It is probably better to forget his Russian loans


The French holders of loans issued to finance the Russian railways no longer have to feed hope. Here's why.

Holders of Russian loans issued before the revolution of 1917 can not ask the French justice to condemn Russia to repay them, decided the Court of Cassation (Cass Civ 1, 6.11.2019, P 18-16.437). .

The Russian Federation, issuing loans in 1906 and 1908 with government guarantees, proceeded to an act of sovereignty that can not be the subject of an assessment by a foreign judge, given the immunity of the States , observed the Court.

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The French
holders of bonds issued to finance the Russian railways and guaranteed to
the time by the imperial government, therefore have no hope before the
French courts.

They challenged Russia's immunity from jurisdiction in this case, arguing that at the time that State had not made an act of sovereignty but an "act of management" which can therefore be appreciated by the French courts.

An agreement in 1997

This argument
been rejected. Since the Russian State had granted tax advantages
exorbitant to the subscribers, as well as its guarantee, he used his
prerogatives of public authority and acts of sovereignty. This
qualifier also applies to the Soviet decree of 1918 which canceled everything.

A 1997 agreement between Russia and France allowed French holders of Russian loans to receive a small portion of what they thought they owed. Some had not abandoned the procedures.

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The ban
for the French judge to judge this case is not contrary to the Convention
European Court of Human Rights, observed the Court, since State immunity
is based on a legitimate aim: "to promote courtesy between
States based on respect for the sovereignty of everyone ".

French victims are not deprived of access to justice, concluded the Court
of cassation, because they can seize the Russian justice "whose lack
independence and impartiality can not be presumed ".

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