Public Prosecutor v JMH

Date05 Marzo 1975
CourtMilitary Court (Netherlands)
The Netherlands, Supreme Military Court.
Public Prosecutor
and
J.M.H.

Jurisdiction In general Personal Over nationals in respect of crimes committed abroad Whether provisions of Dutch Firearms Act apply to offences committed by nationals abroad Dutch servicemen Code of Military Criminal Law Whether any requirement that offences be punishable under law of the country where they are committed The law of the Netherlands

Summary: The facts:A Dutch serviceman was convicted by a military court of possessing a firearm in the Federal Republic of Germany, contrary to Article 3 of the Dutch Firearms Act. He appealed to the Supreme Military Court on the grounds that the Act was not applicable in the Federal Republic and that the alleged act was not unlawful under equivalent German legislation.

Held:The appeal was dismissed.

(1) The Dutch Firearms Act had extraterritorial effect.

(2) Article 4 of the Code of Military Criminal Law declared that Dutch penal law (in the widest sense) was applicable to servicemen who had committed an offence outside the Netherlands, even if the offence was not punishable under the laws of the country where it had been committed or was not otherwise punishable.

The following is the summary of the judgment contained in 7 Netherlands Yearbook of International Law (1976) at p. 340:

M, a member of the Dutch Armed Forces, was found guilty by the Army Mobile Court Martial Abroad, sitting at Seedorf, West Germany, of possessing a...

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