Seizing goods of a foreign state may be uphill battle
The Dutch Supreme Court recently delivered a ruling in response to preliminary questions raised by a Dutch preliminary relief judge in a dispute about seizure of assets owned by the Republic of Gabon, but held by a third party. The Dutch Supreme Court ruled that a creditor who seizes or wants to seize assets at the expense of a foreign state must prove that the assets are capable of being seized. Clients should therefore be aware that if they want to make this type of seizure, they will have to provide evidence that the foreign state’s assets are used or intended for other than public purposes. The creditor has the same burden of proof where the foreign state fails to put up a defence in the proceedings.