Svenska Petroleum Exploration Ab v Lithuania and Another (No 2): CA 13 Nov 2006

The defendant state could not now claim state immunity to avoid enforcement of an arbitration award, having agreed to the reference to arbitration in writing.
Held: A person against whom an award has been made is not bound to challenge it before the supervisory court in order to challenge its enforcement in another jurisdiction.
‘In our view the expression ‘relating to’ is capable of bearing a broader or narrower meaning as the context requires. Section 3 is one of a group of sections dealing with the courts’ adjudicative jurisdiction and it is natural, therefore, to interpret the phrase in that context as being directed to the subject matter of the proceedings themselves rather than the source of the legal relationship which has given rise to them. To construe section 3 in this way does not give rise to any conflict with section 9, which is concerned with arbitration as the parties’ chosen means of resolving disputes rather than with the underlying transaction. In our view AIC Ltd v Federal Government of Nigeria was correctly decided and Gloster J was right to follow it in the present case.’


Sir Anthony Clarke MR, Scott Baker LJ, Moore-Bick LJ


[2006] EWCA Civ 1529, Times 17-Nov-2006, [2007] QB 886, [2007] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 193, [2007] 1 All ER (Comm) 909, [2006] 2 CLC 797, [2007] 2 WLR 876




State Immunity Act 1978 3


England and Wales


Appeal fromSvenska Petroleum Exploration Ab v Lithuania and Another (No 2) ComC 4-Nov-2005
The court was asked whether a claim to enforce an arbitration award constituted ‘proceedings relating to’ the transaction that gave rise to the award for the purposes of section 3(1)(a).
Held: It did not. . .
See AlsoSvenska Petroleum Exploration Ab v Government of the Republic of Lithuania and Another ComC 11-Jan-2005
The claimant sought enforcement of a final award. The Government of Lithuania had not attempted to challenge the tribunal’s first award in Denmark.
Held: Nigel Teare QC said that that, where a person has unsuccessfully contested the issue of . .

Cited by:

CitedDallah Estates and Tourism Holding Company v Ministry of Religious Affairs, Government Of Pakistan CA 20-Jul-2009
The claimant sought to enforce an international arbitration award against the defendant in respect of the provision of accommodation for Hajj pilgrims. A without notice order had been made to allow its enforcement, but that had been set aside.
ApprovedNML Capital Ltd v Argentina SC 6-Jul-2011
The respondent had issued bonds but in 2001 had declared a moratorium on paying them. The appellant hedge fund later bought the bonds, heavily discounted. Judgment was obtained in New York, which the appellants now sought to enforce against assets . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

International, Arbitration

Updated: 08 July 2022; Ref: scu.245992