A Washington, D.C., federal judge ruled Wednesday (pdf) that state-owned foreign corporations that can prove they operate independently of the government are entitled to certain due process protections afforded to private foreign corporations.

The case stemmed from a breach-of-contract dispute between GSS Group, a company in the British Virgin Islands, and the National Port Authority, a company in Liberia. A London arbitrator had found that NPA violated its contract with GSS Group and that GSS Group was entitled to $44 million in damages. GSS Group filed a petition asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to confirm the arbitration award.

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