Kenyan Firm Loses Somali Embassy Lawsuit on Diplomatic Immunity

Embassies cannot be sued on behalf of their respective governments, the High Court has ruled in an unprecedented decision by Justice Mary Kasango.

Diplomatic missions are protected under Article 22 of the Vienna Convention.

“Such premises of a diplomatic mission are inviolable and must not be entered by the host county except with permission from the head of the mission,” said the judge.

The host country must also protect the mission from intrusion or damage and should never search the premises or seize its documents or property.

“Generally, foreign countries are immune from legal action with some exception,” She said.


Justice Kasango made the observations when she delivered a ruling on a Kenyan contractor who had sued Somali Embassy in Nairobi demanding Sh23.4 million following a bungled contract for the renovation of the embassy four years ago.

Although the embassy did not file a response in the case filed by Kingsley Construction Limited, Justice Kasango dismissed the case, saying the firm should have sued the Somali government and not the embassy.

“In my view, the embassy is incapable of suing or being sued. Rather it was open for Kingsley to lodge a suit against the state of the Federal Republic of Somalia, but not its embassy in Kenya,” the judge said.