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Custom Made Commercial Notes

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This is an extract of our Custom Made Commercial document, which we sell as part of our Conflict of Laws BCL Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford students.

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CUSTOM MADE COMMERCIAL (1994) FACTS Proceedings between Stawa Metallbau GmbH ("Stawa"), which has its seat in Bielefeld (Germany), and Custom Made Commercial Ltd ("Custom Made"), which has its seat in London, concerning the payment by the latter of merely part of the price agreed under a contract for the supply of windows and doors to be manufactured by Stawa. Stawa confirmed the conclusion of the contract by a letter of 9 May 1988 written in English, to which it attached for the first time its general business conditions written in German. Paragraph 8 of those general conditions stated that in the event of a dispute between the parties the place of performance and jurisdiction was to be Bielefeld. Custom Made did not raise any objection to those general conditions. When Custom Made paid only part of the stipulated price, Stawa brought proceedings for recovery of the balance before the Landgericht (Regional Court) Bielefeld. QUESTION Is the place of performance under Article 5(1) of the Brussels Convention on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters to be determined pursuant to the substantive law applicable to the obligation in issue under the conflicts rules of the court hearing the case where the case concerns a claim for payment of the price brought by the supplier against the customer under a contract for manufacture and supply, according to the conflicts rules of the court hearing the case that contract is governed by uniform sales law and under that law the place of performance of the obligation to pay the price is the place of establishment of the plaintiff supplier?
HOLDING No separate forum non-conveniens considerations other than performance Although the connecting factor is the reason which led to the adoption of Article 5(1) of the Convention, the criterion employed in that provision is not the connection with the court seised but, rather, only the place of performance of the obligation which forms the basis of the legal proceedings. The place of performance of the obligation was chosen as the criterion of jurisdiction because, being precise and clear, it fits into the general aim of the Convention, which is to establish rules guaranteeing certainty as to the allocation of jurisdiction among

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