An ambassador's certificate which confirmed that certain London bank accounts of Chad were not used for commercial purposes failed to impress the Commercial Court.

In Orascom Telecom v Chad [2008] EWHC 1841, the court decided that the ambassador's certificate was of no persuasive power, not just because it lacked explanation, but also because it was manifestly incorrect.

The accounts were established as part of an agreement with the World Bank and others for the construction of an oil pipeline. The majority of the accounts were for the purpose of repaying Chad's debts to the World Bank and others, but the claimant argued that at least one account, which it had targeted for a third party debt order, was "property in use or intended to be used for commercial purposes", and therefore fell within the exception contained in the State Immunity Act 1978.

The court agreed and further raised the possibility that in consenting to an ICC arbitration Chad had waived any immunity in respect of enforcement.

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