Thu, Dec. 28, 2006

Waiver and Embassy Accounts

CK - Washington.   A blanket waiver of sovereign immunity contained in the terms of government bonds marketed commercially does not affect the immunity afforded the government's diplomatic assets in Germany, the German Constitutional Supreme Court in Karlsruhe ruled on December 6, 2006 in the matter 2 BvM 9/03.

After examining American and other laws to discern the general principles of international law on the issue, the court found the inviolability of diplomatic assets paramount. A sovereign may specifically waive its immunity with respect to diplomatic assets, such as an embassy bank account. But a blanket waiver related to non-diplomatic issues does not permit the execution of judgments involving other matters into diplomatic assets.

Such a waiver may be sufficient, however, to subject the sovereign to jurisdiction and general enforcement of judgments. The matter at bar involved bonds issued by Argentina and the attempted enforcement of a Frankfurt, Germany judgment into an Argentine bank account in Berlin.

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