This book brings into focus the legal status of armed forced on foreign territory within, inter alia, the context of multi-national exercises and a variety of so-called crisis management operations. When it comes to criminal offences committed by military personnel while abroad it is important to know whether such offences fall under the criminal jurisdiction of the Sending State or that of the Host State. The book analyses this question from two different perspectives, namely traditional public international law and military operational law.
Taking his readership through two hundred years of international practice the author arrives at the current practice of laying down the status of forces deployed abroad in so-called Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs). Having looked at SOFAs from the two different law perspectives the author proposes the development of a “Status of Forces Compendium” to serve as a kind of guideline for future SOFAs. The author’s intention in proposing this idea is to instigate further discussion on the subject in public international law and criminal law circles and among armed forces’ legal advisors.
Joop Voetelink is an Associate Professor of Military Law at the Netherlands Defence Academy.