Kuwait Airways Corporation v Iraq Airways Co (Nos. 4 and 5)  2 AC 883 is a landmark case in international law, which dealt with the issue of state immunity and the scope of a state's immunity from legal proceedings in foreign courts.
The case involved a dispute between Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) and Iraq Airways Company (IAC) over unpaid debts arising from the First Gulf War. During the war, Iraqi troops seized a number of aircraft belonging to KAC and took them to Iraq. After the war ended, KAC sought to recover the aircraft and obtain compensation for the losses it had suffered as a result of the seizure.
IAC claimed that it was immune from the lawsuit under the doctrine of state immunity. State immunity is a principle of international law that provides that a state is immune from legal proceedings in foreign courts, except in certain limited circumstances.
The issue before the House of Lords was whether IAC was entitled to claim state immunity in this case. The House of Lords held that IAC was not entitled to claim state immunity, as it had waived its immunity by its conduct. The Court found that IAC had acted in a manner that was inconsistent with its claim to immunity.
The House of Lords also held that the seizure of KAC's aircraft by Iraqi troops during the First Gulf War was an act of aggression and a breach of international law. As a result, IAC was liable to pay compensation to KAC for the losses it had suffered as a result of the seizure.
This case established that a state may waive its immunity by its conduct. The case also held that acts of aggression and breaches of international law may give rise to a state's liability to pay compensation to the injured party.