Handelskwekerij G. J. Bier B.V. v Mines de Potasse d'Alsace S.A. (preliminary ruling requested by the Gerechtshof of The Hague) (Case 21/76) [1976] ECR 1735, [1978] QB 708, [1977] 1 CMLR 284, 30 NOVEMBER 1976

'Convention on jurisdiction and the enforcement of Judgment, article 5 (3) (liability in tort, delict or quasi-delicit') Convention of 27 September 1968 on jurisdiction and the enforcement of Judgments - Pollution of the atmosphere or a water - Dispute of an international character - Matters relating to tort, delict or quasi-delict - Courts having jurisdiction - Special jurisdiction - Place where the harmful event occurred - Place of the event giving rise to the damage and place where the damage occurred - Connecting factors of significance as regards jurisdiction - Right of plaintiff to elect (Convention of 27 September 1968, Article 5 (3))

THE CASE:

Where the place of the happening of the event which may give rise to liability in tort, delict or quasi-delict and the place where that event results in damage are not identical, the expression 'place where the harmful event occurred', in Article 5 (3) of the Convention of 27 September 1968 on jurisdiction and the enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters, must be understood as being intended to cover both the place where the damage occurred and the place of the event giving rise to it. The result is that the defendant may be sued, at the option of the plaintiff, either in the courts for the place where the damage occurred or in the courts for the place of the event which gives rise to and is at the origin of that damage.

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