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The London Steam-Ship Owners’ Mutual Insurance Association Ltd v The Kingdom of Spain (The “Prestige”) (No 4) – QBD (Comm Ct) (Butcher J) [2020] EWHC 1920 (Comm) – 24 July 2020

Lloyd's Maritime Law Newsletter

The London Steam-Ship Owners’ Mutual Insurance Association Ltd v The Kingdom of Spain (The “Prestige”) (No 4) – QBD (Comm Ct) (Butcher J) [2020] EWHC 1920 (Comm) – 24 July 2020

Conflict of laws – Jurisdiction – State immunity – P&I Club bringing actions against Spain and France to enforce arbitration awards and English judgments – Whether states entitled to immunity – Whether court had jurisdiction

In 2002 the vessel Prestige broke in two and sank off Cape Finisterre. The vessel’s cargo of fuel oil escaped and polluted the Atlantic coastline of Spain and France, causing significant damage. The incident led to the institution of criminal proceedings in Spain in late 2002.

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