Indonesian national airline Garuda isn't immune from legal action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the High Court has ruled.
In a decision handed down today, High Court judges unanimously rejected Garuda's claim to immunity under the Foreign States Immunities Act 1985, a law which gives foreign nations immunity from proceedings in Australian courts.
That legislation allows an exception for commercial transactions.
High Court judges accepted that Garuda was a separate entity of the Republic of Indonesia which owns 95.5 per cent of its shares, with the rest held by government-controlled corporations.
But the judges found it could not claim immunity because the proposed ACCC proceedings related to commercial transactions.
The consumer watchdog launched legal action against Garuda in 2009, one of a number of airlines prosecuted over an alleged air freight price-fixing rort.
The ACCC alleged Garuda entered agreements with rivals to fix the price of a fuel and security surcharge from 2001 to 2006. The airline rejects the claims.The ACCC action has remained on hold while the High Court determined the claim of immunity.
The new magazine for a new generation of West Australians.Click here to download the current edition »
All the latest market figures from Australia and the world.Click here »
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.