SB v Prussian Treasury

Date16 Abril 1924
Docket NumberCase No. 210
CourtObsolete Court (Germany)
Germany, Reichsgericht in Civil Matters.
Case No. 210
S. B.
Prussian Treasury.

Sovereign States in Matters of Private Law — Jurisdiction of Mixed Arbitral Tribunals — Article 304 (b) of the Treaty of Versailles.

Arbitration — Competence of Arbitral Tribunals — Jurisdiction Conferred by Treaties — Whether Exclusive of the Jurisdiction of National Courts — Article 304 (b) of the Treaty of Versailles — States in Matters of Private Law.

The Facts.—Article 304 (b) of the Treaty of Versailles provided as follows: “… All questions, whatsoever their nature, relating to contracts concluded before the coming into force of the present Treaty between nationals of the Allied and Associated Powers and German nationals shall be decided by the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal, always excepting questions which, under the laws of the Allied, Associated or Neutral Powers, are within the jurisdiction of the National Courts of those Powers. Such questions shall be decided by the National Courts in question, to the exclusion of the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal. The party who is a national of an Allied or Associated Power may nevertheless bring the case before the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal if this is not prohibited by the laws of his country.”

The plaintiff, a French national, forwarded in May, 1919, some goods on Prussian railways. The goods were misdirected, and the plaintiff sued the Prussian Railway Administration for damages before German courts. He was partly successful in the Court of First Instance, but he lost on appeal. The plaintiff appealed again, and before the Reichsgericht he asked that the...

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