The immunities of States and international organisations

This database contains the original national contributions bringing together information on The immunities of States and international organisations

Information on the contribution

Member State
Type of document
Permanent link to the contribution
Database of the CAHDI "The immunities of States and international organisations" - contribution of Germany - Jurisprudence of 30/10/1962

Vereinigte Kaliwerke Salzdetfurth AG v. Federative National Republic of Yugoslavia


Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht)

Date of the decision, of the judgment


Points of law

The Federal Constitutional Court applied the theory of relative immunity to suit concerning legation premises and stated that: "“[N]o general rule of public international law whereby domestic jurisdiction in suits against a foreign State in relation to its legation premises are in every case ruled out can be found. The immunity of legation premises instead reaches only as far as is requisite for carrying out the tasks of the diplomatic mission.“

Summary of the case

The case concerned the premises of the Yugoslav Military Mission in Berlin which had been sold by plaintiff to defendant. The plaintiff claimed that the conveyance of property was void and sought rectification of the land register in its favour which required defendant’s consent. The suit was filed to obtain this consent.


German original in Entscheidungen des Bundesverfassungsgerichts Vol. 15, p. 25 et seq.

English extracts in Decisions of the Bundesverfassungsgericht – Federal Constitutional Court – Federal Republic of Germany, Volume I/1: International Law and Law of the European Communitites 1952-1989 (published by the Members of the Court), 1992, p.137 et seq.

Additional information (explanations, notes, etc.)

This Federal Constitutional Court decision was followed by the Bundesverwaltungsgericht [Federal Administrative Court] in a decision of 17 May 1999 [ZOV 1999, 381 et seq.] which concerned the transfer of an embassy compound to the heirs of the original owner who had been expropriated during the Nazi period because of his race.

Article 100 (2) of the Basic Law (German Constitution of 1949) reads as follows: “Where in the course of litigation doubt exists whether a rule of international law is an integral part of federal law and whether such rule directly establishes rights and obligations for the individual (Article 25), the court shall seek a ruling from the Federal Constitutional Court.“ (official translation published by the Press and Information Office of the Federal Government).