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Decisions of the Conference of the Foreign Ministers of the Three Western Powers in Washington, DC (April 8, 1949)

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3. It is the hope and expectation of the Governments of France, the United States and the United Kingdom that the occupation authorities will not have occasion to take action in fields other than those specifically reserved above. The occupation authorities, however, reserve the right, acting under instructions of their Governments, to resume, in whole or in part, the exercise of full authority if they consider that to do so is essential to security or to preserve democratic government in Germany or in pursuance of the international obligations of their governments. Before so doing, they will formally advise the appropriate German authorities of their decision and of the reasons for it.

4. The German Federal Government and the governments of the Länder shall have the power, after due notification to the occupation authorities, to legislate and act in the fields reserved to these authorities, except as the occupation authorities otherwise specifically direct, or as such legislation or action would be inconsistent with decisions or actions taken by the occupation authorities themselves.

5. Any amendment of the Basic Law will require the express approval of the occupation authorities before becoming effective. Land constitutions, amendments thereof, all other legislation, and any agreements made between the Federal State and foreign governments, will become effective twenty-one days after official receipt by the occupation authorities unless previously disapproved by them, provisionally or finally. The occupation authorities will not disapprove legislation unless in their opinion it is inconsistent with the Basic Law, a Land Constitution, legislation or other directives of the occupation authorities themselves or the provisions of this Instrument, or unless it constitutes a grave threat to the basic purposes of the occupation.

6. Subject only to the requirements of their security, the occupation authorities guarantee that all agencies of the occupation will respect the civil rights of every person to be protected against arbitrary arrest, search or seizure; to be represented by counsel; to be admitted to bail as circumstances warrant; to communicate with relatives; and to have a fair and prompt trial.

7. Legislation of the occupation authorities enacted before the effective date of the Basic Law shall remain in force until repealed or amended by the occupation authorities in accordance with the following provisions:
(a) legislation inconsistent with the foregoing will be repealed or amended to make it consistent herewith;
(b) legislation based upon the reserved powers, referred to in paragraph 2 above, will be codified;
(c) legislation not referred to in (a) and (b) will be repealed by the occupation authorities on request from appropriate German authorities.

8. Any action shall be deemed to be the act of the occupation authorities under the powers herein reserved, and effective as such under this Instrument, when taken or evidenced in any manner provided by any agreement between them. The occupation authorities may in their discretion effectuate their decisions either directly or through instructions to the appropriate German authorities.

9. After 12 months and in any event within 18 months of the effective date of this Instrument the occupying powers will undertake a review of its provisions in the light of experience with its operation and with a view to extending the jurisdiction of the German authorities in the legislative, executive and judicial fields.

[Message delivered to the Parliamentary Council in Bonn on April 10, 1949.]

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