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Herbert Smith Freehills LLP | Hong Kong | 20 Feb 2009

Court of first instance considers the scope of sovereign immunity and rules that an agreement to arbitrate does not amount to a waiver of immunity from enforcement

The Hong Kong court considered the scope of the 'commercial transaction' exception to sovereign immunity, finding that payments to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in consideration for the grant of a licence to exploit the DRC's mineral rights were sovereign (as opposed to commercial) in nature and were therefore immune from execution (i.e. enforcement).

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