National Implementation of IHL
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Tadic case, Federal Court of Justice, 13 February 1994

In the present case, the investigating judge of the Federal Supreme Court had to decide on the transfer of the accused, a Bosnian Serb arrested in Germany and suspected of having committed, in June 1992 on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, acts amounting to the crime of genocide.

The judge examined the jurisdiction of the German courts and based his decision on Art. 6, No. 1 of the German Penal Code. This provision allows German courts to prosecute persons accused of genocide on the basis of the principle of universal jurisdiction. Over and above the clarity of this provision, the judge added two requirements: 1) no rule of international law prohibits such a prosecution; 2) a sufficient link exists with Germany. This latter requirement (in a way very much linked to the first one) is justified by the necessity to ensure that the principle of non-intervention in other States' domestic affairs is not infringed. In the present case, the link was mainly established through the fact that D. Tadic had lived on German territory for several months and was arrested there. But the judge also added that the alleged acts were very much connected with other serious offences the prosecution of which is compulsory according to international treaty law. Also contributing to the establishment of the needed link was the fact that the international community, including Germany, strongly reacted to the events that occurred on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, adopting political, military and humanitarian measures.

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