Re Larwin's Claim

Date26 Mayo 1955
CourtAdministrative Court (Austria)
Austria, Administrative Court.
Re Larwin's Claim.

Dependent Territories — Protectorate sui generis — Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia — Status vis-à-vis German Reich — Whether Territory “Occupied” by Reich.

State Territory — Occupation of Foreign Territory in Time of Peace — Subsequent Establishment of Protectorate by Occupying State — Status of Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia vis-à-vis the German Reich.

The Facts.—The applicants were the heirs and dependants of one L., deceased, who had sustained personal injuries as the result of an accident which occurred in 1942, while the deceased, a police officer in the Austrian police force, was inspecting air raid shelters and similar installations in the performance of his duties in the Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia which had been established by the German Reich before the outbreak of the Second World War. In claiming compensation in respect of the injuries sustained by the deceased, the applicants relied on an Austrian Law which, by reference to a German Law of June 25, 1943, provided that police officers were entitled to compensation for injuries sustained while performing duties for the protection of installations owned by the German Reich in “occupied territories”. On behalf of the applicants it was contended that the Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia, notwithstanding that it had been regarded as part of the so-called Greater German Reich, had been occupied by the Reich by means of an act of war and had therefore become “occupied territory” within the meaning of the Law here referred to, and that they were accordingly entitled to compensation.

Held: that the claim must be dismissed, (i) The term “occupied territory” was confined to most, though by no means all, of the territories occupied by the German Reich after the outbreak of war on September 1, 1939; and (ii) territory, such as Bohemia-Moravia, which was made a German Protectorate before the outbreak of war was not “occupied territory”, and the applicants' claim to compensation must accordingly be dismissed.

The Court said: “A correct legal determination of this case cannot leave out of account the question whether L. was detailed for duties in connection with the protection of occupied territories, and whether the former Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia was ‘occupied territory’ within the meaning of the Law here referred to. The applicants contended that, although at the time when the ‘Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia’ was...

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