Service of Proceedings Upon a Foreign State

24 January, 2019

In a reserved judgment handed down on 18 January 2019 in General Dynamics UK Ltd v. Libya [2019] EWHC 64 (Comm), Lord Justice Males (sitting in the Commercial Court) set aside an order made by Teare J dispensing with the need for service of arbitration enforcement proceedings on the State of Libya.  In a reserved judgment, Males LJ considered the meaning and effect of s.12(1) of the State Immunity Act 1978 in tandem with CPR 62.18 (which sets out the procedural requirements for the enforcement of arbitration awards) as well as the court’s procedural powers to dispense with service under CPR 6.  Males LJ held that (1) an order to enforce an arbitration award made without notice under CPR 62.18 (and s.101 of the Arbitration Act 1996) was a document which fell within the scope of section 12(1) of the State Immunity Act 1978 and was required to be served on a defendant foreign state before steps to enforce the enforcement order could be taken, and (2) there was no power under CPR 6 (or otherwise) to dispense with the need for service of such proceedings upon a foreign state pursuant to the mandatory provisions of s.12(1) of the State Immunity Act 1978. A full copy of the judgment is at [2019] EWHC 64 (Comm).

Huw Davies QC, instructed by Mark Handley at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, appeared for the State of Libya.