Re Henderson

CourtWestern Provincial Court (Denmark)
Date22 March 1955
Denmark, Western Provincial Court.
In re Henderson.

Diplomatic Immunities — Miscellaneous — Diplomatic Status according to Special Agreement — Mutual Defence Assistance Agreement — Statement of Ministry for Foreign Affairs — Binding Force of — The Law of Denmark.

The Facts.—The accused, an American citizen, was employed as a radar engineer by a private American company. He also worked for the Danish Air Force in Aalborg. By a decision of the lower Court in Aalborg of October 1, 1954, he was found guilty of driving a motor-car while under the influence of drink, and sentenced to 20 days' detention. During the hearing he stated that he did not enjoy diplomatic immunity.

In a letter dated November 26, 1954, the Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs requested the Public Prosecutor to appeal against the decision of the lower Court on the ground that the accused, in view of his status in Denmark, enjoyed immunity from criminal jurisdiction. In the letter it was stated that he belonged to the group of persons mentioned in the “Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement between Denmark and the United States of America” of January 27, 1950 (Annex b, section c) who “will receive the same status as the clerical personnel of the Diplomatic Mission”.1

Held: that “according to the circumstances in the case the decision of the Court must be based on the declaration of the Foreign Office regarding the status of the accused” and the decision of the lower Court must therefore be rescinded.

1 That annex provided as follows:

“In recognition of the fact that personnel who are nationals of one country...

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