Perkons v Mezdrejs

Date22 September 1922
Docket NumberCase No. 341
CourtSenate (Latvia)
Latvia, Senate.
Case No. 341

Law of War — Enemy Occupation — Act of Occupying Authority — Confiscation quoad usum.

The Facts.—A farm belonging to the plaintiff was confiscated quoad usum during the war by the German occupation authorities as a punitive measure, the body of a murdered German soldier having been found on the premises. The occupation authorities subsequently leased the farm to a third person, during whose lease a foal was born out of a mare belonging to the farm live-stock. The foal, being in accordance with local law the property of the lessee, was sold by him to the defendant. The plaintiff claimed restitution of the foal on the ground that the confiscation of the farm was illegal. On the rejection of his claim by the Court of First Instance, the plaintiff appealed to the Senate.

Held by the Senate: That the decision must be affirmed. The measure taken was provoked by the hostile attitude of the local population towards the German occupation authorities. Such measures were to be considered as “nécessité de guerre,”which may be contrary to “Kriegsmanier.” The general rules as to the competence of administrative bodies in time of peace, or the principle of criminal law that an individual is responsible only for himself, have no application in these cases. “All these principles, true though they are, are inapplicable in time of war and especially in relations...

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