Aktiengesellschaft C SP v Firma S and L

CourtObsolete Court (Germany)
Date20 l 1930
Docket NumberCase No. 9
Germany, Reichsgericht.
Case No. 9
Aktiengesellschaft C. SP. and Sons (in Liquidation)
and
Firma S. and L.

Recognition of Acts of Foreign Government — Nationalisation Decrees of Russian Government — Legislation Contrary to German Law and Public Policy — Waiver of Claims Arising out of Acts of Nationalisation — Whether Amounting to a Recognition of Such Acts.

The Facts.—The plaintiff was a company formed in Germany with the object of liquidating the assets of the Russian corporation C. SP. and Sons, of St. Petersburg, which was nationalised in Russia some time after the revolution of 7 November, 1917. The defendant was a German company which early in 1914 received from C. SP. and Sons a large sum of money as a deposit in connection with an order for materials placed with it by the Russian corporation. The plaintiffs sued to recover the deposit. Some of the stockholders in the Corporation were Russian nationals and the rest were of German nationality. The defendants maintained that the plaintiffs had no locus standi seeing that they represented a corporation dissolved by Russian law. The plaintiffs contended that the termination of the existence of the Russian Corporation by the Revolutionary Government was a war measure contrary to international law and therefore not to be taken into account in the German Reich against whose nationals it was directed. On 16 April, 1922, Germany and Russia concluded the Treaty of Rapallo, Article 2 of which provided as follows: “Germany waives all claims against Russia which may have arisen through the application, up to the present time, of the laws and measures of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics to German nationals or their private rights and the rights of the German Reich and States, and also claims which may have arisen owing to any other measures taken by the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics or by its agents against German nationals or their private rights, on condition that the Government of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics does not satisfy claims for compensation of a similar nature made by a third Party.” The Court of first instance rejected the action on the ground that the plaintiff Company lacked the capacity to sue. The Court of second instance declared the claim to be admissible. On further appeal,

Held: that the decision of the Court of second instance must be reversed and the decision of the Court of first instance restored. The plaintiff Company could not sue. It was not permissible...

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