Legal status of the Büsingen am Hochrhein enclave
Languages of publication
The paper provides an analysis of the legal status of the German enclave of Büsingen am Hochrhein lying in the territory of Switzerland. The study presents information relating to both the situation and history of the enclave, but primarily it examines the status of the enclave created as a result of the 1964 Treaty signed between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Swiss Confederacy on incorporating the town of Büsingen am Hochrhein into the Swiss customs territory. The enclave in question is an extremely interesting example of a territory which politically belongs to one country, but whose economic relations, including its customs territory, tie it with another country. Article 2 of the above mentioned Treaty includes a long list of matters – beyond the customs law itself – which are regulated in Büsingen am Hochrhein in accordance with the Swiss law – the same law which is applicable in the Schaffhausen canton (Article 2 paragraph 2 of the Treaty). These are numerous matters that have been precisely enumerated, including agricultural law, healthcare, civil defence, tax law, trade of non-ferrous and noble metals, and the production of watches. In addition, the Treaty comprises provisions concerning the applicability of Swiss law with respect to liability for selected criminal offences (Article 14, 24, and 25). The powers of law enforcement authorities and the judiciary have also been extensively regulated (Article 15). The comprehensive treaty-based regulation of Büsingen am Hochrhein shows that it is possible to enact a relevant law governing the status of an enclave, including even such sensitive matters as criminal law and criminal procedure.
Publication order reference