Land Sale Authorization Case

CourtCourt of Appeal of Berlin (Germany)
Federal Republic of Germany, Superior Court (Kammergericht) of West Berlin
Land Sale Authorisation Case1

Sovereign immunity Foreign States Sale of real property by ambassador on behalf of foreign State Requirement of proof of authority to dispose of property of another Extent of ambassador's authority to enter into commercial transactions Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961, Article 3(1) (a) Whether representative of foreign State subject to requirement to prove authority Acts iure imperii and iure gestionis The law of the Federal Republic of Germany

Summary: The facts:In proceedings before the Provincial Court (Landgericht) of West Berlin, the question arose of whether an ambassador, wishing to dispose of real property on behalf of his sending State,2 could be required to prove his legal authority to do so in the same way as any private person

wishing to dispose of another's rights on his behalf. The Court held that the ambassador of a foreign State had no general authorisation to represent his sending State in every respect by the mere fact of his accreditation to the Federal Government. The same question arose in proceedings before the Superior Court (Kammergericht) of West Berlin

Held:The view of the lower Court had been correct.

(1) The implied authorisation of an ambassador to enter into commercial transactions on behalf of his sending State extended, at most, to normal transactions connected with the maintenance of a mission. The disposal of real property did not fall into this category.

(2) Article 3 (1) of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 merely codified existing customary international law in stating that the function of a diplomatic mission was to represent the interests of the sending State in the receiving State. It said nothing about the scope of the authority of the ambassador to enter into legal transactions.

(3) As far as the seeding State was concerned, in disposing of its real property it did not act as a sovereign but rather took part in a private law business transaction so that it was subject to the normal rules governing such transactions.

The following is the text of the judgment of the Court:

The Provincial Court of West Berlin (Landgericht) has rightly stated that the ambassador of a foreign State is not authorised to represent the sending State in every respect (in this case with regard to the disposal of land) by the mere fact of his accreditation to the Federal Government. There is no...

Um weiterzulesen

FORDERN SIE IHR PROBEABO AN

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