DP World: Media Statement on Djibouti’s Doraleh Container Terminal

Djibouti does not recognise the international rule of law

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The Doraleh Container Terminal (pictured), Djibouti. Image: Panoramio

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, August 4, 2018/ — Today’s statement by the Djibouti government states that it does not acknowledge the decision of the London Court of International Arbitration demonstrates that Djibouti does not recognise the international rule of law. The Court’s decision upholding the continuing validity of the Concession is based on recognised principles of international law and is internationally binding both on the Djibouti government and so far as third parties are concerned.

As the Court has held, Djibouti does not have sovereignty over a contract governed by English law. 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.

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.

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