Personal Injuries (Employee of Visiting Forces) Case

CourtFederal Labour Court (Germany)
Date24 r 1958
German Federal Republic, Federal Labour Supreme Court.
Personal Injuries (Employee of Visiting Forces) Case.

Jurisdiction Territorial Exemptions from territorial jurisdiction Foreign armed forces Jurisdiction of courts of receiving country Allied forces in Germany Action for damages for personal injuries by employee of visiting forces Injuries caused by negligence of fellow employee Whether courts of receiving country competent to adjudicate upon claim Acts committed in performance of official duty Certificate of agent of foreign forces Forces Convention of October 23, 1954 Finance Convention of May 26, 1952 The law of Germany.

The Facts.The plaintiff and the defendant were both employed as members of an auxiliary service group by a British military unit in the Federal Republic of Germany. The defendant reversed a motor vehicle which collided with a stationary vehicle on which the plaintiff was working, and as a result of the collision the plaintiff was seriously injured. The plaintiff thereupon instituted proceedings against the defendant personally. The defendant contended that the German courts were not competent to decide the issue between the parties, and that in any event the action should have been brought against the Federal Republic. The Court below held that the German courts were comptent and that the plaintiff's claim was justified on the merits.

Held: that the German courts were entitled to exercise jurisdiction over claims brought by members of an auxiliary service group against members of foreign forces within the meaning of the Convention of October 23, 1954, on the Rights and Obligations of Foreign Forces and Their Members in the Federal Republic of Germany. According to Article 8 (2) of the Finance Convention of May 26, 1952, acts of employees of foreign forces were deemed to be acts of the foreign forces themselves. Consequently, provided that they were acts in the performance of official duties, it was the duty of the Court below to obtain a certificate from the British military authorities stating whether or not the defendant in the present case had been acting in the performance of official duties when reversing the vehicle. If the certificate were to show that he had been acting in the performance of official duties, an action would lie against the Federal Republic of Germany in accordance with Article 8 (10) of the Finance Convention of May 26, 1952.

The Court said: The lower Courts have rightly held that the German courts are...

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