It is a rule of customary law that the law applicable to delicts is the lex loci commissi. If the delict has been committed at more than one place the plaintiff can rely on any of the different laws that are applicable.
EXAMPLE: A struck B down in a German train leaving Aix-la-Chapelle, rendering him unconscious. After the train had crossed the Belgian frontier into Belgium A threw B's body out of the carriage. B can bring claims against A both under German and under Belgian law, whichever law may ibe more favourable to him, Martin Wolff, Internationales Privatrecht (2nd ed., 1949), p. 140.
If the delict was committed in a place outside the boundaries of a state, the lex patriae of the person commiting the delict governs the case. Delicts committed on board of a ship are governed by the law of the ship's flag.
Lex loci commissi is according to the view adopted by the German Reichsgericht the place where the delictual activity has wholly or partly been carried out. The place where the effect of the delictual activity materialised is not the locus delicti, unless at least some part of the delictual activity was carried out in that place.
EXAMPLE: A spreads rumours at Berne about a young girl living at Hamburg whereby her reputation at Hamburg is endangered. He is responsible according to Swiss law only (Raape, p. 366). A German firm by letter instructs its New York subsidiary to commit acts which according to German law constitute the delict of unlawful competition. The German firm is responsible under German law as an alternative to its responsibility under New York law because the letters were despatched from Germany. RGZ 150, p. 268.
In the case of a collision of ships on the high seas both ships are considered as places where the delict has been committed. If they sail under different flags, there may be a choice between the various different laws. Germany was a party to the Brussels Convention of 1910 for the unification of certain rules of law respecting assistance and salvage on Sea (RGBI 1913, pp. 49ff.) whose basic provisions were incorporated into German law by a law of 7 January, 1913 (RGBl 90). As regards English law see the Maritime Conventions Act 1911.
Article 12, EGBGB creates the following exception to the rule set out in para. 60 and 61 above: if the defendant is a German national he is not responsible to any greater extent than he would be under German law. This is...
SECTION XI - Delicts And Other Non-Contractual Obligations
|Author:||E. J. Cohn|
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