Iran v Berend: QBD 1 Feb 2007

The Republic of Iran sought the return of a fragment of ancient Achaemenid relief in the possession of the defendant, saying that it was part of an ancient monument. The defendant said that she had bought it properly at an auction in Paris. The fragment was held by Christies. The claimant said that the French law of movable property applied.
Held: Eady J said: ‘English law has held for many years, in order partly to achieve consistency and certainty, that where movable property is concerned title should be determined by the lex situs of the property at the time when the disputed title is said to have been acquired’ and saw no place for the introduction of the doctrine of renvoi in the context of a tangible object, and title fell to be determined under French domestic law. Under such, the fact of the defendant’s good faith in her purchase was determinative, and the claim failed.

Eady J
[2007] EWHC 132 (QB), [2007] BusLR D65
Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property adopted at the General Conference of UNESCO on 14 November 1970 3, UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (Rome 24 June 1995) 5(I)
England and Wales
CitedMacmillan Inc v Bishopsgate Investment Trust Plc and Others (No 3) ChD 1-Jul-1993
Bona fide chargees for value of shares situated in New York and held on trust for Macmillan were able, by application of New York law, to take the shares free of Macmillan’s prior equitable interest of which the chargees had had no notice. Where . .
CitedSouthwark London Borough Council v Mills/Tanner; Baxter v Camden London Borough Council HL 21-Oct-1999
Tenants of council flats with ineffective sound insulation argued that the landlord council was in breach of the covenant for quiet enjoyment in their tenancy agreements.
Held: A landlord’s duty to allow quiet enjoyment does not extend to a . .
CitedRaffelsen Zentralbank Osterreich Ag v Five Star General Trading Llc and Others CA 1-Mar-2001
An assigned marine insurance policy was subject to a claim. The issue was the ability of an assignee to claim as a claim in contract where the proper law was that under which the contract was made, or a claim of an intangible right to claim against . .
CitedNeilson v Overseas Projects Corporation of Victoria Ltd 29-Sep-2005
(High Court of Australia) Private international law – Foreign tort – Choice of law – Appellant was injured in the People’s Republic of China – Scope of the lex loci delicti – Where the lex loci delicti treats another connecting factor, such as . .
CitedWinkworth v Christie, Manson and Woods Ltd ChD 1980
The right to sue in conversion at common law is available to a person who is entitled at the time of the conversion to the immediate possession of the goods.
Slade J discussed the applicability of the law of renvoi in an international dispute . .
CitedIn re Duke of Wellington ChD 1947
The court was asked to settle the fate of Spanish estates which had been granted to the first Duke together with a title of nobility. To do this it had to consider the effect of Spanish law: ‘It would be difficult to find a harder task than that . .

Cited by:
CitedIran v The Barakat Galleries Ltd QBD 29-Mar-2007
The claimant government sought the return to it of historical artefacts in the possession of the defendants. The defendant said the claimant could not establish title and that if it could the title under which the claim was made was punitive and not . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

International, Torts – Other

Updated: 10 December 2021; Ref: scu.248401