DP World responds to Djibouti government’s refusal to accept verdict

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Dubai: DP World on Saturday responded to Djibouti’s refusal to acknowledge a London Court of International Arbitration ruling by saying the government did not “recognise the international rule of law.”

On Thursday, Arbitral Tribunal of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) ruled that the Djibouti government’s seizure of control of Doraleh Container Terminal from DP World was illegal.

As a result, DP World’s 30-year concession to operate the port “remains valid and binding” and laws and decrees issued to the contrary by the Djibouti government were devices to avoid its contractual obligations.

On Friday, the Djibouti government stated that it did not accept the verdict.

The Court’s decision upholding the continuing validity of the Concession is based on recognised principles of international law and is internationally binding both on the Djibouti government and so far as third parties are concerned, DP World’s statement said.

“As the Court has held, Djibouti does not have sovereignty over a contract governed by English law,” the statement said. “It is well established that, in the absence of an express term to that effect, an English law contract cannot be unilaterally terminated at will. The contract therefore remains in full force and effect.”

On Thursday, DP World said it would reflect on the ruling and review its options.

DP World built the Doralah Container Port under concession from the Djibouti government in 2006, following a previous deal to run the Port of Djibouti signed in 2000. Under the deal, Djibouti retains 67 per cent ownership of the Doraleh terminal, while DP World owns 33 per cent.

Gulf Times

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