Invasion of the Ruhr District Case

CourtObsolete Court (Germany)
Docket NumberCase No. 49
Germany, Reichsgericht in Criminal Matters.
Case No. 49
Invasion of the Ruhr District Case.

Military Occupation of Foreign Territory in Time of Peace — Occupation of Ruhr District — Question of Legality of Occupation — Status of Illegally Occupied Territory — Effect of Non-Recognition of Illegal Invasion upon Jurisdiction of Courts — Liquidation of Invasion by Treaty — Whether Amounting to Recognition of Legality of Invasion.

The Facts are not reported, but it appears that the question at issue was whether the judgments in criminal matters given by the French courts established in the occupied Ruhr District2 could be recognised by German courts.

Held: that the judgment of the Court below according to which the decision of the French War Council of 2 August, 1923, condemning a German subject for an alleged crime in the occupied Ruhr District is to be disregarded, must stand. The criminal act was committed in the so-called invaded territory where there could be no question whatever of German courts having to recognise the jurisdiction of foreign courts. There was no substance in the contention that “the invasion was subsequently recognised by the Government of the Reich.” Such recognition could not be deduced from the subsequent laws and decrees. The liquidation by means of an international treaty of the factual situation brought about by the invasion of the Ruhr by no means implied a recognition of its legality. The criminal act was committed in German territory and since the separate provisions of the Agreement concerning

the Rhineland had no validity for the invaded territory, the right to punish crimes belonged exclusively to the German jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of the invading Powers was arrogated in contravention of international law and could not, for this reason, affect the jurisdiction of German courts.1

2 On 26 December, 1922, the Reparation Commission gave notice to the interested Powers that Germany had defaulted in the performance of the obligation to deliver a specified quantity of timber and coal according to the plan set up by the Commission. On 10 January, 1923, the French Government informed the German Ambassador in Paris that on account of the...

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