Deserters of Casablanca

Date of Award: 22 May 1909

Emblem of the Permanent Court of ArbitrationIn 1908, the fortified city of Casablanca, Morocco, was under military occupation and guard of the French military forces who constituted the garrison of the city. During this occupation, six soldiers of the French Foreign Legion, three of whom were of German nationality, deserted and solicited the protection of the German Consulate at Casablanca. The Consulate was to accord the deserters protection by giving them a safe-conduct pass, but on 25 September, 1908, while the six deserters were being conducted to the port of Casablanca by German consular agents in order to board a German vessel, the French military forcibly took the deserters from the hands of the German agents and arrested them, despite the objections of the German agents. The deserters claimed that, at this time, the French agents used excessive force towards them. The French soldiers, in turn, maintained that they had confined themselves to the exercise of the right of lawful defence.  

The conflict between Germany and France resulting from these events proved incapable of being resolved through diplomatic channels, and the Parties submitted the dispute to arbitration. 

The original language of this case is French.

Deserters of Casablanca: Award

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