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Immunity, individuals and international law: which individuals are immune from the jurisdiction of national courts under international law?

Franey, Elizabeth Helen (2009) Immunity, individuals and international law: which individuals are immune from the jurisdiction of national courts under international law? PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

State immunity under international law extends to protect some individuals from criminal prosecution before national courts. This thesis aims to identify which individuals are immune from prosecution before the English courts, for what conduct, and for what period. The justifications for immunity are examined, and the extent of immunity ratione personae and immunity ratione materiae are explored. This thesis argues that immunity ratione personae is only narrowly available to high state officials, and that the immunity accorded, by consent, to special missions is sufficient to cover other official visits. In Pinochet (No 3) all seven judges agreed: 1. An ex-head of state is immune from prosecution for murder and conspiracy to murder alleged to have been committed in the forum state. 2. All state officials no matter how minor are entitled to continuing immunity This thesis analyses state practice in arresting or prosecuting foreign state officials, and argues that both of these statements are incorrect. This thesis argues that immunity does not attach to conduct alone, for a person to have continuing immunity ratione materiae they must have had immunity ratione personae. The forum state must have agreed to the official being present on its territory, and agreed to the purpose of the visit. Those officials present on the territory of a foreign state with the consent of that state who have immunity ratione personae have continuing immunity ratione materiae only for official conduct, acta jure imperii. This does not extend to acts of violence. Finally the development of the regime for the prosecution and punishment of international crimes by national courts is considered. The conflict with immunity is examined, and a possible reconciliation between the two principles is suggested by using the complementarity principle in the statute of the International Criminal Court.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2009 Elizabeth Helen Franey
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JX International law
K Law > KZ Law of Nations
Sets: Departments > Law
Supervisor: Greenwood, Christopher
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/309

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