Tuesday, 23 February 2010

State Immunity
Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Court of Appeal upheld a claim by the US firm of FG Hemisphere against China Railway that arose from debts owed by the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo. At issue was whether Congo enjoyed state immunity before the Hong Kong court, for which the Department of Justice of Hong Kong intervened and produced a letter from China's Foreign Ministry to the Hong Kong Government, stating, "The courts in China have no jurisdiction over, nor in practice have they ever entertained, any case in which a foreign state or government is sued as a defendant or any claim involving the property of any foreign state or government. ... At the same time, China has never accepted any foreign courts having jurisdiction over cases in which the state or government of China is sued as a defendant, or cases involving the property of the state or government of China. This principled position held by the government of China is unequivocal and consistent." The Hong Kong court, however, rejected the defendants' argument that Hong Kong courts had no jurisdiction, given that the territory's autonomy does not extend to foreign affairs, and held that "the doctrine of restrictive immunity currently continues to apply in Hong Kong".


Monday, 22 February 2010

Law of the Sea - Continental Shelf

Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada told Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi at a meeting in January that Japan would bring legal action against China at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea if China starts gas production at the Chunxiao gas field.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Law of the Sea - Territorial Sea

China completed construction of 13 permanent facilities on islands and reefs in the East China Sea, in an effort to clarify the baseline for the territorial sea. A naval officer said the permanent facilities and data collection at the base points will clarify where China's territorial waters begins and provide substantial legal basis for China's claim. China has been using a string of 39 islands and reefs stretching from Shandonggaojiao, off Shandong , to Junbijiao to the west of Hainan Island, to establish its maritime baseline since 1996.


Friday, 5 February 2010


The Swiss Government announced that it would accept two Uighur brothers who have been detained at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay.The Swiss Justice Minister said that the decision was based on "Switzerland's humanitarian tradition" (which, as it turns out, is fairly limited, as Switzerland took only three Guantanamo detainees and no more). A Chinese FM spokesman said the two detainees "are suspected members of the terrorist group East Turkistan Islamic Movement" and suggested that Switzerland should follow international regulations not to accept terrorists.


Monday, 1 February 2010

Use of Force
Hong Kong
Law of the Sea - Pirates

With growing reach of Somali pirates, a Hong Kong Government official confirmed that Chinese naval soldiers are routinely serving aboard Hong Kong-registered ships during China's anti-pirate convoys around the Horn of Africa.