Ambiatelos Arbitration 23 ILR 306

1919 Ambiatelos a Greek national, agreed to buy a number of ships from the UK. Negotiations by UK were conducted by Major Laing. Greece brought claims on behalf its national. The claims were rejected for non exhaustion of local remedies In proceedings Ambiatelos failed to call, as he could have done, the witness who, as he now says, were essential to establish his case (Major Laing) Ambiatelos appeal but he did not continue with them after the court had refused him leave to call Major Laing in evidence before it.

In order to contend successfully that international proceedings are inadmissible, the defendant state must prove the existence, in its system of internal law, of remedies which have not been exhausted… existence of remedies which are obviously ineffective is held not to be sufficient to justify the application of the rule. Local remedies include not only reference to the courts and tribunals, but also the use of procedural facilities which municipal law makes available to litigants before such courts and tribunals. It is the whole system of legal protection, as provided by municipal law, which must have been put to the test before a state, as the protector of its nationals, can prosecute the claim on the international plane. The failure of Ambiatelos to call Major Laig as a witness at the hearing before Mr. Justice Hill must therefore be held to amount to non exhaustion of the local remedy available to him in such proceedings It would be wrong to hold that a party, by falling to exhaust his opportunities in the court of 1st instance, has caused an appeal to become futile should be allowed to rely on this fact in order to rid himself of the rule of exhaustion of local remedies