Overseas Decisions Bulletin

Foreign Sovereign Immunity

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Foreign Sovereign Immunity

OBB Personenverkehr AG v Sachs

Supreme Court of the United States: Docket No 141067.

Judgment delivered: 1 December 2015.
Coram: Roberts CJ, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito, Sotomayor and Kagan JJ.
Foreign sovereign immunity – Where respondent brought an action against the Austrian national railroad for injuries she suffered whilst attempting to board a train in Austria – Where activities fall within the “commercial activities” exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
Held (9:0): Case reversed.

Human Rights

Keyu v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Anor

Supreme Court of the United Kingdom: [2015] UKSC 69.
Judgment delivered: 25 November 2015.
Human Rights — Life — State’s duty to investigate death — Claimants requesting public inquiry into civilian deaths in British protected state caused by British army patrol in 1948 — Secretaries of State exercising discretion not to hold inquiry — Whether Secretaries of State under duty to hold inquiry — Whether discretion exercised reasonably — Human Rights Act 1998, s 6, Sch 1, Pt 1, art 2 — Inquiries Act 2005, s 1.
Held (4:1): Appeal dismissed.

Regina (Yam) v Central Criminal Court

Supreme Court of the United Kingdom: [2015] UKSC 76.
Judgment delivered: 16 December 2015.
Coram: Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Clarke, Lord Sumption, Lord Reed and Lord Toulson.
Human Rights – Access to courts – European Court of Human Rights – Order made by Crown Court that evidence heard in camera not to be published – Convicted person applying to European Court of Human Rights alleging that right to fair trial infringed – Judge refusing to vary order to permit disclosure to European court – Whether decision hindering effective exercise of convicted person’s right of application to European court – Whether for domestic or European court to order disclosure if appropriate – Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1953), arts 34, 38.
Held (7:0): Appeal dismissed.

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