Although SOFA determines your legal status, it is important to understand that German law applies to U.S. staff as well as outside. The U.S. facilities are not American soil. Moreover, while there are many similarities between German and American law, there are also many obvious differences. For example, spanking or paddling children is prohibited by German criminal law as a means of punishing disobedience. German law considers this to be a „physical punishment“ that amounts to child abuse. . German civil law is also very different from what most Americans know. Read on to learn more about the main differences between German and U.S.
law, and if you have any questions, please contact the Legal Center on Kelley Barracks. Also be sure to participate in the weekly legal processing letter via the armored barracks of the central processing plant. Issues relating to residence permits, health insurance, tax status and registration obligations, employment of spouses, the right to German social benefits, German driver`s licences, correct admission procedures and other issues may raise questions for this group. For each mission abroad, the status of the Bundeswehr is governed by a bilateral or multilateral agreement with the host country. The presence of foreign armed forces on German territory requires a specific legal basis. The distinction must be made between the right of attendance and the rules of power law. The right of presence stems from the necessary formal agreement of the Federal Republic of Germany for the presence of foreign armed forces on its territory. The right of residence for their presence includes all the legal provisions to which foreign forces are subject while they are on German soil. The most important multilateral agreement is the NATO Troop Status Agreement, which applies between NATO partners to operations on the territory of other NATO countries.
States participating in the NATO Peace Partnership (PfP) may accede to the Status of Troops Agreement of 19 June 1995 (Bundesgesetzblatt 1998 II p.1340). This agreement extends the scope of the NATO Agreement on the Status of Armed Forces to operations in PfP partner countries. Military operations under the auspices of the European Union will now be governed by the EU Agreement on the Status of the Armed Forces, signed on 17 November 2003 in Brussels by representatives of the Member States and ratified by Germany in June 2005. However, there are a number of foreigners who are legally staying in Germany under other circumstances. Uniformed military personnel (and their family members) of the United States and NATO countries may reside under various Status of Forces Agreements (SoFAs) negotiated with the federal government. Civilians working for the various ministries or ministries of defence, as well as diplomats and other foreigners assigned to their country`s embassy or consulates, may also have a different status (such as family members). Another status may also be granted to foreigners working in Germany for companies that contract with the various foreign military and diplomatic offices of other countries. Some self-employed workers may also be in this category. When examining the status of the armed forces, it is necessary to distinguish between the legal status of foreign forces in Germany and the legal status of the Bundeswehr abroad. While the U.S. military has the largest presence abroad, making it most SOFAs, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Germany Italy, Russia, Spain and many other nations also deploy military personnel abroad and negotiate SOFAs with their host countries.