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On 16 February 2017 Latvian Radio 1 organized a discussion on enforcement of jurisdiction on US soldiers stationed in Latvia. An issue that has arisen in society concerns the international agreement to be approved by the Latvian Parliament (Saeima), submitted by the Ministry of Defence on the enforcement of jurisdiction on US soldiers stationed in Latvia. In a discussion on Latvian Radio 1, a representative of the Ministry of Defence mentioned that the draft law prescribes enforcing state (i.e. US) jurisdiction as well as Latvian jurisdiction for particular kinds of offence.

RGSL lecturer Ieva Miluna pointed out that this kind of status of forces agreement is a common practice; they are concluded by states that plan to station their military forces abroad. She said that according to information available to the public, NATO itself has not made sufficiently clear which state’s laws would be applicable in the case of a particular offence. However, it appears that each state has to define within its own interests as to how far it will enforce its laws over foreign troops on its territory, while the US has particularly strictly defined that in cases of many agreements this will be US law.

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