Republic of Mozambique (acting through its Attorney General) (Appellant) v Privinvest Shipbuilding SAL (Holding) and others (Respondents)
Case ID: 2021/0085
Whether the Court of Appeal erred in its approach to section 9 of the Arbitration Act 1996 in finding that the Republic of Mozambique's ("Mozambique") claims were "matters" within the scope of the relevant arbitration agreements.
This case concerns the "Tuna Bond" scandal in Mozambique. Three corporate vehicles wholly owned by Mozambique (the "SPVs") entered into supply contracts (the "Contracts") with three of the respondents (the "Privinvest companies") for the development of Mozambique's exclusive economic zone. The SPVs borrowed the purchase funds from various banks, over which borrowing Mozambique granted sovereign guarantees (the "Guarantees"). The Guarantees are governed by English law and provide for dispute resolution in the courts of England and Wales. Mozambique accuses the Privinvest companies and various others of paying significant bribes to Mozambique's corrupt officials, exposing it to a potential liability of approximately US $2bn under the Guarantees, and accordingly brought proceedings in England and Wales. The Contracts are governed by Swiss law and provide for dispute resolution by arbitration. Mozambique is not a signatory to the Contracts, but Privinvest contends that as a matter of Swiss law Mozambique is party to them and bound by the arbitration agreement within them. On that basis, Privinvest sought a stay of all Mozambique's claims pursuant to section 9 of the Arbitration Act 1996. As a preliminary question, the issue arose as to whether Mozambique's claims were "matters" which fell within the scope of the arbitration agreements under section 9. At first instance, the High Court held the claims were not. The Court of Appeal disagreed on appeal.
Republic of Mozambique (acting through its Attorney General)
Privinvest Shipbuilding SAL (Holding) and others
Lord Hodge, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Hamblen, Lord Leggatt, Lord Richards
Hearing start date
24 January 2023
Hearing finish date
25 January 2023
|24 January 2023||Morning session||Afternoon session|
|25 January 2023||Morning session||Afternoon session|
20 September 2023
 UKSC 32
- Judgment (PDF)
- Press summary (HTML version)
- Judgment on The National Archives (HTML version)
- Judgment on BAILII (HTML version)
A formal hand-down took place on 25 October 2023.
|Watch Judgment summary|
|25 October 2023||Judgment summary|