Rights of Nationals of the United States of America in Morocco (France v. United States of America)
OVERVIEW OF THE CASE
By a decree of 30 December 1948, the French authorities in the Moroccan Protectorate imposed a system of licence control in respect of imports not involving an official allocation of currency, and limited these imports to a number of products indispensable to the Moroccan economy. The United States maintained that this measure affected its rights under treaties with Morocco and contended that, in accordance with these treaties and with the General Act of Algeciras of 1906, no Moroccan law or regulation could be applied to its nationals in Morocco without its previous consent. In its Judgment of 27 August 1952, the Court held that the import controls were contrary to the Treaty between the United States and Morocco of 1836 and the General Act of Algeciras since they involved discrimination in favour of France against the United States. The Court then considered the extent of the consular jurisdiction of the United States in Morocco and held that the United States was entitled to exercise such jurisdiction in the French Zone in all disputes, civil or criminal, between United States citizens or persons protected by the United States. It was also entitled to exercise such jurisdiction to the extent required by the relevant provisions of the General Act of Algeciras. The Court rejected the contention of the United States that its consular jurisdiction included cases in which only the defendant was a citizen or protégé of the United States. It also rejected the claim by the United States that the application to United States citizens of laws and regulations in the French Zone of Morocco required the prior assent of the United States Government. Such assent was required only in so far as the intervention of the consular courts of the United States was necessary for the effective enforcement of such laws or regulations with respect to United States citizens. The Court rejected a counter-claim by the United States that its nationals in Morocco were entitled to immunity from taxation. It also dealt with the question of the valuation of imports by the Moroccan customs authorities.
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