Re P (Upper Silesia)

CourtObsolete Court (Germany)
Date26 a 1923
Docket NumberCase No. 47
Germany, Reichsgericht in Criminal Matters.
Case No. 47
In re P. (Upper Silesia).

Territories under Plebiscite — Status of — Position of Officials — The Inter-Allied Plebiscite Commission in Upper Silesia.

The Facts.—This was a prosecution by virtue of Articles 48,1 3322 and 3333 of the German Criminal Code. The accused were charged with offering bribes to certain members of the Upper Silesian police force.

The appellants maintained that the provisions of the Criminal Code in question did not apply, seeing that the policemen were not officials in the meaning of the law. It was contended that they were not in the service either of Germany or Prussia, but merely employees of the Inter-Allied Commission in Upper Silesia. At the time of the offence, in December, 1920, Upper Silesia was by virtue of Article 88 of the Treaty of Versailles occupied by Allied and Associated troops and placed under an international commission for the purpose of carrying out the plebiscite as provided for in the Treaty. The Commission was empowered to exercise the functions of the German and Prussian Government with the exception of legislation and taxation.

Held: That the conviction must stand. It followed from the provisions of the Treaty that during the occupation Upper Silesia formed part of German territory and was subject to German laws. The International Commission had merely the powers of administration. It was true that the Upper Silesian police was dissolved by a decree of the Commission of August, 1920. However, by another decree issued on the same day a new police force, called the Upper Silesian Police, was set up. The same decree laid down that the function of the new police would be to secure public order...

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