Immunity ratione materiae A form of immunity attaching to the official acts of

Immunity ratione materiae a form of immunity

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virtue of their office. Immunity ratione materiae : A form of immunity attaching to the official acts of State officials / agents (so the focus is on the act, not the person). Heads of State See s. 20 of the UK State Immunity Act treats heads of state as like heads of diplomatic mission, enjoying complete personal inviolability and absolute immunity from criminal jurisdiction ratione personae , although there is no immunity in civil matters for acts done in a personal capacity. Under international law, immunity ratione personae applies also to heads of government and ministers for foreign affairs. R. v. Bow Street Magistrates ex p. Pinochet , [2000] 1 A.C. 147 (HL) - Heads of state enjoy ratione materiae - Key question: Is something like torture considered an official act when it is an absolute prohibition? On leaving office Heads of State enjoy immunity ratione materiae in relation to official acts performed in office (one of the key questions in Pinochet was whether torture could constitute an official act and thus be covered by immunity ratione materiae ). Heads of Government; Ministers of Foreign Affairs: On Ministers of Foreign Affairs see Arrest Warrant (ICJ 2002) - Foreign ministers will have the same protection as Heads of States Other State Officials: The prevailing view is that, outside of the specific offices detailed above, state officials enjoy immunity ratione materiae (that is, immunity based on the official / state character of the acts, not their personal status / office). - Only have immunity regards to acts officially carried out On defence ministers see Re Barak (2009) 80 BYIL 541 - In Barak (case form Israel) , it was held that there is the same immunity from defense minister as the foreign mister justified by the arrest warrant but this case is highly disputed as being incorrect Page 8 of 15
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Prof Aoife O’Donoghue Public International Law State Immunity The (Key) Cases Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Germany v Italy) (ICJ, 2012) ICJ Rep 2012, 99 - Two issues: Italian trying to have conversation with German government for WWII Execution of judgment: Greek enforcement of judgments against Germany in Italian courts, because property was in Italy. - Germany said Italian was violating international obligations by not giving immunity to Germany - First held Italian has jurisdiction over compensation. Nature of crimes committed that allowed Italian court. Jurisdiction Immunity does not extend to war crimes. - Court does refer to the drafting source of ILC that led to the Convention. good source for reference - Not only are you entitled the immunity, you have the responsibility to respect other’s immunity - Italy’s first argument: Under customary international, there is no immunity in cases involving death, damage to property etc - ICJ said that immunity of acts (immunity imperiae) continues through civil proceedings if it’s under state authority - Italy’s second argument: Gravity of the violation. Because we’re talking about war crimes, crimes against humanity, Germany should not have immunity.
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