Etienne v The Netherlands

Docket NumberCase No. 30
Date31 octobre 1947
CourtCommercial Court (France)
France, Tribunal Commercial de La Rochelle.
Case No. 30
Government of the Netherlands.

Jurisdiction — Immunity from — Vessel Requisitioned by Foreign Government and Employed on Public Service.

The Facts.—This was an action against a vessel requisitioned and operated by the Government of the Netherlands. The Ambassador of the Netherlands in France pleaded to the jurisdiction. He declared that the vessel was employed on a public service.

Held: that the Court had no jurisdiction. Ships employed by a foreign government in the public service were not subject to the jurisdiction of French Courts. The Court said:

“The Ambassador of the Netherlands in Paris contends, in a written declaration, that the steamer Ittersum, requisitioned and operated by his Government, was employed on a political, not a commercial venture. His testimony is confirmed by a declaration of the Ministry of Transport of the Netherlands. French Courts have always held that ships employed by a foreign State with a political object are not subject...

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