Submit this form
Home News Videos Music Photos Facebook Twitter Friends Newsletter Podcasts Mobile RSS
Hong Kong court decides to seek national legal interpretation over debt dispute between U.S. company, DR Congo

Xinhua - June 8, 2011
The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal
The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal

The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal on Wednesday issued a majority judgment, in which it decided to seek legal interpretation from the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress over a debt dispute between a U. S. investment fund and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to the majority judgment, the five judges of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal voted by a majority of 3 to 2.

In May 2008, FG Hemisphere Associates LLC, a New York-based investment fund that bought more than 100 million U.S. dollars in debt carried by the Congo government sued in Hong Kong, for the latter's failure to repay money owed for a 1980s-era project. The Congo government claimed immunity as a foreign state.

While a lower court of Hong Kong ruled in December 2008 that Hong Kong had no jurisdiction in the case, an appeals court overturned that decision in February 2010, ruling that in line with international law, the territory follows restrictive immunity, which does not cover the business affairs of sovereign nations.

The Congo government appealed to the Court of Final Appeal, and in June 2010 asked it to seek legal guidance from Beijing.

The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal said the majority judgment recognizes that the meaning of the words "acts of state such as defense and foreign affairs" is unclear and that it is arguable whether, on its proper interpretation, state immunity comes within Article 19 of the Basic Law.

The plaintiff has also argued that while state immunity falls within Article 13 of the Basic Law, that Article has no bearing on the courts' powers, raising an issue as to the proper interpretation of Article 13, it said.

Under Hong Kong's Basic Law Article 158(3), the Court has a duty to seek an interpretation from the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress if, in adjudicating a case, it needs to decide a question which involves interpreting provisions of the Basic Law which concern affairs which are the responsibility of the Chinese Central People's Government or which concern the relationship between the Central Authorities and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

It is the first time that the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal seeks legal interpretation from the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

Related articles

  1. DR Congo Scores High on Growth, Lags in Poverty Reduction: IMF (October 13, 2015)
  2. DR Congo Takes Chairmanship of COMESA at Summit in Kinshasa (February 26, 2014)
  3. DR Congo Eases Process for Starting a New Business (June 3, 2013)
  4. In Eastern DRC, Ex-Fighters Make a New Life With Coffee (November 5, 2012)
  5. Kabila Names Finance Minister as New Prime Minister (April 19, 2012)
  6. DR Congo Economic Growth Set to Reach An Unprecedented Seven Percent in 2013 (April 12, 2012)
  7. DR Congo, IMF to Co-Host Conference on the Management of Natural Resources (March 13, 2012)
  8. DR Congo's Government Resigns (March 6, 2012)
  9. 32 Million Congolese Voters Set to Elect Their Leaders (November 27, 2011)
  10. UN advises prudent use of abundant resources to spur development (October 10, 2011)
  11. DR Congo growth above 7 percent in 2010 - IMF (September 3, 2011)
  12. Sovereign States Get Legal Immunity in Hong Kong (August 26, 2011)
  13. China, DR Congo see great potentials for further cooperation (January 13, 2011)
  14. DR Congo Decries Loss of Favored US Trade Status (December 22, 2010)
  15. Paris Club cancels 7.35 billion of Congo debt (November 17, 2010)
  16. Rights Group Says Arms Transport Needs Regulation (July 19, 2010)
  17. IMF, World Bank Grant $12.3 Billion Debt Relief for DR Congo (July 1, 2010)
  18. Tullow Oil loses Congolese permit on Lake Albert (June 24, 2010)
  19. Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito Faces Skeptical MPs (April 28, 2010)
  20. Congo Could Have Most of Debt Forgiven by June (March 24, 2010)
  21. President Joseph Kabila meets Chinese army deputy chief of the General Staff (March 12, 2010)
  22. China steps up African cooperation with ministerial visits (January 15, 2010)
  23. Chinese premier meets with African leaders (November 8, 2009)
  24. $215 Million Central Africa Backbone Program Will Bring Low Cost, High Speed Internet to the Region (October 6, 2009)
  25. Congo Defends China Mineral Deal (August 12, 2009)
  26. Student's question lost in translation 'struck a nerve' with Hillary Clinton (August 11, 2009)
  27. Hillary Clinton: the United States stand ready to assist the government to promote human rights (August 10, 2009)
  28. China vows closer bonds with DR Congo (July 15, 2009)
  29. Government spokesman says DRC satisfied with Sino-Congolese co-op (July 10, 2009)
  30. Chinese Mineral Deal Blocking Congo's IMF Debt Relief (May 26, 2009)

Live TV Congo Radio en ligne Radio
Available on App Store
Get it on Google Play

Contact Us | About Us | Édition en Français | French Edition

© All rights reserved.