Re Dessing

Date26 May 1961
CourtCity Court (Denmark)
Denmark, Court of Frederiksberg.
In re Dessing.

Jurisdiction — On the high seas — Enforcement of municipal laws — Criminal jurisdiction — Effect of offence on interests of State — Broadcasting from outside territorial waters — The law of Denmark.

The Facts.—The accused, a dentist, was charged with violating “a statutory provision against advertising by having recommended his services through broadcast advertisements in ‘Radio Merkur’, operating outside Danish territorial waters in the Öresund. He argued in his defence that this act did not come within Danish jurisdiction, since the broadcasting took place from a foreign ship outside Danish territory.”1 It was contended for the prosecution that Article 8, section 1, of the Danish Penal Code of 1930 should apply to the case. This provides:

“Under Danish criminal jurisdiction shall also come acts committed outside the territory of the Danish State, irrespective of the nationality or domicile of the perpetrator,

“(i) where the act violates the independence, safety, Constitution or public authorities of the Danish State, the duties of an official to the State or such interests the legal protection of which depends on a personal connection with the Danish State; or

“(ii) where the act violates an obligation which the perpetrator is required by law to observe abroad or prejudices the performance of an official duty incumbent on him regarding a Danish ship or aeroplane; or

“(iii) where an act committed outside the territory recognised by international law as belonging to any State violates a Danish national or a person residing within the...

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