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II.2.50 EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON STATE IMMUNITY, 1972

The Ratification of Maritime Conventions

Chapter I.2.50

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON STATE IMMUNITY, 1972

ADOPTED: Opened for signature in Basle 16 May 1972
REFERENCE: ETS 74
ENTERED INTO FORCE: 11 June 1976
DEPOSITARY: Secretary-General, Council of Europe
SECRETARY: Secretary-General, Council of Europe

IMPLEMENTATION

SIGNATURE, RATIFICATION, ACCEPTANCE, ACCESSION AND ENTRY INTO FORCE

Article XXXVI

1. This present Convention shall be open to signature by the member States of the Council of Europe. It shall be subject to ratification or acceptance. Instruments of ratification or acceptance shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe.

2. The Convention shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit of the third instrument of ratification or acceptance.

3. In respect of a signatory State ratifying or accepting subsequently, the Convention shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit of its instrument of ratification or acceptance.

Article XXXVII

1. After the entry into force of the present Convention, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe may, by a decision taken by a unanimous vote of the members casting a vote, invite any non-member State to accede thereto.

2. Such accession shall be effected by depositing with the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe an instrument of accession which shall take effect three months after the date of its deposit.

3. However, if a State having already acceded to the Convention notifies the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe of its objection to the accession of another non-member State, before entry into force of this accession, the Convention shall not apply to the relations between these two States.

DENUNCIATION

Article XL

1. Any Contracting State may, in so far as it is concerned, denounce this Convention by means of a notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe.

2. Such denunciation shall take effect six months after the date of receipt by the Secretary-General of such notification. This Convention shall, however, continue to apply to proceedings introduced before the date on which the denunciation takes effect, and to judgments given in such proceedings.

RESERVATIONS

Article XXXIX

No reservation is permitted to the present Convention.

TERRITORIAL APPLICATION

1. Any State may, at the time of signature or when depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance or accession, specify the territory or territories to which the present Convention shall apply.

2. Any State may, when depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance or accession or at any later date, by declaration addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, extend this Convention to any other territory or territories specified in the declaration and for whose international relations it is responsible or on whose behalf it is authorised to give undertakings.

3. Any declaration made in pursuance of the preceding paragraph may, in respect of any territory mentioned in such declaration, be withdrawn according to the procedure laid down in Article XL of this Convention.

RESERVATIONS AND DECLARATIONS

Austria

Declaration contained in the instrument of ratification, deposited on 10 July 1974—Or. Germ/Engl/Fr.

The Republic of Austria declares according to Article XXVIII para. 2 of the European Convention on State Immunity that its constituent States Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Vorarlberg and Vienna may invoke the provisions of the European Convention on State Immunity applicable to Contracting States and have the same obligations.

Declaration signed by the Federal President on 17 December 1976, transmitted by a letter from the Permanent Representative of Austria, dated 10 January 1976, registered at the Secretariat General on 11 January 1976—Or. Germ/Engl/Fr.

In compliance with paragraph 4 of Article XXI of the European Convention on State Immunity, the Republic of Austria declares that it designates the Vienna Regional Civil Court (Landesgericht fur Zivilrechtssachen Wien) as solely competent to determine whether the Republic of Austria shall give effect, in accordance with Article XX of the above-mentioned Convention, to any judgment given by a court of another Contracting State.

Belgium

Declaration made at the time of deposit of the instrument of ratification, on 27 October 1975—Or. Fr.

In accordance with Article XXI, the Belgian Government designates the “Tribunal de première instance” for determining the question whether the Belgian State should give effect to a foreign judgment.

With reference to Article XXIV, the Belgian Government declares that, in cases not falling within Articles I to XIII, its court shall be entitled to entertain proceedings against another Contracting State to the extent that its courts are entitled to entertain proceedings against States not Party to the present Convention. Such a declaration shall be without prejudice to the immunity from jurisdiction which foreign States enjoy in respect of acts performed in the exercise of sovereign authority (acta jure imperii).

Luxembourg

Declarations made at the time of deposit of the instrument of ratification, on 11 December 1986—Or. Fr.

1. The competent Court, under Article XXI of the Convention, to determine the question whether effect should be given to a judgment delivered in pursuance of Article XX, is the Court of Appeal of Luxembourg, judging in accordance with the procedure of civil appeals, as for summary and urgent matters. Its decision is subject to appeal to the Supreme Court in compliance with the ordinary rules in civil matters.

2. In accordance with Article XXIV of the Convention, the Courts of Luxembourg are entitled, in cases falling outside Articles I to XIII of the Convention, to entertain proceedings against another Contracting State to the extent to which its Courts are entitled to entertain such proceedings against States not Party to the Convention.

Germany, Federal Republic of

Declarations contained in two letters from the Permanent Representative, dated 15 May 1990, handed to the Secretary General at the time of the deposit of the instrument of ratification on 15 May 1990—Or. Germ./Engl./Fr.:

I have the honour to declare on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany that the convention shall also apply to Land Berlin with effect from the date on which it enters into force for the Federal Republic of Germany.

I have the honour to make the following declarations on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany:

Paragraph 4 of Article 21:

The question whether effect should be given by the Federal Republic of Germany or a Land to a judgment rendered by a court of another Contracting State in accordance with Article 20 or Article 25 or to a settlement in accordance with article 22 of the Convention is determined by the competent Regional Court (Landgericht) in whose administrative district the Federal Government has its seat.

Article 24:

The Federal Republic of Germany declares in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 24 of the Convention that, in cases not falling in articles 1 to 13, its courts are entitled to entertain proceedings against another contracting State to the extent that its courts are entitled to entertain proceedings against States not party to the Convention. Such a declaration is without prejudice to the immunity from jurisdiction which foreign States enjoy in respect of acts performed in the exercise of sovereign authority (acta jure imperii).

Paragraph 2 of Article 28:

The Federal Republic of Germany declares in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article 28 of the Convention that the Länder of Baden-Württemburg, Bavaria, Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North-Rhine/Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Schleswig-Holstein may invoke the provisions of the Convention applicable to contracting States and have the same obligations.

Declaration contained in a letter from the Permanent Representative, dated 3 June 1992, registered at the Secretariat General on 5 June 1992—Or. Eng./Fr./Ger.

The Federal Republic of Germany hereby amends its declaration relating to Article 28 paragraph 2 of the Convention to the effect that all constituent states (Länder) of the Federal Republic of Germany, namely Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, North-Rhine/Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatina, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia shall be able to invoke the provisions of the Convention applying to the Contracting States and shall have the same duties as the latter.

Netherlands

Declarations made at the time of deposit of the instrument of acceptance, on 21 February 1985—Or. Engl.

I have the honour, with reference to Article XXIV, first paragraph, of the European Convention on State Immunity, to declare, on behalf of the Kingdom of the Netherlands that in cases not falling within Articles I to XIII, its courts shall be entitled to entertain proceedings against another Contracting State to the extent that its courts are entitled to entertain proceedings against States not Party to the present Convention.

The district-court (“Arrondissementsrechtbaank”) of the Hague has been designated as the competent court referred to in Article XXI, first paragraph, of the Convention.

Declaration contained in the instrument of acceptance deposited on 21 February 1985—Or. Engl.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands accepts the said Convention and Protocol for the Kingdom in Europe.

Switzerland

Declaration contained in a letter from the Permanent Representative of Switzerland, dated 6 July 1982, handed to the Secretary-General at the time of deposit of the instrument of ratification, on the same date—Or. Fr.

I have the honour to declare on behalf of the Swiss Federal Council and in accordance with Article XXIV of the Convention, that in cases not falling within Articles I to XIII, the Swiss Courts shall be entitled to entertain proceedings against another Contracting State to the extent that its courts are entitled to entertain proceedings against States not Party to the present Convention.

United Kingdom

Declarations and Reservations contained in a letter from the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, dated 2 July 1979, handed to the Secretary-General at the time of deposit of the instrument of ratification, on 3 July 1979–Or. Engl.

1. (a) In pursuance of the provisions of paragraph 1 of Article XXIV thereof, the United Kingdom hereby declare that, in cases not falling within Articles I to XIII, their courts and the courts of any territory in respect of which they are a Party to the Convention shall be entitled to entertain proceedings against another Contracting State to the extent that these courts are entitled to entertain proceedings against States not Party to the present Convention. This declaration is without prejudice to the immunity from jurisdiction which foreign States enjoy in respect of acts performed in the exercise of sovereign authority (acta jure imperii).

(b) In pursuance of the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article XIX, the United Kingdom hereby declare that their courts, and the courts of any territory in respect of which they are a Party to the Convention, shall not be bound by the Provisions of paragraph 1 of that Article.

(c) In pursuance of the provisions of paragraph 4 of Article XXI, the United Kingdom hereby designate as competent courts:

  • in England and Wales—the High Court of Justice;
  • in Scotland—the Court of Session;
  • in Northern Ireland—the Supreme Court of Judicature;
  • and any other territory in respect of which they are a Party to the Convention—the Supreme Court of the territory concerned.

The question whether effect is to be given to a judgment in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article XXI may however also be justiciable in other civil courts in the exercise of their normal jurisdiction.

2. I also have the honour to inform you that simultaneously an instrument of ratification of the International Convention for the Unification of certain Rules concerning the Immunity of State-owned Ships, done at Brussels on 10 April 1926, and of the Protocol supplementary thereto, done at Brussels on 24 May 1934, is being deposited with the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium. This instrument of ratification, signed by Her Majesty The Queen in respect of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, contains the following reservations:

  • “We reserve the right to apply Article I of the Convention to any claim in respect of a ship which falls within the Admiralty Jurisdiction of Our courts, or of Our courts in any territory in respect of which We are party to the Convention.
  • We reserve the right, with respect to Article II of the Convention, to apply in proceedings concerning another High Contracting Party or ship of another High Contracting Party the rules of procedure set out in Chapter II of the European Convention on State Immunity, signed at Basle on the Sixteenth day of May, in the Year of Our Lord One thousand Nine hundred and Seventy-two.
  • In order to give effect to the terms of any international agreement with a non-Contracting State, We reserve the right to make special provision
  • (a) as regards the delay or arrest of a ship or cargo belonging to such a State, and
  • (b) to prohibit seizure of or execution against such a ship or cargo.”

Declaration contained in the instrument of ratification, deposited on 3 July 1979—Or. Engl.

The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is Party to the Convention on behalf of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Belize, British Antarctic Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands and dependencies, Gilbert Islands, Hong Kong, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, St. Helena and dependencies, Turks and Caicos Islands, U.K. Sovereign base area of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in the Island of Cyprus.

Declarations contained in a letter from the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, dated 25 November 1987, registered at the Secretariat General on 27 November 1987—Or. Engl.

I have the honour to refer to the European Convention on State Immunity, done at Basle on 16 May 1972, which the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ratified on 3 July 1979. In accordance with Article XXXVIII, paragraph 2, thereof, I hereby declare, on behalf of the Government of the United Kingdom, that the said Convention shall extend to Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

I have the further honour to state that the notifications made to your predecessor in paragraph 1(a) and (b) of Mr. Cape’s letter of 2 July 1979 in connection with the said Convention shall apply equally to Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man as territories in respect of which the United Kingdom is a Party to the said Convention.

In addition, in pursuance of the provisions of paragraph 4 of Article XXI of the said Convention, the United Kingdom designate as competent courts:

  • In Guernsey :— in the Island of Guernsey: the Royal Court of Guernsey;
  • — in the Island of Alderney: the Court of Alderney;
  • — in the Island of Sark: the Court of the Seneschal;
  • In Jersey :— the Royal Court of Jersey;
  • In the Isle of Man :— the High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man.

The question whether effect is to be given to a judgment in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article XXI may however also be justiciable in other civil courts in the exercise of their normal jurisdiction.

I further have the honour to inform you that the United Kingdom is also acceding, separately in the name of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man, to the International Convention for the Unification of certain Rules concerning the Immunity of State-owned Ships, done at Brussels on 10 April 1926, and of the protocol supplementary thereto, done at Brussels on 24 May 1934, subject to the same reservations as are referred to in paragraph 2 of Mr. Cape’s afore-mentioned letter.

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