Postal Packets (Braunschweig) Case

Date27 Junio 1932
Docket NumberCase No. 93
CourtCourt of Appeal of Braunschweig (Germany)
Germany, Court of Appeal of Braunschweig.
Case No. 93
Postal Packets (Braunschweig) Case.

Territory — Ships as State Territory — Ships in Foreign Territorial Waters.

Jurisdiction — Applicability of National Statutes — Ships in Foreign Coastal Waters.

The Facts.—The plaintiff had posted two packets at the German post office at Braunschweig (Germany) for carriage to Singapore. The post office delivered them to the North-German Lloyd, who carried them on the SS. Elberfeld. When off the Spanish coast, but within Spanish territorial waters, the ship went aground, and both ship and cargo, including the two packets, were lost. The plaintiff sued the German post office for compensation. He based his claim on the relevant German Statute passed in 1871 (the Reich Post Act).

Held: that the action must be dismissed. The packets were lost at a place which, according to constitutional and international law, was within the jurisdiction of Spain. It was immaterial that the packets were carried on a German ship. This would have been relevant had the ship been on the high seas when the accident occurred; for in such a case a...

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