Litigation Recent decisions 05/09/95

Kuwait Airways Corporation v Iraqi Airways Company and anor (1995).

HL (Lords Goff, Jauncey, Mustill, Slynn and Nicholls) 24/7/95.

Summary: Seizure and retention of Kuwaiti aircraft by Iraqi airline was not necessarily conduct subject to sovereign immunity because it was done on the orders of the Iraqi government when invading Kuwait.

Appeal by the plaintiff, Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC), against CA (Nourse LJ, Leggatt LJ and Simon Brown LJ) decision from 21/10/93. The first defendant had seized and retained the plaintiff's aircraft at the direction of the second defendant, the Iraqi government, a sovereign State, and was entitled to claim sovereign immunity. The defendants, having done no more than claim sovereign immunity, had not thereby submitted to the jurisdiction of the English courts.