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Soabi (Seutin) v. Senegal

  • Georges R. Delaume

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1 Opened for signature Mar. 18, 1965, 17 UST 1270, TIAS No. 6090, 575 UNTS 159, reprinted in 4 ILM 532 (1965).

2 The term “ICSID award” is used for convenience only, since awards rendered pursuant to the Convention are rendered, not by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) itself, but by arbitral tribunals constituted pursuant to the ICSID Rules for the purpose of adjudicating investment disputes.

3 A contracting state with a federal constitution may enforce an ICSID award in or through its federal courts and may provide that those courts shall treat the award as if it were a final judgment of the courts of a constituent state (Convention, supra note 1, Art. 54(1)). See in regard to the United States, 22 U.S.C. §1650(a) (1988). See also text at and note 17 infra.

4 The ICSID Secretariat keeps current a list of the judicial or other authorities designated by contracting states. icsid Doc. No. 8–E (1991).

5 June 10, 1958, 21 UST 2517, TIAS No. 6997, 330 UNTS 3.

6 Benvenuti & Bonfant Co. v. Government of the People’s Republic of Congo, Judgment of June 6 [should read 26], 1981, Court of Appeal, Paris, translated in 20 ILM 877 (1981).

7 Judgment of Jan. 13, 1981, Tribunal degrande instance, Paris, 108 Journal du Droit International [JDI] 365 (1981). See Delaume, ICSID Arbitration and the Courts, 77 AJIL 784, 797–99 (1983).

8 20 ILM at 881.

9 Id.

10 See, e.g., Delaume, International Arbitration under French Law, 37 Arb. J. 38, 39 (1982).

11 No. ARB/82/1 (Feb. 4, 1988), reprinted in 6 icsid Rev. 127(1991), with an introductory note by Ziadé, at 119–24.

12 Etat du Sénégal v. Seutin ès qualité de liquidateur amiable de la SOABI, Judgment of Dec. 5, 1989, Court of Appeal, Paris, 117 JDI 141 (1990), with a comment by Gaillard; 1990 Revue de L’arbitrage [Rev. Arb.] 164, with a comment by Broches; 80 Revue Critique de Droit Interna Tional Privé 124 (1991), with a comment by Ziadé. For an English text of the decision, see 5 icsid Rev. 135 (1990), reprinted in 29 ILM 1341 (1990). See also Gaillard, The Enforcement of ICSID Awards in France: The Decision of the Paris Court of Appeal in the soabi case, 5 icsid Rev. 69 (1990); Delaume, Contractual Waivers of Sovereign Immunity: Some Practical Considerations, id. at 232, 254–55.

13 See the Benvenuti case, text at and note 6 supra. See also in regard to non-icsid awards, Société européenne d’études et d’entreprises (SEEE) v. République Socialiste Fédérale de Yougoslavie, Judgment of Nov. 18,1986, Cass. civ. 1re, 1986 Rev. Arb. 328, translated in 26 ILM 377 (1987). See also, in the same case, the earlier decision of July 8, 1970, Tribunal de grande instance, Paris, 1975 Rev. Arb. at 328; République Malgache v. Société Bruynzeel, Judgment of May 3, 1971, Tribunal de grande instance, Paris, 1961 Juris-Classeur périodique, la semaine juridique II, at 16,811.

14 30 ILM 1167, 1170.

15 Id. at 1169.

16 See République Islamique d’Iran v. Société Eurodif, Judgment of Apr. 21, 1982, Court of Appeal, Paris, 110 JDI 145, 149 (1983), rev’d on other grounds, Judgment of Mar. 14, 1984, Cass. civ. 1re, 111 JDI 598 (1984), 1985 Rev. Arb. 69, translated in 23 ILM 1062 (1984).

17 Insofar as states are concerned, the French rule of immunity from execution is similar to that found in the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 prior to the 1988 amendment of 28 U.S.C. § 1610(a) by the addition of subparagraph 6. Execution may be possible if a link exists between the property subject to execution and the commercial activity from which the claim arises. Société Eurodif, Cass., 1985 Rev. Arb. 69, 111 JDI 598, 23 ILM 1062.

18 See note 7 supra.

19 Société Benvenutti [sic] & Bonfant v. Banque Commerciale Congolaise, Judgment of July 21, 1987, Cass. civ. Ire, 115 JDI 108 (1988), 82 ILR 91 (1990). For U.S. cases dealing with this issue, see First Nat’l City Bank v. Banco para el Comercio Exterior de Cuba (Bancec), 462 U.S. 611 (1983); Letelier v. Republic of Chile, 748 F.2d 790 (2d Cir. 1984), cert. denied, 105 S.Ct. 2656 (1985); Hercaire Int’I Inc. v. Argentina, 821 F.2d 559 (11th Cir. 1987).

20 Liberian Eastern Timber Corp. (Letco) v. Government of the Republic of Liberia, No. ARB/83/2 (Mar. 31, 1986), 26 ILM 647 (1987). See Liberian E. Timber Corp. v. Government of Republic of Liberia, 650 F.Supp. 73 (S.D.N.Y. 1986), aff’d mem., No. 86-9047 (2d Cir. May 19, 1987).

21 650 F.Supp. 73 (S.D.N.Y. 1986), aff’d mem., No. 86-9047 (2d Cir. May 19, 1987). The decision was based on 28 U.S.C. §1610(a)(2).

22 Liberian E. Timber Corp. v. Government of Republic of Liberia, 659 F.Supp. 606 (D.D.C. 1987). This decision was based on the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Apr. 18, 1961, 23 UST 3227, TIAS No. 7502, 500 UNTS 95, and on 28 U.S.C. §1610(a)(2).

23 See Delaume, supra note 12, at 253–54.

24 See Delaume, supra note 12. For examples of contractual waivers of immunity in the context of icsid arbitration, see G. Delaume, Transnational Contracts, ch. XV, at 76–77 (1990).

Soabi (Seutin) v. Senegal

  • Georges R. Delaume

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