Database international law in Belgian Courts

Database international law in Belgian Courts
02-09-19
A A

Belgian Supreme Court, A A, Nr. P.18.1301.N, 2 January 2019

The case concerns an Iranian diplomat working at the embassy in Vienna (Austria), who was arrested in Germany and extradited to Belgium to face criminal charges for alleged involvement in terrorist activities. The Court acknowledges that diplomats enjoy inviolability when they are 'in transit' to or from the receiving State as part of  their diplomatic assignment pursuant to Article 40(1) of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. However, this inviolability does not apply where a diplomat returns to the receiving State from a holiday in a third country. 

Database international law in Belgian Courts
11-12-14
NML Capital Ltd v Republic of Argentina

Belgian Supreme Court, NML Capital Ltd v Republic of Argentina, Nr. C.13.0537.F, 11 December 2014

According to the Court, the right of access to court, as enshrined in Article 6 ECHR, cannot be invoked to force a State to set aside the customary rule of immunity from execution, which seeks to ensure the proper functioning of diplomatic missions and to promote friendly relations between sovereign States. The Court rejects the argument that immunity from execution must be set aside when no alternative means of legal redress are available. 

Database international law in Belgian Courts
22-11-12
Republic of Argentina v NMC Capital Ltd

Belgian Supreme Court, Republic of Argentina v. NMC Capital LTD, Nr. C.11.0688.F, 22 November 2012

The judgment annuls a previous judgment by the Brussels Court of Appeals dated 21 June 2011. In the latter judgment , the Court of Appeals took the view that Argentina's general waiver of immunity from jurisdiction and immunity from execution also covered the goods of Argentina's diplomatic mission in Belgium, including its bank accounts (without there being a need to verify whether the amounts seized were used for purposes other than the functioning of the diplomatic mission). According to the Supreme Court, this approach violated articles 22, 3 and 25 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations as well as the customary rule of 'ne impediatur legatio'. In particular, the Supreme Court confirmed the need for an explicit and specific waiver of immunity in respect of goods of the diplomatic mission.

Database international law in Belgian Courts
03-05-05
B.A.R. Belgium, NV Sabena and Deutsche Lufthansa AG v Municipality of Zaventem

Belgian Council of State (Afdeling Administratie), B.A.R. Belgium, NV Sabena and Deutsche Lufthansa AG v Municipality of Zaventem; Belgian State v Municipality of Zaventem. Judgment Nr. 144.081, 3 May 2005

Article 15 of the 1944 Chicago Convention on Civil Aviation - which was duly ratified by Belgium and published in the Official Gazette - stipulates that '[n]o fees, dues or other charges shall be imposed by any contracting State in respect solely of the right of transit over or entry into or exit from its territory of any aircraft of a contracting State or persons or property thereon'. According to the Council of State, it is clear from the language and intention of the States Parties that this provision is self-executing. Accordingly, the applicants can succesfully invoke the provision to annull a decree of the municipality of Zaventem introducing a tax on airlines flying to and from Brussels international airport.