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Lag is the enforcement of sovereign law or sovereign tasks by persecuting a refugee beyond the border of the area in which the persecuting state is entitled to these rights. It usually takes place through police organs. Traditionally, the pursuit by sea, which today can also be done with aircraft, as well as the pursuit on land within federal states by the individual states are of importance . With the entry into force of the Schengen Agreement in 1995, pursuit by land is now also possible for almost the entire area of ​​Europe comprising the European Economic Area and Switzerland . The pursuit of air, however, is generally rejected.

Land route

The pursuit on land, which always directly affects the sovereignty rights of another state on its territory, is based exclusively on international treaty law and the administrative law of the federal states. So there are procedural rules and regulations for the pursuit by the executives of the federal states within Germany . a. in § 167 Courts Constitution Act (persecution of fugitives across national borders) and in various country agreements, such as u. a. the Prüm Treaty . In the case of pursuit on land, after the fugitive has been detained or arrested, there is usually an obligation to hand him over to the local authorities.

In the Holy Roman Empire , contractual agreements on pursuit on a larger scale first emerged in the 15th century; pursuit was regulated under imperial law in the imperial partings of 1555 and 1559.

Sea route

The pursuit by sea of ​​violations of the law in the territorial sea was recognized by customary international law at the end of the 19th century based on regulations on the fight against smuggling and was recorded and trained in the Convention on the High Seas in 1958 and, most recently, in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982 . Since then, it has also been possible to pursue legal violations in the area of ​​the connection zone , the exclusive economic zone or the continental shelf . The right of pursuit ends at the outer border of the territorial sea of ​​another state, i.e., unlike the right of pursuit on land, it does not extend into the territory of another state.

Schengen Agreement

On the basis of Article 18 c) of the 1985 Schengen Agreement permits Article 41 of the Schengen Convention in 1990, the pursuit of suspects on the territory continue another Schengen country without first obtaining the consent of that country.

In view of the abolition of border controls between the signatory states of the Schengen Agreement, the hot pursuit was introduced to effectively combat crime. However, the pursuing officials of a foreign nation state at the point of access have only limited powers. First of all, it must be a police measure in the area of law enforcement or execution of sentences , which is carried out by law enforcement officers of the police or customs, whereby the local police cannot be notified in a timely manner or are not available in time to take over the prosecution. The foreign officials can only detain the person. An arrest is local police forces reserved. You may only act spatially or temporally limited with regard to the state border or the point of transition, private property may not be entered. You have to z. B. be recognizable as law enforcement officers through uniforms or their vehicles as police vehicles and the service weapon may only be used in self-defense .

The opportunities for pursuit are not limited to the police. Also, customs authorities can take advantage of it.

See also


  • Creifelds: Legal Dictionary . 13th edition. CH Beck, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-406-40130-9
  • Stefan Rindfleisch: The right to chase at sea. LIT, Hamburg 2001 (publications on maritime and port law 6)

Individual evidence

  1. In § 41 as part of the Reich Execution Code
  2. Federal Law Gazette III No. 80/2009