Enforcement immunity

Domestic law

Describe domestic law governing the scope of enforcement immunity.

Enforcement immunity is quite strict under the Convention. Pursuant to article 23 of the Convention, no measures of execution or preventive measures against the property of a state may be taken in Cyprus, except where and to the extent that the state has expressly consented thereto in writing in any particular case.

In Unitica Enterprises Limited v Slovak Republic (2004) 1 AA.730, the Supreme Court considered issues relating to enforcement immunity. The claimant obtained default judgment because Slovakia failed to appear in the proceedings. Subsequently, the claimant applied for an encumbrance (memo) on property owned by Slovakia in Cyprus and obtained an order for compulsory sale of such assets. When Slovakia was informed for the enforcement measures of a court judgment issued against it, it issued a diplomatic note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus. Immediately, when the Attorney General of Cyprus, Costas Clerides, found out, he applied to the Supreme Court to stay the sale process and cancel the decision issued. The first issue to be decided was the locus standi of the Attorney General. Applying English precedent on the issue, it was decided that the Attorney General had a right of intervention at the invitation or with the permission of the courts in a private suit whenever it may affect the prerogatives of Cyprus, including its relations with foreign states, or raises any question of public policy on which the executive may wish to bring to the notice of the courts. The Attorney General was successful, and both the claim and enforcement were cancelled.

Application of civil procedure codes

When enforcing against a state, would debt collection statutes and the enforcement sections of civil procedure codes or similar codes also apply?

Subject to enforcement immunity being lifted, debt collection statutes and the enforcement sections of the Cyprus Civil Procedure Rules would apply against a foreign state.

Consent for further enforcement proceedings

Does a prior submission to the jurisdiction of a court or tribunal constitute consent for any further enforcement proceedings against the property of the state?

No. Pursuant to article 23 of the Convention, no measures of execution or preventive measures against the property of a state may be taken in Cyprus, except where and to the extent that the state has expressly consented thereto in writing in any particular case.

Property or assets subject to enforcement or execution

Describe the property or assets that would typically be subject to enforcement or execution.

Subject to enforcement immunity being lifted, any asset would be amenable to execution.

Assets covered by enforcement immunity

Describe the assets that would normally be covered by enforcement immunity and give examples of any restrictive or broader interpretations adopted by the courts.

See above.

Explain whether the property or bank accounts of a central bank or other monetary authority would be covered by enforcement immunity even when such property is in use or is intended for use for commercial purposes.

Subject to enforcement immunity being lifted, there is no prohibition on enforcement against the property or bank accounts of a central bank or other monetary authority.

Test for enforcement

Explain whether domestic jurisprudence has developed any further test that must be satisfied before enforcement against a state is permitted.

Not applicable.

Service of arbitration award or judgment

How is a state served with process or otherwise notified before an arbitration award or judgment against it (or its organs and instrumentalities) may be enforced?

There is no such requirement.

History of enforcement proceedings

Is there a history of enforcement proceedings against states in your jurisdiction? What part of these proceedings is based on arbitral awards?

Not applicable.

Public databases

Are there any public databases through which assets held by states may be identified?

No.

Court competency

Would a court in your state be competent to assist with or otherwise intervene to help identify assets held by states in the territory?

It would be possible in conjunction with injunctive relief or in aid of enforcement.