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

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Member State
Type of document
Permanent link to the contribution
Database of the CAHDI "The immunities of States and international organisations" - contribution of Netherlands - Jurisprudence of 18/05/1978

The Kingdom of Morocco v. Stichting Revalidatie Centrum "De Trappenberg”


District Court of Amsterdam (summary proceedings)

Date of the decision, of the judgment


Points of law

1) Much as States are not normally subject to one another's jurisdiction, this principle may be subject to exceptions in cases where a State becomes involved in legal situations not as a public authority, but rather in a private capacity. This occurs not only where the State takes on an obligation by entering into relationships in the sphere of private law, but also where such an obligation arises out of the law itself.

2) Reliance on the purposes for which the sums attached were intended, viz., public purposes, cannot succeed because, much as these sums were to be used for public purposes, this circumstance cannot render the moneys themselves immune from attachment.

Summary of the case

The daughter of the cleaner/caretaker of the Moroccan Consulate-General at Amsterdam was seriously injured in an accident at the Consulate. She was taken to "De Trappenberg" rehabilitation centre for medical treatment. During the treatment it became apparent that part of the costs involved were not covered by any Dutch or Moroccan insurance. Only during the course of treatment had Morocco taken out a policy, and this became operative a year after the accident. The non-insured costs amounted to Dfl. 84,185.15.

Assuming that the caretaker was unable to pay such a sum, the defendant requested the Court for a garnishee order to secure the debt on funds held by Marocco in the Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas. It was alleged that Morocco was liable in tort for failure to ensure that the caretaker, who was sent to the Netherlands as an employee and his family were adequately insured.

The Court complied with the request, whereupon Morocco applied to the Court in summary proceedings for an injunction for the withdrawal of the garnishee order. The President gave judgment for the plaintiff.


English summary: NYIL 1979, p. 444-445.

Additional information (explanations, notes, etc.)

In a later judgment (see NYIL 1987, p. 354-356) the Court dismissed the claim of “De Trappenberg”, because Morocco had not acted carelessly.

See on the same facts the judgment of the Supreme Court of 25 November 1994 in the case "The Kingdom of Morocco v. Stichting Revalidatiecentrum “De Trappenberg”".