedure, and is aimed at avoiding the use of physical restraints and measures involving deprivation of liberty. The main objective of the “Werdenfelser Weg” is to ensure that care-based alternatives to physical restraint measures are thoroughly examined and discussed with all persons involved in the framework of judicial proceedings. 7 In order to achieve this, courts no longer appoint an attorney as guardian ad litem for the individual concerned (as was the case before). Instead, a person is appointed who has specific experience in the field of caregiving (courts form a pool of possible guardians ad litem made up of care professionals who have received legal training). The guardian ad litem then discusses the case with the care home, the person concerned and this person’s relatives, and identifies suitable care-based alternatives. This often leads to the application for approval of measures involving deprivation of liberty being withdrawn. If this does not happen, the court makes a decision. If, in the court’s view, there is an adequate alternative, the requested approval is not granted. Similar projects now exist not only in Bavaria, but also in other Länder. On 1 August 2012, Hamburg, for instance, launched the project “Werdenfelser Weg in Hamburg, Care Without Restraint” (Werdenfelser Weg in Hamburg, Pflege ohne Zwang). With the first year of the project complete, the first group of specialised guardians ad litem are now available in Hamburg, and their services are being used by the adult guardianship courts. Moreover, care homes and care service providers have participated in specialised training courses which have led to a critical examination of measures involving deprivation of liberty at the institutions concerned, and a desire to do without such measures as far as possible in future.

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