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6 Responsibility, 6.2 Arab Organization for Industrialization and others v Westland Helicopters Ltd, Swiss Federal Supreme Court (First Civil Court), 19 July 1988, 80 ILR 652

Christiane Ahlborn

From: Judicial Decisions on the Law of International Organizations

Edited By: Cedric Ryngaert, Ige F Dekker, Ramses A Wessel, Jan Wouters

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 28 October 2021

Subject(s):
Judges — Membership of international organizations — International organizations, practice and procedure — Responsibility of international organizations — Arbitration — Judgments

This chapter discusses the decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court in Westland Helicopters. It forms part of an appeal brought by the Arab Republic of Egypt (ARE) against an earlier arbitral award against the ARE and other respondents. The Tribunal had held that AOI member states, including the ARE, had agreed to arbitration by virtue of the AOI constitution. The Swiss Federal Supreme Court partly reversed this award by upholding the separate legal personality of the AOI. As a result, AOI member states, in particular the appealing ARE, could not be subjected to international arbitration. The Swiss Federal Supreme Court thus set the stage for the contemporary view on the question of the responsibility of member states of international organizations: due to the separate legal personality of an international organization, its member states cannot be held responsible for acts of the organization by virtue of their membership alone.

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