Luther v Sagor (UK) 1921

Luther v Sagor (UK) 1921

Principle: Once a government is recognized, its acts will be granted as valid, even those prior to its recognition, known as retrospective effect.

Fact: Luther was a British Citizen who used to run a Timber industry in Soviet Russia. On 1917 the Russian Government nationalized his factory and thereafter Mr Luther left Russia and went to UK. In 1920 Mr. Sagor came to an agreement with Russian Nationalized business company to buy some timber, the company sent timbers accordingly but when timers reached in UK Mr. Luther claimed that those timbers were his timbers, he pointed that as UK never recognized the government of Russia as well as Russia wrongfully take over his factory, therefore, the civilized court of UK cannot validate the rule of Russian law. The lower court held the judgment in Luther’s favour but on appeal to the Kings Bench Division it held that they cannot interfere in an internal matter of another state, because in the meantime Russia was given the de Facto Recognition, the court also declare the retrospective effective on that recognition form 1917.

Issues:

  1. Where Russia is recognized by Britain?
  2. Whether the nationalization was legal or valid?

Decision: It was held that British Government recognized the Government of Russia and retrospective effect will be applicable for that recognition. So the Nationalization by Russia was legal and valid.

Reasoning: Kings Bench Division it held that they cannot interfere in an internal matter of another state, because in the meantime Russia was given the de Facto Recognition, the court also declare the retrospective effective on that recognition form 1917. So the Nationalization by Russia was legal and valid.

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Rayhanul Islam

Legal activist & Practitioner - Editor - Researcher - Learner; A person who uses Logic & Law as his tool where psychology & Philosophy plays a role, he is on a quest to bring positive change to the legal sector of Bangladesh. He works as a lawyer and promotes legal knowledge and human right concept to the root level. He can be reached at: [email protected]

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