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Acta Historica Tallinnensia

ISSN 1736-7476 (electronic)  ISSN 1406-2925 (print) 

Published since 1997

Acta Historica Tallinnensia

ISSN 1736-7476 (electronic)  ISSN 1406-2925 (print) 

Published since 1997
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COURTS IN THE MEMEL TERRITORY; pp. 19–36

(Full article in PDF format) https://doi.org/10.3176/hist.2019.1.02


Authors

Ieva DEVIATNIKOVAITĖ

Abstract

The Memel Territory has exceptional history. It was the territory where the Baltic tribes lived. From the 13th century this territory gradually became a part of Prussia. After the First World War, according to the agreement between the British Empire, France, Italy, Japan and Lithuania, the sovereign rights to the Territory were transferred to the State of Lithuania. This action triggered a variety of issues. Disagreements arose in the area of justice.
The article analyses the legal regulation of the organization of the judiciary of the Memel Territory from 1877 when the Law on the Courts Organization of the German Reich was adopted to 1939 when the Territory was occupied by Nazi Germany, and discusses the systems of both the general and specialized courts of the Territory.
The main aim of the article is to fully identify the system of the courts of the Memel Territory.

The article focuses mainly on the documents found in the Lithuanian Central State Archives (hereinafter – LCSA) and Gazette of the Memel Territory Government where the laws of the Chamber of Representatives of the Territory, the orders of the President of the Directorate, and the announcements of the territorial courts were published.



References

1.     Gerichtsverfassungsgesetz für das Deutsche Reich. Previously , the General Court Rules were in force (Allgemeine Gerichtsordnung für die Preußischen Staaten).

2.     Die Zivilprozeßordnung für das Deutsche Reich vom 30. Januar 1877.

3.     Die Strafprozessordnung für das Deutsche Reich vom 1. Februar 1877.

4.     Konkursordnung vom 10. Februar 1877.

5.     Convention between the British Empire , France , Italy , Japan and Lithuania respecting the Memel Territory and the Statute of the Memel Territory , signed at Paris , May 8th , 1924. – Gazette of Government of Lithuania , 1 September , 1924 , No. 169.

6.     Ausführungsgesetz zum Gerichtsverfassungsgesetz vom 24. April 1878.

7.     Robinzonas , J. Klaipėdos krašto konvencijos komentaras , I tomas. Spaudos fondas , Kaunas , 1934 , 590.

8.     Writ of the Directorate of the Memel Territory of 14th of February , 1930. Lithuanian State Central Archives (LCSA). F. 383 , inventory 7 , c. 755 , p. 81.

9.     Order of the Supreme Lithuanian Authorized Officer Budrys and Directorate officers of the Memel Territory Gailius and Borchert of 29 February , 1924 concerning jurisdiction of the courts. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 13 March , 1924 , No. 22.

10. Order of the Directorate of the Memel Territory of 1st of April , to facilitate the process in criminal proceedings. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 15 April , 1924 , No. 33.

11. Order of the Supreme Lithuanian Authorized Officer Budrys and Directorate officers of the Memel Territory Gailius and Borchert of 23 May , 1924 on jurisdiction in free matters. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 28 May , 1924 , No. 47.

12. Order of the Supreme Lithuanian Authorized Officer Budrys and Directorate officers of the Memel Territory Gailius and Borchert of 23 May , 1924 on the establishment of judicial secretariats and legal costs. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 28 May , 1924 , No. 47.

13. Order of the Supreme Lithuanian Authorized Officer Budrys and Directorate officers of the Memel Territory Gailius and Borchert of 15 June , 1924 on the course of law in the punishment cases. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 24 June , 1924 , No. 54.

14. Law No. 82 of the Chamber of Representatives of the Memel Territory of 20th of July , 1936 on the procedure in criminal cases. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 20 July , 1936 , No. 82.

15. Executive provisions of the Directorate of the Memel Territory of 29 September , 1936 on the procedure in criminal cases. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 1 October , 1936 , No. 109.

16. Gesetz , betreffend den Erlaß polizeilicher Strafverfügungen wegen Übertretungen vom 23. April 1883.

17. Order of the Supreme Lithuanian Authorized Officer Budrys and Directorate officers of the Memel Territory Gailius and Borchert of 16 August , 1924 to facilitate the conduct of proceedings in criminal matters. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 11 September , No. 79.

18. Law No. 22 of 5 May , 1928 of the Chamber of Representatives of the Memel Territory on the amendment of the Order of 16 August , 1924 to facilitate the conduct of proceedings in criminal matters. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 11 June , 1928 , No. 53.

19. Law No. 65 of 24 September , 1931 of the Chamber of Representatives of the Memel Territory on the amendment of the Order of 16 August , 1924 to facilitate the conduct of proceedings in criminal matters. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 24 October , 1931 , No. 119.

20. Law No. 31 of 8 March , 1929 of the Chamber of Representatives of the Memel Territory on the amendment of criminal procedure. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 13 March , 1929 , No. 24.

21. Law No. 154 of 24 September , 1937 of the Chamber of Representatives of the Memel Territory on the amendment of Criminal Code. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 12 October , 1937 , No. 106.

22. Order No. A70 of Governor Odry of the Memel Territory of 25 May , 1920. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 9 June , 1920 , No. 34; Law No. 119 of 26 March , 1934 of the Chamber of Representatives of the Memel Territory on the amendment of Order No. A70. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 1 May , 1934 , No. 46.

23. Order of the Supreme Lithuanian Authorized Officer Budrys and Directorate officers of the Memel Territory Gailius and Borchert of 22 August , 1924 to facilitate the conduct of proceedings in civil matters. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 17 September , 1924 , No. 81.

24. Law No. 32 of 8 March , 1929 of the Chamber of Representatives of the Memel Territory on Civil Procedure. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 13 March , 1929 , No. 24.

25. Law No. 25 of 31 June , 1928 of the Chamber of Representatives of the Memel Territory on the assignment of judges’ duties on secretaries of the courts. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 9 August , 1928 , No. 72.

26. Regulations of 28 August , 1928 on implementation of the Law No. 25. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 12 September , 1928 , No. 83.

27. Regulations of 21 February , 1930 of the Directorate of the Memel Territory on Implementation of the Law No. 25. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 26 February , 1930 , No. 21.

28. Law No. 25 of 8 March , 1933 on Costs of Judicial Litigation. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 28 March , 1933 , No. 34; Rule of 11 April , 1934 of the Directorate of the Memel Territory on Article 171 of the Law on Costs of Judicial Litigation. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 25 April , 1934 , No. 43.

29. Announcement of 14 May , 1934 of the Directorate of the Memel Territory on the entities exempted from the stamp duty as legal costs. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government ,
18 May , 1934 , No. 53.

30. Law No. 133 of 16 June , 1936 of the Chamber of Representatives of the Memel Territory to replace Law No. 94 on the remuneration of meeting members , jurors , trustees. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 20 July , 1936 , No. 82; Law No. 94 of 8th of March , 1933 of the Chamber of Representatives of the Memel Territory to replace Order No. A652 on the remuneration of meeting members , jurors , trustees. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 23 March , 1933 , No. 32; Order No. A625 of 16 December , 1922 of the Chief Commissioner G. Pétisné on the remuneration of meeting members , jurors , trustees. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 21 December , 1922 , No. 147.

31. Preußisches Oberverwaltungsgericht.

32. Die zum Feld- und Forstpolizei-Gesetz vom 1. April 1880 erlassenen Polizeiordnungen.

33. Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb: Vom 7. Juni 1909. This Law was completed by following autonomous legal acts: Law No. 151 of 13 August , 1937 of the Chamber of Repre­sentatives of the Memel Territory on allocation of supplements. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 14 September , 1937 , No. 95; Regulations of 30 December , 1937 of the Directorate of the Memel Territory on Amendment of implementing rules on Law of 7 June , 1909 on Unfair Competition. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 31 December , 1937 , No. 139.

34. Verordnung vom 15. November 1899 , betreffend das Verwaltungszwangsverfahren wegen Beitreibung von Geldbeträgen: Law No. 160 of 30 December , 1937 of the Chamber of Repre­sentatives of the Memel Territory on the amendment of Order of 15th of November , 1899. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 3 February , 1938 , No. 11.

35. Order No. A112 of 7 August , 1920 of the Chief Commissioner Odry on Amendment of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1 February , 1877. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government ,
11 August , 1920 , No. 24.

36. Order of 24 November , 1934 of the Directorate of the Memel Territory due to the legal profession exams and preparation of servants to the higher service in the courts. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 30 November , 1934 , No. 133; Order of 29 November , 1934 of the President of the Directorate of the Memel Territory on the Composition of Legal Profession Exams Commission. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 30 November , 1934 , No. 133; Supplement of the order of 16 August , 1935 due to the Legal Profession Exams and preparation of servants to the higher service in the courts. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 16 August , 1935 , No. 83; Announcement of 12 February , 1936 of the President of the Directorate of the Memel Territory on the composition of the Legal Profession Exams Commission. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 14 February , 1936 , No. 17; Order of 26 February , 1935 of the Directorate of the Memel Territory on the amendment of the order due to the Legal Profession Exams and preparation of servants to the higher service in the courts. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 28 February , 1936 , No. 22.

37. See: Jahrbuch der deutschen Gerichtsverfassung (1880) , Berlin , 441–442.

38. Ibid. , 444.

39. Ibid.

40. Robinzonas , J. Klaipėdos krašto konvencijos komentaras , 519.

41. Order No. 77 of 3 March , 1920 of General D. Odry on the establishment of the Memel District Court. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 8 March , 1920 , No. 2.

42. Verordnung betreffend Neuregelung gerichtlicher Angelegenheiten. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 15 March , 1920 , No. 3.

43. Agreement No. 78 of 30 August , 1920 between Representative of Memel Odry and Repre­sentative of Danzig Reginald Tower on Temporary Senior Court to Danzig and Memel. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 7 September , 1920 , No. 35.

44. Order No. A186 of General Odry. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 18 September , 1920 , No. 40; Order No. A152 of General Odry. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 21 October , 1920 , No. 53.

45. Burkevičius , V. Klaipėdos Krašto Vyriausiasis Teismas 1920–1933 m. – Teisė , 1933 , 24 , 324.

46. Order No. A314 of 24 September , 1921 of the Chief Commissioner G. Pétisné on the establish­ment of the Senior Court in Memel. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 5 October , 1921 , No. 110; Order No. A399 of 30 January , 1922 of the Chief Commissioner G. Pétisné on the first day of operation of the Senior Court of Memel. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 3 February , 1922 , No. 15.

47. Burkevičius , V. Klaipėdos Krašto Vyriausiasis Teismas 1920–1933 m. , 324–325.

48. Order No. A661 of 22 December , 1922 of the Chief Commissioner G. Pétisné on facilitating in law matters. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 5 January , 1923 , No. 2.

49. Die Strafprozessordnung (1877).

50. Order of 1 April , 1924 of the Governmental authorized officer Budrys and Directorate of the Memel Territory officers Gailius and Trelchler on facilitating litigation in criminal proceedings. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 15 April , 1924 , No. 33; Implementing rules of 16 April , 1924 of the Memel Disrict Court chairman Scholz on the order of 8 April , 1924. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 29 April , 1924 , No. 37.

51. Gesetz , betreffend die Pflichten der Kaufleute bei Aufbewahrung fremder Werthpapiere vom
5. Juli 1896.

52. Resolution of 16 February , 1923 adopted by the Conference of Ambassadors on the Memel Territory. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 1 March , 1923 , No. 22.

53. Amendment of the Provisional Law on the Judiciary of Lithuania. – Gazette of the Government of Lithuania , 1924 , No. 151–1078.

54. Ruling of the Supreme Lithuanian Authorized Officer Budrys and Directorate officers of the Memel Territory Gailius and Borchert of 13 March. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 15 March , 1924 , No. 23.

55. Order of the Supreme Lithuanian Authorized Officer Budrys and Directorate officers of the Memel Territory Gailius and Borchert of 29 February , 1924 concerning jurisdiction of the courts. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 13 March , 1924 , No. 22.

56. See: Lawyers’ Calendars of 1927 to 1939.

57. Remeikis , V. Teismų santvarka Klaipėdos krašte (Organization of the Judiciary in the Memel Territory). – Policija , 1936 , 19 , 367.

58. Ibid. , 368.

59. Ibid. , 367–369 , 385–386; Vikeris , R. Klaipėdos krašto teismų veikimo ir organizaciniai trūkumai. – Teisė , 1934 , 27 , 262–263.

60. Robinzonas , J. Klaipėdos krašto konvencijos komentaras , 570.

61. Decision of 20 December , 1932 of the Directorate of the Memel Territory on the appointment of judges and their deputies in Commercial Court. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 21 December , 1932 , No. 153.

62. For example , Memel regional court made a decision on the person’s name Jakszas to write “Jakschies”. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 7 January , 1939 , No. 3.

63. Robinzonas , J. Klaipėdos krašto konvencijos komentaras , 570.

64. Memel District Court was run by Karl Scholz , dr. Hermann Riffart.

65. As directors served dr. Artur Fink , Michel Tolischus , Erwin Spach , Herbert Kork.

66. Vikeris , R. Klaipėdos krašto teismų veikimo ir organizaciniai trūkumai , 266.

67. For details on jurors see: Remeikis , V. Teismų santvarka Klaipėdos krašte (Organization of the Judiciary in the Memel Territory) , 385.

68. See: Vikeris , R. Klaipėdos krašto teismų veikimo ir organizaciniai trūkumai , 263.

69. Order of the Supreme Lithuanian Authorized Officer Budrys and Directorate officers of the Memel Territory Gailius and Borchert of 29 February , 1924 concerning jurisdiction of the courts. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 13 March , 1924 , No. 22.

70. The Merchant Court was established in 1904 in accordance with the German Law on Traders’ Courts and the local Statute of Memel City. See: The Local Statute of Memel City of 28 November , 1929 on the Merchant court in Memel. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 5 May , 1930 , No. 48.

71. The Court of Industry was established in accordance with the German Industrial Court Law , which continued to operate in accordance with the Local Statute of Memel City on the Industrial Court in Memel. See: The Local Statute of Memel City of 28 November , 1929 on the Industrial Court in Memel. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 1930 April 29 , No. 45.

72. Order No. A212 of 11 February , 1921 of General D. Odry on the establishment of Marine Office and the investigation of marine accidents. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 16 February , 1921 , No. 19.

73. Order No. A560 of 12 September , 1922 of the Chief Commissioner G. Pétisné on the establish­ment of Labour Dispute Court in the Territory. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 29 September , 1922 , No. 113.

74. Law No. 109 of 15 September , 1933 of Chamber of Representatives of the Memel Territory
on conciliation of dispute arising from lease. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government ,
18 September , 1933 , No. 104.

75. Order No. A314 of 5 July , 1922 of the Chief Commissioner G. Pétisné on the lawfulness of the Conciliation Bodies. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 10 July , 1922 , No. 78.

76. Some of these courts are mentioned by J. Robinzonas. See: Robinzonas , J. Klaipėdos krašto konvencijos komentaras , 571–572.

77. Gesetz über die Aufwertung von Hypotheken und anderen Ansprüchen (Aufwertungsgesetz) vom 16. Juli 1925.

78. See: Robinzonas , J. Klaipėdos krašto konvencijos komentaras , 571.

79. For example , Announcement of the Directorate of the Memel Territory on the members of Marine Office. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 31 May , 1934 , No. 59; 16 October , 1935 No. 111; 11 March , 1936 , No. 27; 29 January , 1937 , No. 12; 7 March , 1938 , No. 22 , etc.

80. Announcement of the Directorate of the Memel Territory of 27 January , 1933 on the appoint­ment of the chairman of the Trade and Industry Conciliation Council in Pogegen. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 6 February , 1933 , No. 14.

81. Announcements of the Directorate of the Memel Territory. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 15 August , 1935 , No. 82; 26 March , 1936 , No. 33; 3 May , 1937 , No. 47.

82. Announcements of the chairman of the Court of Arbitration F. Plümicke. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 18 February 1938 , No. 16; 2 March , 1938 , No. 20; 29 April , 1938 , No. 42.

83. Law No. 135 of 31 August , 1936 to supplement orders. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 7 September , 1936 , No. 100.

84. Announcement of the Directorate of the Memel Territory of 5 February , 1936. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 14 February , 1936 , No. 17.

85. Announcement of the chairman of the Court of Arbitration F. Plümicke. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 19 April 1938 , No. 38; Announcement of the chairman of the Court of Arbitration F. Plümicke of 28 July , 1937 on arrangement of salaries of carpenters’ business. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 27 July , 1937 , No. 77 , etc.

86. Announcement of the chairman of the Court of Arbitration F. Plümicke. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 25 June , 1938 , No. 62.

87. Announcements of the Directorate of the Memel Territory. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 6 February , 1936 , No. 14; 29 December , 1936 , No. 143; 11 January , 1938 , No. 3.

88. Order of 6 May , 1932 of the Directorate of the Memel Territory due to the composition of the Doctors’ Honorary Court. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 18 March , 1936 , No. 30.

89. Order of 21 September , 1920 of General D. Odry on the reorganization of the supreme power of the Territory. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 22 September , 1920 , No. 41.

90. Order of 21 September , 1920 of General D. Odry on the reorganization of the supreme power of the Territory. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 22 September , 1920 , No. 41.

91. Order No. A244 of 9 May , 1921 of the Chief Commissioner G. Pétisné. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 13 May , 1921 , No. 55; Order No. A311 of 22 September , 1921 of the Chief Commissioner G. Pétisné due to the composition of the administrative court. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 2 September , 1921 , No. 106; Order No. A409 of 13 February , 1922 of the Chief Commissioner G. Pétisné. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 17 February , 1922 , No. 21; Order No. A315 of 27 September , 1921 of the Chief Commissioner G. Pétisné. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 5 October , 1921 , No. 110. See: Robinzonas , J. Klaipėdos krašto konvencijos komentaras , 502–503.

92. Preußisches Oberverwaltungsgerichtsgesetz vom 3. Juli 1875.

93. A French equivalent of this institution would be Conseil d‘Etat. See: Order of 21 September , 1920 of General D. Odry on the reorganization of the supreme power of the Territory. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 22 September , 1920 , No. 41.

94. Order No. A311 of 22 September , 1921 of the Chief Commissioner G. Pétisné due to the com­position of the Administrative Court. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 2 September , 1921 , No. 106; Order No. A395 of 18 January , 1922 due to the composition of the Administrative Court. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 23 January , 1922 , No. 10.

95. Announcement of 7 January , 1931 of the Administrative Court of the Memel Territory. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 10 January , 1931 , No. 4.

96. Announcement of 5 September , 1931 of the Directorate of the Memel Territory. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 10 September , 1931 , No. 100.

97. Law on Organization of Territorial the Administrative Court. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 28 June , 1938 , No. 63.

98. Announcement of the chairman dr. Treichler of the Administrative Court of the Memel Territory of 3 September , 1938 on Composition of the Administrative Court of the Memel Territory. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 9 September , 1938 , No. 88.

99. One of the functions of territorial the Administrative Court was a power to annul the results of elections. For example , it happened on 19 December , 1931 when the Administrative Court of the Memel territory abolished the results of the elections to the regional Chamber of Representatives. See: Writ of 25 January , 1932 of the Governor of the Memel Territory to the President of the Directorate of the Memel Territory. LCSA. F. 383 , inventory 7 , c. 1236 , p. 13.

100.   Announcements of the Administrative Court of the Memel Territory. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 14 August , 1934 , No. 92; 13 April , 1935 , No. 36; 7 November , 1935 , No. 120; 4 May , 1936 , No. 48; 6 July , 1938 , No. 66; The Administrative Court of the Memel Territory on 7 May , 1937 granted the right to Pogegen marketplace of horses to keep cattle. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 14 May , 1937 , No. 51.

101.   Decisions of 22 May , 1935 and 20 June , 1936 of the Administrative Court of the Memel Territory. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 19 June , 1935 , No. 61; 3 July , 1936 , No. 77; Announce­ment of 8 June , 1937 of the Administrative Court of the Memel Territory. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 17 July , 1937 , No. 74.

102.   Decisions of 5 March , 1936 , 16 March , 1937 , 12 February , 1938 of the Administrative Court of the Memel Territory. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 6th of March , 1936 , No. 25; 18 March , 1937 , No. 30; 14 February , 1938 , No. 15.

103.  Announcement of the Directorate of the Memel Territory. – Gazette of the Memel Territory Government , 12 January , 1931 , No. 5.

 
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