No. 39.]

My Lord: With reference to your lordship’s circular dispatch of the 16th June last, directing me to report on the disabilities to which aliens residing in Saxony are subjected by Saxon law, I have the honor to inclose in a copy and translation the information which has been kindly furnished me on the subject by the Saxon government.

I have, &c.,


The Lord Stanley, M. P., &c., &c., &c.


In reply to the note of Her Britannic Majesty’s chargé d’affaires, of the 22d June last, relative to the disabilities to which aliens residing in Saxony are subjected, the undersigned has the honor to make the following communication:

The exercise of political rights in Saxony in their immediate relation to the state, as, for instance, the right of voting and being elected for the diet as well as to the municipalities, as, for instance, the right of election of representatives for town and country, implies Saxon citizenship.

For the exercise of certain professions, such as that of a lawyer, a notary public, and medical practitioner, it is likewise necessary to be a Saxon subject.

The regulations of our legislature respecting penalties to which aliens are subject as regards the civil law may be seen from the annexed document, which is a summary of: the regulations respecting aliens contained in the civil code, concerning the acquisition and the laws of citizenship in the kingdom of Saxony of the 2d July, 1852, as; well as in the penal code.

To obviate mistakes it is to be observed that the twelfth paragraph of the civil code has been left out because it does not bear on the question, as it only prescribes that the mother of an illegitimate child may enforce her rights for the support and education of the child, although the conception may have taken place in a country the laws of which do not recognize such claims.

With respect to civil proceedings at law, aliens are only in the following cases placed on a different footing from the natives:

1. Claims which by mutual agreement are to be settled in the country, or which it would be difficult to prosecute abroad, may, in default of payment, be recovered by the native from the alien who has no landed property in the country, either by arrest, inhibition of passport, or seizure of an adequate portion of the alien’s property; provided the claim is to a certain degree established, and provided the alien does not voluntarily enter into recognizances. On the other hand, the arrest of a native supposes a greater risk of losing his claim, and lays him under the stricter obligation of proving it.

(See the order of process of 1622; title ii, § 1.)

2. As a general rule the plaintiff, after having obtained a legal sentence against the defendant for the recovery of his claims, before his claims are actually satisfied, is not liable to an action which the defendant may bring against him in order to get the sentence annulled, nor can the course of law be checked by such a counter-suit.

If, however, the plaintiff who has obtained a legal sentence against the defendant, and is prosecuted by the latter for the recovery of what he has been sentenced to pay him, be an alien, the defendant, not to run any risk of loss, is entitled to demand a temporary deposition of the sum in question, making the alien liable to the action brought against him.

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(See the order of process explained of the year 1724; title vi, § 1.)

3. Aliens possessing landed property in this country may, though not resident on it, he prosecuted for the recovery of all personal claims at the place where their property lies.

(See the article for the greater expedition of lawsuits of the 16th June, 1583.

Order of process of the year 1622; title 4, § 3.

Order of process explained of the year 1724; title 4, § 2.)

Whereas natives cannot he cited before the law court of the district in which his property lies, unless other circumstances should declare the competency of such a tribunal;

4. Aliens may, for certain claims, have recourse to the Elbe courts, whereas the competency of such courts respecting the claims of natives depends on certain contingencies.

The mode of proceeding against aliens for such claims has to be simplified and the case to be sooner decided.

(See regulations concerning the competency of the Elbe courts of the 11th September, 1863; Law Gazette and ordinances of the year 1863, p. 722 and following.)

5. Finally, one of the regulations of the law to be noticed is contained in the order of process of the year 1724, according to which regulation the plaintiff is obliged in more important cases to give a security of thirty thalers, with a view of paying the costs arising from the suit.

From this obligation, however, are exempt such as possess landed property in the country, or exercise a trade, or own a mercantile establishment.

It is a question whether any difference should be made between a native and an alien, and whether the same regulation should not also be applied to a Saxon subject who possesses landed property or carries on some mercantile business abroad. In other respects the alien is placed on the same footing as the native respecting civil suits. Regulations such as that contained in the general mining law of the 16th of June of this year, § 16, in virtue of which the alien who owns a mine in this country has to appoint an assignee in the country in order to receive the summons of the respective court of law, have been omitted here, as well as other similar regulations, as they are only intended to facilitate transactions between inland courts and aliens.

The undersigned avails himself, &c.

Acting Foreign Minister.

Abstract from the civil code.
§ 6.
The laws of the country are applicable in the country in as far as public rights, especially public treaties, and the following regulations allow.
§ 7.
The enjoyment of rights and liberty of action of a person depends on the laws of the state to which he belongs.
§ 8.
The liberty of action of a foreigner is subject to the home laws if his actions render him accountable.
§ 9.
The form to be observed in legal transactions is regulated by the laws of the place where the contract is drawn up.
It suffices, however, to observe the laws of the place where the business is to be carried on.
§ 10.
The rights to movable and immovable property, as well as the right of possession, depend on the law of the place where such property lies.
§ 11.
Aliens are to be judged by the laws of the place where they are to be settled.
§ 13.
Marriage and divorce are subject to the laws of the husband’s country.
§ 14.
Marriage settlements are subject, to the laws in force at the husband’s domicile at the time of the marriage contract. Such rights are not altered by a change of residence.
Donations between husband and wife are regulated by the laws in force for the time at the place where the husband resides.
§ 15.
Paternal authority follows the laws of the country to which the father belongs.
§ 16.
Guardianship is subject to the laws of the minor’s country.
§ 17.
Inheritance is decided by the laws of the place at which the testator last resided. In case of several residences the laws of the last Ire to be observed.
§ 18.
In as far as rights depend upon the option of the parties, they are allowed to avail themselves of other laws than those immediately applicable.
§ 19.
Foreign laws are not admissible if they are excluded explicitly or implicitly by the laws of the country.
§ 20.
In case the laws of a foreign state make a difference between natives and aliens, this difference is to be tahen into account with respect to aliens by the laws of this [Page 1411] country if special regulations are not against it. Such reciprocity cannot he evaded by ceding one’s rights to another.
§ 1878.
An alien, being a minor, and having immovable property in the country, has to appoint a guardian for it. The foreign guardian of the minor may act as such.
§ 1879.
If a foreigner who has a guardian abroad or is under the parental care of a foreigner requires a guardian in the country for some legal purpose or lawsuit, such a guardian may be appointed by the courts of the country.

Abstract from the penal code.

Art. 3.

Foreigners who have committed a crime, and are to be tried by a tribunal of the country, are subject to the penalties of this code, with the exception of the case mentioned in art. 8.

Art. 4.

Trial of a foreigner for a crime committed.

(a.) Foreigners enjoying the rights of extraterritoriality.

Art. 5.

(b.) With respect to other foreigners, those who are guilty of a crime are likewise to be tried only by order of the ministry of justice if the crime has been committed abroad; but even in this case the order is not requisite—

1. If the crime has been committed against a state, its authorities, or subjects, or persons who live under its protection, or were in Saxony at the time of the crime.

2. If the criminal has settled in Saxony.

Art. 8.

Foreign penal laws.

If an offense has been committed abroad by a foreigner, or is, according to articles 4, 5, 6, brought before a tribunal, he is to be judged by the laws of the country where the offense has taken place, provided it be known or can be proved that the culprit would, according to these laws, either not be punished at all or less severely than by the Saxon laws, or only upon indictment, with the exception of the cases mentioned in article 5, No. 1, as well as of offenses committed against the King and the royal family, in which cases the present penal code has to be enforced; if in conformity with the above regulations the judge has to refer to a foreign penal law, and this law inflicts upon the culprit a punishment which is inadmissible according to the present law, he cannot go beyond the wording of the law.

Art. 9.

Foreign punishment.

In case the culprit has already been punished for his offense by a competent tribunal of another state he cannot be punished again for the same offense by a tribunal of this country, unless he has at the same time made himself guilty by violating certain obligations incumbent on him toward the country, its sovereign, and his subjects, and then his previous penalty is to be taken into account even in the case of a sentence pronounced by an incompetent foreign tribunal.

Art. 312.


Whoever counterfeits, with the intention to deceive, the peculiar marks of merchants and manufacturers, is liable to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding four months, and if the imprisonment is only for two months he has to pay a fine up to two hundred thalers; the counterfeiter, however, can only be indicted by the merchant or manufacturer whose trade-marks he has forged.

Complaints of foreign merchants and manufacturers respecting such counterfeits can only be attended to if they can prove reciprocity on the part of the state to which they belong.

(Extract from the law respecting the acquisition and loss of Saxon citizenship of the 2d July.)

§ 9.

Obligation requiring naturalization.

Every foreigner in the kingdom of Saxony who desires (a) to become possessed of landed property in town or country, with personal residence;

(b.) Or to obtain naturalization according to the forms of municipal law; or

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(c.) To exercise in the country a trade or profession which in a town would require naturalization; or.

(d.) To hold a municipal office or some other employment in church or school which is not under government patronage, is obliged previously to become a Saxon subject.

Persons mentioned under “d” may apply for it to the respective authorities in whom the patronage is vested.

§ 10.

There is no necessity for naturalization—

For such as hold landed property in Saxony on which they are not domiciled and which is under foreign management;
For foreigners who acquire landed property in Saxony with habitual residence but usually reside abroad, as long as they continue abroad;
When a wholesale business or manufacture is established in the country by a foreigner residing abroad.

In the cases b and c, on condition, that the obligations of citizenship which are attached to a property or undertaking are fulfilled by a proper native representative.

Foreigners under § 10, (a, b, c,) participate in the privileges and duties of a Saxon subject only as far as the nature of their property or trade may admit or be sanctioned by the law.

The rights of political honors in Saxony cannot be exercised by them.