Merseburg District Court

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Occasionally I also work outside of the office, for example today at a hearing at the local court in Merseburg. Merseburg is a city with around 34.000 inhabitants, which is about 20% the size of Berlin-Neukölln, near Halle and Weißenfels in Saxony-Anhalt, 200 km south of Berlin. It takes two to two and a half hours on the A9, then something through city traffic, turn into Geusaer Straße and then, at the "Platz der Bausoldaten", you reach the court. A little conspicuous building from the outside. that would be overlooked would not appear in large letters across the entire AMTSGERICHT facade. Otherwise it could also be a school, it is even right next to a sports field:


At the entrance there is the usual security gate, which at least saves us lawyers from searching bags for weapons etc. Then an innovation: there is a corona list. Every visitor to the building must register in order to ensure traceability. The judge had kindly set the date to midday, perhaps so that I wouldn't have to leave Berlin for my lawyer at home at night. In any case, it was hardly busy and went quickly at the entrance.

Then the path towards the boardroom:


The Berlin lawyer notices that the appointment notices are shown on the displays next to the doors, even in color. Things are different with the Berlin courts: clipboard with printout, subsequent changes by hand. The Berlin model has advantages if the computers are infected by viruses or hacked. In addition, monitors age and must be replaced every few years, especially if they are in continuous operation like this. The question arises as to what is more environmentally friendly. Such a display is always convenient for court administration and modern. As a Berliner, you are a bit impressed that this is practically the case here in the country, but not in the German capital.

In the hall then the usual current distance rules, with the public:


as well as towards the judge bench:


We are a little more old-fashioned in this regard too: we all wear masks. I have never been able to witness a witness with a mask, but it is strange even without witnesses that everyone involved talks through masks.

At the Merseburg AG, the judge's table is separated from the hall by a plexiglass pane. There is also a plexiglass pane between the judge in the middle and the clerk - on the right. The lawyers sit 3 to 4 m apart, the windows are open - so everyone involved is spared the mask and you can negotiate with one another as usual.

It's good when you come out of your familiar surroundings every now and then and see which solutions others use to shape their everyday lives.