Adjudication in Prize of German Bonds Case

CourtCourt of Appeal of Berlin (Germany)
Date03 a 1961
Federal Republic of Germany, Court of Appeal of Berlin.
Adjudication in Prize of German Bonds Case.

Warfare at sea — Prize law — Extent of jurisdiction of prize courts-Judgment of foreign prize court confiscating debt situate in forum State — Debt owed by German debtor represented by bonds issued in Germany and expressed in German currency — Bonds in England when confiscated by adjudication in prize — Whether English creditor deriving title from adjudication may claim recognition of title in Germany — Effect on creditor's claim of Convention on Settlement of Matters Arising out of the War and the Occupation, 1954 — The law of Germany.

Jurisdiction — Territorial limits of — Effect of foreign judgment confiscating debt owed by debtor in forum State — Adjudication in prize of German debt by English court — Debt represented by bonds held within jurisdiction of English court — Whether creditor deriving title from this judgment may apply for recognition of title in Germany — Effect on creditor's claim of Convention on Settlement of Matters Arising out of the War and the Occupation, 1954 — The law of Germany.

The Facts.—A German Law of March 5, 1955, provided that holders of bonds issued by the German Konversions Kasse for German External Debts who required the validation of their bonds, in order that payment thereon might be fixed in accordance with the Law on the Validation of Negotiable Instruments of September 26, 1949 (and of July 12, 1951, in so far as applicable to Berlin), had to make application for registration of their claims. The applicant's title to certain bonds expressed in Reichsmarks and issued in respect of debts owed by a German debtor derived from an adjudication in prize by an English Prize Court which had condemned the bonds while they were in England, The applicant accordingly applied for registration in accordance with the Law of March 5, 1955. The Court of first instance granted the application, on the ground that as at the time of adjudication by an English court the bonds had been in England, they had been validly confiscated and vested in the applicant.

On appeal,

Held: that the appeal must be allowed and the application for registration of the bonds refused, on the following grounds:

(i) The bonds represented debts owed by a German debtor and according to German private international law their situs was in Germany at the time of the purported confiscation by an English court.

(ii) Accordingly, the debt was not validly confiscated...

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