DP World: Djibouti not recognizing ‘international rule of law’

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DP World issued a response on Saturday saying Djibouti’s refusal to acknowledge a London Court of International Arbitration ruling demonstrates that the government did not “recognize the international rule of law.”

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

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 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.”

DP World said: “The Djibouti government’s repeated statements that the port concession has proved contrary to the fundamental interests of the Republic of Djibouti do not bear scrutiny. As the Court’s decision records, the government’s own representatives have given evidence that the port has been ‘a great success for Djibouti’. The terms of the concession have also been held in two previous cases brought by the Government itself to have been “even handed and fair”. In light of that indisputable success, and the fair and reasonable terms of the concession, the government’s attempts to terminate it cannot have anything to do with the fundamental interests of the people of Djibouti.”

DP World built the Doraleh 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.

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