A foreign state was not considered immune from enforcement in listed shares

A group of companies and individuals who made investments in Kazakhstan were entitled to recover damages from Kazakhstan according to an arbitral award. The investors demanded enforcement in Sweden in, among other things, listed shares that were kept in a bank depository. The assets were seized and subject to foreclosure. Kazakhstan appealed against the foreclosure and stated that the assets did not belong to Kazakhstan, but to its central bank, and that the assets were not kept in Sweden. Kazakhstan also objected that it was entitled to immunity under international law against enforcement in the property. The Supreme Court has examined the immunity objection and has ruled that there is no entitlement to immunity. The Court of Appeal shall now examine the remaining objections to the foreclosure decision.

The conclusion of the Supreme Court is based on the finding that international law does not entail an obligation for Sweden to always grant foreign states immunity from enforcement. The Supreme Court has ruled that the purpose behind the holding of the assets at the time of foreclosure is decisive and that the purpose was to contribute on a more general level to preserve and increase the assets of the foreign state for future use. This was, however, not a purpose of such qualified kind that the principal rule of immunity prevented enforcement in the foreclosed property.


Case No.: Ö 3828-20

Attached files


Name: Eric M. Runesson

Title: Supreme Court Justice

Email: eric.runesson@dom.se