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Judge Christos Rozakis
Vice-President
European Court of Human Rights

Biography Biography

States
Immunity
The law of State immunity is in a period of flux. The European Court of Human Rights has in the last years rendered a number of judgments and decisions focusing on the rules of State immunity and the impact that they have on the jurisdiction of national courts to adjudicate on matters where foreign States are involved. It has thus contributed, as an international court, to the development of the law in the field.

National Jurisdiction and State Immunity in the Case-Law of the European Court of Human Rights - Part I
Video | Audio
(56 minutes)

National Jurisdiction and State Immunity in the Case-Law of the European Court of Human Rights - Part II
Video   (50 minutes)
States
Immunity
National Jurisdiction and State Immunity in the Case-Law
of the European Court of Human Rights
A. Legal Instruments
Charter of the United Nations and Statute of the International Court of Justice, San Francisco, 26 June 1945.

Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Rome, 4 November 1950, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 213, p. 221.

European Convention on State Immunity, Basel, 16 May 1972, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1495.

United States Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, 28 U.S.C §1330, §1391(f), §1441(d), §1602-11 (1976).

United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property, New York, 2 December 2004.
B. Jurisprudence
International

European Court of Human Rights, Al-Adsani v. the United Kingdom [GC], no. 35763/97, Judgment of 21 November 2001.

European Court of Human Rights, McElhinney v. Ireland [GC], no. 31253/96, Judgment of 21 November 200.

European Court of Human Rights, Fogarty v. the United Kingdom [GC], no. 37112/97, Judgment of 21 November 2001.

International Court of Justice, Arrest Warrant of 11 April 2000 (Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Belgium), Judgment of 14 February 2002, I.C.J. Reports 2002, p. 3.

European Court of Human Rights, Kalogeropoulou and Others v. Greece and Germany, no. 59021/00, Decision of 12 December 2002.

National

United States Supreme Court, Underhill v. Hernandez (1897), 168 U.S. 250.

United Kingdom House of Lords, Pinochet (No. 3) (2000), International Law Reports, vol. 119, p. 136.

Hellenic Supreme Court (Areios Pagos), Prefecture of Voiotia v. Federal Republic of Germany (2000), International Law Reports, vol. 129, p. 513.

German Federal Supreme Court, Greek citizens v. Federal Republic of Germany (2003), International Law Reports, vol. 129, p. 556.

French Court of Cassation (Qaddafi), no. 1414 (2001).

Greek Special Supreme Court, Margellos v. Federal Republic of Germany (2002), International Law Reports, vol. 129, p. 525.

Ontario Court of Appeal, Bouzari v. Islamic Republic of Iran (2004), International Law Reports, vol. 127, p. 427.

Italian Court of Cassation, Ferrini v. Federal Republic of Germany (2004), International Law Reports, vol. 128, p. 658.

United Kingdom House of Lords, Jones v. Ministry of Interior Al-Mamlaka Al-Arabiya AS Saudiya (the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and Others (2007), International Law Reports, vol. 129, p. 629.
C. Doctrine
C. Focarelli, “Denying Foreign State Immunity for Commissions of International Crimes”, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, vol. 54, 2005, pp. 951-958.

A. Orakhelashvili, “State Immunity and International Public Order Revisited”, German Yearbook of International Law, vol. 45, 2002, pp. 227-267.

D. Robinson, “The Impact of the Human Rights Accountability Movement on the International Law of Immunities”, The Canadian Yearbook of International Law, Vol. XL, 2002, pp. 151-191.