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State Immunity and the Violation of Human Rights
     

State Immunity and the Violation of Human Rights

by Jurgen Brohmer, Jrgen Brhmer, J. Brvhmer
 

The field of international human rights has been one of the most prominent and dynamic areas of public international law in recent decades. At the same time the law of state immunity, albeit less prominent, has also been subjected to a process of dynamic change. The principle of absolute immunity of states from the adjudicatory jurisdiction of foreign states has

Overview

The field of international human rights has been one of the most prominent and dynamic areas of public international law in recent decades. At the same time the law of state immunity, albeit less prominent, has also been subjected to a process of dynamic change. The principle of absolute immunity of states from the adjudicatory jurisdiction of foreign states has been replaced by a restrictive concept under which foreign states can be sued under certain circumstances. The violation of fundamental human rights by foreign states is, however, still widely regarded as immunity- protected conduct, be it because such violations must be considered as governmental acts (acta jure imperii) or because the violations were committed outside the territory of the foreign state. Consequently, it is often impossible for the victim of such violations to bring damage proceedings against the foreign state based on municipal (tort) law in a municipal court.
The present study attempts to demonstrate that international law does not per se demand that foreign states be granted immunity in such cases. The current state of international immunity law as evidenced by state practice and the work of several international learned bodies is surveyed extensively. It is shown that the granting of immunity may contradict the procedural guarantees of the European Convention of Human Rights. The impact of human rights law on the traditional concept of diplomatic protection is described. The study concludes that a further restriction of the immunity privilege is necessary, and criteria are offered to distinguish between violations of human rights which should remain immunity-protected and violations where the interest of the perpetrating state to remain immune from foreign jurisdiction must yield to the interest of the injured individual to obtain adequate redress.

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Booknews
Sets out a case that international law does not necessarily demand that foreign states be granted immunity from prosecution for violating human rights, as was once universally agreed. Reviews the current state of international immunity law as evidenced by state practice and the work of several international learned bodies. Demonstrates that granting immunity may contradict the procedural guarantees of the European Convention of Human Rights, and considers the impact of human rights laws on the traditional concept of diplomatic protection. Concludes that a further restriction of state immunity is needed. Presented as a doctoral dissertation at the University of Saarland, Germany, in 1995 and revised to incorporate events up to March 1996. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9789041103222
Publisher:
Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
01/01/1997
Series:
International Studies in Human Rights Series
Pages:
260

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