What is the significance of the Arantzazu Mendi case (1939) in the development of international law?


In this case there was a Spanish ship which was registered at Bilbao. Later Bilbao was occupied by insurgents led by General France. Republican government of Spain passed a decree for taking possession of ship.

At that time ship was at High Seas. Owner of the ship filed a writ for taking possession of the ship when ship reached London. By the time Republican of Spain issued writ for taking possession of the ship. On the other hand government of General Franco passed decree for taking possession of this as well as other ships. Great Britain had bestowed de-jure recognition to Spain and de-facto to Government led by General Franco.

It was held that there was no difference between de-jure and defector recognized government for present purpose and at the date of writ Nationalist Government led by General Franco was independent therefore could not be imp leaded as party.


It was held by the House of Lords that since the Nationalist was a de-facto recognised sovereign ineffective contract over a large portion of Spain, it was immune from the jurisdiction of the local courts of other sovereign.

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