R.J.V.D.B. v Imperial Tomacco Ltd. and Gallagher Ltd.

Supreme Court, R.J.V.D.B. v Imperial Tobacco Ltd. and Gallagher Ltd, Nr. 14.0414.N, 26 May 2015

In this case, the claimant seeks annulment of a judgment of the Antwerp Court of Appeal, inter alia on the basis of an alleged breach of Article 22(3) of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR). In particular, the claimant argues that a vehicle of the Ivorian embassy in London with a British diplomatic license plate be immune from search and seizure in the context of a criminal investigation in Belgium.  The Supreme Court recalls that Art. 22(3) VCDR regulates mutual obligations between the sending and receiving States. By contrast, neither Article 22(3) nor article 40 VCDR provide immunity from investigation or seizure of a means of transportation of a diplomatic mission that is not accredited in Belgium.

Central Bank of Iraq v Commerzbank AG, Prysmian Finland OY et al.

Belgian Supreme Court, Central Bank of Iraq v Commerzbank AG, Prysmian Finland OY et al., Nr. C.14.0459.N/1, 15 May 2015

The Belgian Supreme Court observes that the immunity from execution owed to foreign States pursuant to customary international law, treaty law or national law, is not absolute and is susceptible to waiver of immunity. Immunity from execution does not alter the fact that grievances regarding the seizability of goods must be brought before the court in a timely manner.

A. v Kingdom of Belgium

Brussels First Instance Tribunal, A. v Kingdom of Belgium, Nr. 2013/9033/A, 4 May 2015

The claimant is a Belgian national born in Palestine. He asserts that numerous products originating from Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian land are commercialized in Belgium undr the label ‘Made in Israel’, in contravention with international law. According to A., authorizing this commercialisation makes Belgium complicit in the illegal occupation of Palestine and Israel’s violations of international humanitarian law. In light hereof, the claimant requests the Court to forbid the Belgian State to continue allowing the entry and sale of these products.

However, the Court declared his claim inadmissible on the grounds that A. did not have a personal, direct, concrete and legitimate interest. Contrary to what A. asserts, this interest cannot be derived from the direct applicability of jus cogens. Only people who have a direct and personal interest because of the violation of international laws, can turn to the courts.