Société Paul Liegard v Captain Serdjuk and Magne

CourtCommercial Court (France)
France, Tribunal de Commerce of La Rochelle (summary jurisdiction)
Socit Paul Liegard
Captain Serdjuk and Magne

Sovereign immunity Public ships Immunity from attachment of merchant vessel owned by foreign State Activities iure imperii and iure gestionis The law of France

Summary: The facts:In summary proceedings before the Tribunal de Commerce of La Rochelle the question arose as to whether a merchant vessel, the Saaremaa, which was owned by a foreign State, could be subjected to attachment in an action arising from the carriage of goods by sea for a private person.

Held:There was no entitlement to immunity from attachment.

A ship belonging to a foreign State which carried freight by sea for a private person performed a private commercial act which had nothing in common with the performance of a public or government service and to which the rules concerning the immunity of State ships did not apply.

The following is the summary of the judgment contained in Droit Maritime Franais, 1967, p, 62 (in French):

A ship belonging to a foreign State which...

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