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Tom Snelling comments on state immunity findings in the Supreme Court judgment in Argentum Exploration Ltd v Republic of South Africa, in Lloyd’s List

By Tom Snelling

Partner Tom Snelling comments on the Supreme Court judgment in Argentum Exploration Ltd v Republic of South Africa regarding state immunity, noting the importance of the judgment for salvors dealing with state-owned cargo.

Tom’s comments were published in Lloyd’s List, 4 July 2024, here.

In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court has held that governments are not obliged to give salvors a cut of the proceeds from the salvage of state-owned goods.

Tom commented, “The fact that the Supreme Court still gave judgment even though the parties had settled shows how they think this is important. 

“This is of relevance for commercial salvors if they are dealing with state-owned cargo. Here, the bottom line is that the UK protects sovereign immunity, and that is an important legal point.” 

Tom went on, “A state is going to say, you can’t sue us for the goods that you’ve recovered, we are immune from normal civil litigation because of state immunity.”

 

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