German Federal Court: We have international jurisdiction to an action for an injunction on the grounds of violation of personal rights.

BGH, URTEIL vom 25.10.2016, VI ZR 678/15

The case concerns the applicant – the wife of the retired racing driver Michael Schumacher, who is a German citizen residing in Switzerland. The defendant is a Swiss broadcasting company. The applicant claimed for injunction on the of the defendant’s internet photographic report of the consequences of Michael Schumacher’s skiing accident for the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany and the approach of the media on this topic. The question arises whether German courts have international jurisdiction to an action for an injunction on the grounds of violation of personal rights against the reporting on the website of a foreign broadcasting company limited to the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany.

According to the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ), the terms ‘tort’ and ‘delict or quasi-delict’ in Article 5 (3) 5 No. 3 Lugano Convention II / EuGVVO aF / Art. (7) (2) of the EuGVVO to be interpreted as meaning that all the actions under which an infringement is asserted which is not linked to a contract (C-167/00) are admissible in this court. The term ‘delict’ also includes personal injury or defamation (ECJ, C-509/09). In addition to compensation claims, entitlement claims are also covered.

The Federal Court of Justice took the view that the terms used in the Lugano Convention II should be interpreted as being autonomous in principle and without recourse to the law of the State concerned. The system and objective of the Convention should be considered in the first place in order to ensure the uniform application of the Convention in all signatory states.

As a result, the Federal Court of Justice has ruled that the German courts have international jurisdiction under Article 5 (3) of the Lugano Convention II for action for an injunction on the grounds of violation of personal rights limited to the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany against the reporting on the website of a foreign broadcasting company.

The full text is available on EuroCases

For more case-law see EuroCases

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