Rhineland Ordinances Case

Docket NumberCase No. 7
Date07 Diciembre 1926
CourtObsolete Court (Germany)
Fourth Senate of the German Reichsfinanzhof.
Case No. 7
Rhineland Ordinances Case.

Territories under Joint or International Government — The Rhineland Commission — Binding Force of the Decrees of the Rhineland Commission.

Occupation of Foreign Territory in Time of Peace — Legislative Function of the Occupying Authorities.

Necessity of Municipal Legislation — The Rhineland Agreement as Part of German Municipal Law — Doctrine of Transformation.

International Law — Relation to Municipal Law — The Doctrine of Transformation — Decrees of the Occupant in Time of Peace — The Rhineland Agreement of 1919 — Validity of German Law.

The Facts.—According to Article 3 (a) of the Rhineland Agreement of 28 June, 1919 (British Treaty Series, No. 7 (1919)), the Inter-Allied Rhineland High Commission was given “power to issue ordinances so far as may be necessary for securing the maintenance, safety and requirements of the Allied and Associated forces.” It was provided that such ordinances, when duly published, should have the force of law, and should be recognised as such by all the Allied and Associated military authorities and by the German civil authorities. It was laid down in Articles 7 and 8 of Ordinance No. 1 (relating to the legislative power belonging to the Commission) that the German laws and decrees intended to operate in the occupied territories should not come into force before having been submitted to the Rhineland Commission, and before ten days had elapsed after their registration with the Commission. Germany protested against that Ordinance, but the Commissioner of the Reich submitted regularly for registration the laws and decrees relating exclusively or in part to occupied territories.

In the present case, the appellant, the owner of a tile factory in the Cologne district, omitted to pay the Coal Tax in respect of the period between 1 August, 1923, and 14 October, 1923, in which that district was occupied by the Allied troops. In July, 1925, the appellant was sued by the tax authorities for recovery of the amount of Coal Tax alleged to be due.

It was now asserted on behalf of the appellant that the German Coal Tax Law of 26 March, 1923, which had not...

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