|The Collini Case
|4th July 2013
|Ferdinand von Sabruch
|Special features (maps, etc.)
Firstly I must note my self-interest in legal stories, and ‘The Collini Case’ delivers for me in every way. whether it be in book form, TV, radio or movie.
I remember watching Perry Mason, The Defenders, and lately (ITV Series taken from USA). But also The Client by ….. Grisham which I read as a book and then watched as a movie and TV series.
I am also an ardent fan of police/detective procedural, having read the Moonstone when I was 8 years old, all of Sherlock Holmes, and most of John Buchan’s books; never mind the various police TV series over the years.
Yes I love the law, but I am not a lawyer/solicitor/or policeman!
So when I picked up this book, ‘The Collini Case’ second hand in a charity shop for £0.50, it was firstly because it was about the law, more specifically the law in Germany; and that it was about the second World War, the Nazi and economic regime over that period, and the fall out after the war, and it was about people.
The people are easily defined:
- the lawyer
- the murderer
- the murdered person
- the love interest
- The mentor (?)
The law in this case is that of the law in Germany following reunification of West and East Germany. The German legal system is that of civil law which is founded on the principles laid out by the ‘Basic Law for the Federal Map of Germany, … but many of the most important laws were developed prior to the 1949 constitution. It is comprised of ‘public law’ which regulates the relationship between a citizen/person and the state… This area of law has also been subject to a wide array of influence from Roman Law to Napoleonic law.
I have already mentioned the main characters in general terms, the story is relatively simple; ‘a man walks into a hotel and kills another man. The murderer is a well-respected Mercedes-Benz worker, Fabrizio Collini – a man of unblemished record, and with no apparent reason for committing the murder. He doesn’t run away but refuses to defend himself to the police. His lawyer, assigned by the court, gets nowhere with him, and even though he is almost concerned with ‘just’ doing his job, he follows his legal nose, discovers his client’s past and therefore his reason for the murder and then he has to put together a mechanism for the prosecution to introduce the evidence so that he has the right of rebuttal.
Apart from the initial murder, there is no further ‘American’ style action. It is a story about thinking, about research and also about the good, old-fashioned dogged investigation.
The sting in the tale is the impact that this story had on the German legal system and the German government after its publication. The outcry over ‘war criminals’ escaping justice led to the German government reviewing its legal system.
- Amazon: The Collini Case
- Cineuropa trailer: