SONNTAG V WAIDMANN 1993 – Reference for preliminary ruling from GERMANY re “civil matters” covered by Brussels Convention=>Brussels I =>Brussels I Recast

CJEU ruled “It follows from the judgments in the LTU (1976) and Rueffer (1980) that an action falls outside the scope of the Convention only where the author of the damage against whom it is brought must be regarded as a public authority which acted in the exercise of public powers…the fact a teacher has status of a civil servant and acts in that capacity is not conclusive. Even though he acts on behalf of the State a civil servant does not always exercise public powers……exercise of public powers..would entail exercise of any powers going beyond those existing under the rules applicable to relations beyond private individuals”


Rina (Judicial cooperation in civil matters – Concepts of ‘civil and commercial matters’ and ‘administrative matters’ – Judgment) [2020] CJEU C-641/18 (07 May 2020) DISTINGUISHED (1) Jure Imperii: imperial authority the imperial, public acts of the government of a state from (2) Jure Gestionis (acta jure imperii) – the commercial activities of a state.

para 49
 It follows from the foregoing that, subject to the checks to be carried out by the referring court, the classification and certification operations, such as those carried out on the vessel Al Salam Boccaccio’98 by the Rina companies, upon delegation from and on behalf of the Republic of Panama, cannot be regarded as being carried out in the exercise of public powers within the meaning of EU law, with the result that an action for damages in respect of those operations falls within the concept of ‘civil matters and commercial matters’, within the meaning of Article 1(1) of Regulation No 44/2001, and falls within the scope of that regulation.

However, a national court implementing EU law in applying Regulation No 44/2001 must comply with the requirements flowing from Article 47 of the Charter (judgment of 25 May 2016, Meroni, C‑559/14, EU:C:2016:349, paragraph 44). Consequently, in the present case, the referring court must satisfy itself that, if it upheld the plea relating to immunity from jurisdiction, LG and Others would not be deprived of their right of access to the courts, which is one of the elements of the right to effective judicial protection in Article 47 of the Charter.