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Shevill Notes

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SHEVILL (1995) FACTS Those questions were raised in proceedings brought by Miss Fiona Shevill, a United Kingdom national residing in North Yorkshire, England, Chequepoint SARL, Ixora Trading Inc. and Chequepoint International Limited against Presse Alliance SA, a company incorporated under French law whose registered office is in Paris, and seek to establish which courts have jurisdiction to hear an action for damages for harm caused by the publication of a defamatory newspaper article. According to the documents before the Court, on 23 September 1989 Presse Alliance SA, which publishes the newspaper FranceSoir, published an article about an operation which drug squad officers of the French police had carried out at one of the bureaux de change operated in Paris by Chequepoint SARL. That article, based on information provided by the agency France Presse, mentioned the company "Chequepoint" and "a young woman by the name of Fiona Shevill-Avril". Miss Shevill, Chequepoint SARL, Ixora Trading Inc. and Chequepoint International Ltd considered that the abovementioned article was defamatory in that it suggested that they were part of a drug-trafficking network for which they had laundered money. On 17 October 1989 they issued a writ in the High Court of England and Wales claiming damages for libel from Presse Alliance SA in respect of the copies of France-Soir distributed in France and the other European countries including those sold in England and Wales. QUESTION In a case of libel by a newspaper article, do the words 'the place where the harmful event occurred' in Article 5(3) of the Convention mean: (a) the place where the newspaper was printed and put into circulation; or (b) the place or places where the newspaper was read by particular individuals; or (c) the place or places where the plaintiff has a significant reputation?
HOLDING General rule The Court held in Bier that the expression "place where the harmful event occurred" in Article 5(3) of the Convention must be

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