Rhineland (German Legislation) Case

CourtRegional Administrative Court (Germany)
Docket NumberCase No. 80
Administrative Tribunal of Bavaria (Bayerischer Verwaltungsgerichtshof).
Case No. 80
Rhineland (German Legislation) Case.

Occupation of Foreign Territory in Time of Peace — Operation of the Laws of the Sovereign Power — Occupation of the Rhineland by the Allied Powers — Binding Force of German Laws.

The Facts.—In January, 1920, the Inter-Allied Rhineland Commission issued an ordinance in which it was laid down that any new German legislation must, before being put into operation in the occupied territory, be submitted to the Commission for examination.

In the present case the Bavarian Administrative Court had to decide what effect, so far as Bavaria was concerned, this ordinance had on the legal validity of Bavarian laws, and whether the latter required approval on the part of the Commission before entering into force in the occupied territory. The case arose out of a dispute between a municipality in the occupied Palatinate of Bavaria and a private firm concerning certain matters of taxation governed by a recently issued Bavarian Decree.

Held: That the Bavarian Decree was valid and did not require the previous approval of the Rhineland Commission. It was clear from Articles 42–44 of the Treaty of Versailles and from Articles 1 and 5 of the Rhineland Agreement of 28 June, 1919, that the occupied territories constitute, from the constitutional and international law point of view, part of German territory. The occupation by the Allied Powers, although of a military character, is nevertheless a contractual one, and the question before the Court must therefore be answered solely by reference to the relevant treaties. These...

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