()

District Judge Andrew L. Carter

 

Read Full- Text Decision

The National Bank of Liberia (NBL) and its successor Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) are national banks established by the Republic of Liberia. The Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China (Ex-Im Bank) is organized and exists under Taiwan law. Under two 1989 agreements, Ex-Im Bank loaned NBL $44 million. Section 9.06 of the Loan Agreements, entitled “Waiver of Sovereign Immunity” specified that borrower NBL could not claim immunity from legal process. CBL sought to dismiss Ex-Im Bank’s suit to enforce the defaulted loan agreements for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The court denied dismissal, agreeing with Ex-Im Bank that NBL explicitly waived sovereign immunity in Section 9.06. Finding that Liberian law governed whether NBL was able to enter into contract with Ex-Im Bank, the court held that a review of the National Bank of Liberia Act of 1974 (NBL Enabling Act) showed Liberia’s legislature gave NBL the authority to make the Loan Agreements. The act provided “the authority of legislative enactment” required by Article 34(d)(iii) of Liberia’s Constitution so that Liberia’s government could raise the subject loans.

District Judge Andrew L. Carter

 

Read Full- Text Decision

The National Bank of Liberia (NBL) and its successor Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) are national banks established by the Republic of Liberia. The Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China (Ex-Im Bank) is organized and exists under Taiwan law. Under two 1989 agreements, Ex-Im Bank loaned NBL $44 million. Section 9.06 of the Loan Agreements, entitled “Waiver of Sovereign Immunity” specified that borrower NBL could not claim immunity from legal process. CBL sought to dismiss Ex-Im Bank’s suit to enforce the defaulted loan agreements for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The court denied dismissal, agreeing with Ex-Im Bank that NBL explicitly waived sovereign immunity in Section 9.06. Finding that Liberian law governed whether NBL was able to enter into contract with Ex-Im Bank, the court held that a review of the National Bank of Liberia Act of 1974 (NBL Enabling Act) showed Liberia’s legislature gave NBL the authority to make the Loan Agreements. The act provided “the authority of legislative enactment” required by Article 34(d)(iii) of Liberia’s Constitution so that Liberia’s government could raise the subject loans.