Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Speaking of SOFAs, here's a German Supplemental Agreement question

I understand that in 1993, the parties to the German Supplemental Agreement to the NATO SOFA negotiated an amendment that included the following Article 18A:

1. The authorities of a sending State shall notify the competent German authorities without delay in the event that they decide, in exercising jurisdiction under Article VII of the NATO Status of Forces Agreement, to undertake a prosecution which may lead to the imposition of the death penalty.

2. Taking into consideration the provisions of German law, the authorities of a sending State shall not carry out a death penalty in the Federal Republic nor carry through a prosecution which may lead to the imposition of such a sentence in the Federal Republic.
Does anyone know whether this provision was actually ratified? If so, does it still remain in effect? (This may be an instance where CAAFlog's navalcentric nature may be a drawback -- very few Devil Dog or Squid lawyers will be familiar with Germany's SOFA provisions.)

1 comment:

Dew_Process said...

Hmmm - that was in response to a specific case at CAAF where the Germans "released" jurisdiction on a homicide on the condition that it not be capital... the Army then transferred the Soldier back to CONUS and referred it as capital.

Austria & Switzerland have express exclusions:


It's a complex question because Art. 18A requires the "requesting State" [U.S.] to give notice if we decide "to undertake a prosecution which may lead to the imposition of the death penalty."

Germany, based both upon its own Constitution and as part of the EU Charter of Human Rights [based upon a case from the Netherlands where a US GI was charged with Murder and the Court said it would be a violation for Netherland to release the GI without assurances that the US would not proceed as a capital case (we did)] will not release jurisdiction without such US assurances.

Here's the NATO Supplemental Agreement:


It was ratified in late 1993, and here's a good article on it in the Army Lawyer, at 14 - the death penalty issue is discussed at page 23:


The Supplementary Agreement appears to remain in force as far as I can tell.

Sorry, maybe the Blogmasters can activate the links to make it easier for folks....DP