Recidivist (Tribunal of Saar Territory) Case

CourtCourt of Appeal of Frankfurt (Germany)
Docket NumberCase No. 16
German Federal Republic, Court of Appeal of Frankfurt.
Case No. 16
Recidivist (Tribunal of Saar Territory) Case.

States — Continuity of — Status of Saar Territory — Conviction for Criminal Offence before a Court of the Saar Territory — Whether such Court is a German Court or a Foreign Court within the Meaning of German Criminal Law.

The Facts.—Section 264 (1) of the German Penal Code provides that where a person has twice previously been convicted “in Germany” (“im Inland”) of the offence of obtaining money by false pretences, he shall be liable to punishment as a recidivist. The appellant had been previously convicted of an offence of this nature by a court exercising jurisdiction in Germany, and he was again so convicted on October 13, 1949, by a court exercising jurisdiction in the Territory of the Saar. On his being charged with two further such offences before a German court, the prosecution contended that he was liable to punishment as a recidivist, the second conviction, though obtained before a court of the Territory of the Saar, being in law a conviction obtained “in Germany”, as provided in section 264 (1) of the German Penal Code. On behalf of the appellant it was contended that the second conviction was not a conviction obtained “in Germany”, the Territory of the Saar no longer being German territory on the date of conviction.

Held: that the Territory of the Saar still formed part of Germany and that the second conviction had therefore been obtained “in Germany”, with the result that the appellant must be punished as a recidivist. The Court said:

“The courts of the Saar Territory are German authorities, notwithstanding that some of the courts and government departments of the Saar are staffed by civil servants who are of French nationality. The Territory of the Saar still forms part of the territory of the Reich. The territorial limits of the German Reich are laid down in the Declaration of the Occupying Powers of June 6, 1945, and in accordance with this Declaration Germany is deemed to be the territory situate within the German frontiers as existing on December 31, 1937. The instructions issued on November...

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