X v Saudi School in Paris

CourtCourt of Cassation (France)
Date20 juin 2003
France, Court of Cassation (Mixed Chamber).

(Canaviet, First President; Pluyette, Rapporteur, de Gouttes, First Advocate General)

Saudi School in Paris and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

State immunity Jurisdictional immunity Locally recruited employee of foreign State school Teacher Employment dispute Claim for national insurance benefits Whether foreign State entitled to jurisdictional immunity Whether failure of foreign State to affiliate employee to national insurance body constituting an ordinary act of administration not covered by immunity The law of France

Summary: The facts:In 1993, Madame X, then an Egyptian national, was hired by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to work as an Arabic teacher in the Saudi School in Paris. In 1997, after acquiring French nationality through marriage, she instituted proceedings before a French employment tribunal claiming the right to affiliate to the French national insurance organization. Saudi Arabia claimed jurisdictional immunity. The Court of Appeal of Paris held that the Saudi School formed part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and that jurisdictional immunity could therefore be relied upon. Madame X appealed to the Court of Cassation. Although she accepted that the Saudi School did not have its own legal personality and was indistinguishable from the Saudi State, she argued that the Saudi State could not rely on jurisdictional immunity in the circumstances of the case.

Advocate General de Gouttes argued that the Court of Cassation should apply the criteria contained in Article 11 (2) (a) of the Draft Articles on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property, adopted by the Ad Hoc Committee of the United Nations in 2003, which reflected the current state of international law on the matter. Accordingly he urged the Court of Cassation to conclude that the teaching activity of the claimant was not such that she had been recruited to perform particular functions in the exercise of governmental authority. Consequently, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should not be allowed to invoke considerations of its sovereignty to justify its refusal to affiliate the claimant to French social security bodies and to pay the contributions claimed.

Held:The appeal was allowed and the case was remitted to the Court of Appeal for a decision on the merits.

The act at issue, whereby the Saudi State had failed to notify the employment of Madame X to the French national insurance institute for the purposes of her affiliation, was...

Pour continuer la lecture


VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT