The claimants challenged the 2004 Order which prevented their return to their homes on the Chagos Islands. The islanders had been taken off the island to leave it for use as a US airbase. In 2004, the island was no longer needed, and payment had been made (ineffectively) to assist the dispossessed islanders, but an … Continue reading Bancoult, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (No 2): HL 22 Oct 2008
Evidence from 3rd Party Torture Inadmissible The applicants had been detained following the issue of certificates issued by the respondent that they posed a terrorist threat. They challenged the decisions of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission saying that evidence underlying the decisions had probably been obtained by torture committed by foreign powers, and should not … Continue reading A and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department (No 2): HL 8 Dec 2005
EAT STATE IMMUNITY A cook at the Sudanese embassy, and a member of the domestic staff of the Libyan embassy, both made claims arising out of their employment. They were met with pleas of State Immunity, which were upheld by two separate ETs. They appealed on the basis that the plea of immunity denied them … Continue reading Benkharbouche v Embassy of The Republic of Sudan (Jurisdictional Points : State Immunity): EAT 4 Oct 2013
EAT STATE IMMUNITY A cook at the Sudanese embassy, and a member of the domestic staff of the Libyan embassy, both made claims arising out of their employment. They were met with pleas of State Immunity, which were upheld by two separate ETs. They appealed on the basis that the plea of immunity denied them … Continue reading Janah v Libya (Jurisdictional Points : State Immunity): EAT 4 Oct 2013
The UK lodged a derogation with the Court as regards its human rights obligations in Northern Ireland because of the need to control terroist activity. The Government of Ireland intervened. From August 1971 until December 1975 the UK authorities exercised a series of ‘extrajudicial’ powers of arrest, detention and internment in Northern Ireland. The case … Continue reading The Republic of Ireland v The United Kingdom: ECHR 18 Jan 1978
Extent of Counsel’s Immunity in Negligence The House considered the extent of a barrister’s immunity from action in negligence, and particularly whether it covered pre-trial acts or omissions in connection with civil proceedings. Held: A barrister’s immunity from suit extended only to such pre-trial work as was intimately connected with the conduct of the case … Continue reading Saif Ali v Sydney Mitchell and Co (a Firm): HL 1978
The applicants had been imprisoned and held without trial, being suspected of international terrorism. No criminal charges were intended to be brought. They were foreigners and free to return home if they wished, but feared for their lives if they did. A British subject, who was suspected in the exact same way, and there were … Continue reading A v Secretary of State for the Home Department, and X v Secretary of State for the Home Department: HL 16 Dec 2004
(Plenary Court) The claimant objected to the disclosure by the police of matters revealed during their investigation, but in this case, it was held, disclosure even after the event ‘might well jeopardise the long-term purpose that originally . .
Commercial interactions with foreign states are governed by the State Immunity Act 1978 (‘SIA’). This appeal raises questions about how to enforce an arbitral award (the ‘Award’) against a foreign state within this framework, namely whether: 1. the . .
The parties had contractual disputes as to letters of credit governed by Iraqi law. The arbitration was in London applying Iraqi law. They now disputed whether the Enforcement of arbitration award was as an award made in London. Each appealed . .
The parties referred their contract disputes to an arbitration in London which was to apply Iraqi law. As to enforcement of the award, the defendant denied that they were situated in London.
Held: The debts were situated in London rather than . .
The claimant had been detained by the US in Guantanamo Bay suspected of terrorist involvement. He sought to support his defence documents from the respondent which showed that the evidence to be relied on in the US courts had been obtained by . .
The court was asked as to the compatibility of provisions in the 1978 Act with the human rights of the appellant. The claimants, Moroccan nationals were employed as domestic staff in embassies in London. They alleged both race discrimination and . .
The trading or commercial activities of states are not protected by state immunity. The basic principle of international law is that all states are equal, the rule is ‘par in parem non habet imperium’. . .
The claimants had each been detained without trial for more than two years, being held as suspected terrorists. They were free leave to return to their own countries, but they feared for their lives if returned. They complained that the evidence . .
Mrs Nolan had been employed at a US airbase. When it closed, and she was made redundant, she complained that the appellant had not consulted properly on the redundancies. The US denied that it had responsibility to consult, and now appealed.
The court upheld a decision that the defendant was the ruler of Bahawalpur State which had been an independent state prior to the passing of the Indian Independence Act 1947 and the accession of that State to the Dominion of Pakistan. It was . .
(German Supreme Court) A claim to immunity by the defendant (the ‘Head of New Scotland Yard’) was not ‘derived from his person’, but was based on the fact that the act on which the claimant sued was ‘a sovereign act of State which can only be . .
The plaintiff claimed damages for personal injuries arising from medical treatment which he had received at a United States military hospital in the United Kingdom while a serving member of the United States Air Force.
Held: Section 16(2) . .
1267 – 1278 – 1285 – 1297 – 1361 – 1449 – 1491 – 1533 – 1677 – 1688 – 1689 – 1700 – 1706 – 1710 – 1730 – 1737 – 1738 – 1751 – 1774 – 1792 – 1793 – 1804 – 1814 – 1819 – 1824 – 1828 – 1831 – 1832 … Continue reading Acts
A US citizen acting in course of employment as educational officer on US military base in the UK enjoyed state immunity from liability for defamation. This applied though he was a civilian and the State Immunity Act 1978 did not apply. . .
The claimant had made a claim for unfair dismissal. The defendant state had filed a defence instead of claiming state immunity. It then sought to assert such immunity. The claimant said the state had waived its immunity. Held: Section 2(7) of the 1978 Act does not have the effect that only a submission by the … Continue reading Aziz v Republic of Yemen: CA 17 Jun 2005
The claimant sought return of recordings and of money paid to the defendant through an alleged fraud or threats. She was the former wife of the Sultan of Brunei and head of state, who now sought an order requiring the court to protect his identity in the proceedings, saying that the Acts required the UK … Continue reading Aziz v Aziz and others: CA 11 Jul 2007
Appeal against rejection of plea under the 1978 Act in defence to contract claim. Aikens, Pitchford, Bean LJJ  EWCA Civ 481 Bailii State Immunity Act 1978 England and Wales Contract, Jurisdiction Updated: 30 December 2021; Ref: scu.546771
The Defendant, YRG applied to set aside without notice orders permitting the Claimants to serve an arbitration claim form and other documents on YRG at the address of their solicitors in the jurisdiction and setting down an expedited timetable for the determination of the arbitration claim, and abridging the time for filing an acknowledgment of … Continue reading PCL and Others v The Y Regional Government of X: ComC 23 Jan 2015
Mr Justice Calvert  EWHC 2512 (Comm) Bailii, Judiciary State Immunity Act 1978 1 14 England and Wales International, Torts – Other Updated: 20 December 2021; Ref: scu.668396
The appellant republic appealed against an order allowing the enforcement against it of a judgment obtained in the US by the claimant. There is no treaty between the US and the UK for the mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments, and an action must be brought on the judgment. The action pleaded the waiver of … Continue reading Republic of Argentina v NML Capital Ltd: CA 4 Feb 2010
State immunity- Service of claim- Applicant sending e-mails instituting claim against foreign state to state’s foreign and commonwealth office- Whether documents validly served Teare J  EWHC 181 (Comm),  WLR(D) 330 Bailii, WLRD State Immunity Act 1978 12(1) England and Wales International Updated: 06 December 2021; Ref: scu.617004
The Defendant applies under CPR 11.1 for an order declaring that the court has no jurisdiction to try this claim against him on the grounds that the claim is barred by the defence of state immunity under the State Immunity Act 1978. Rose J  EWHC 1807 (Ch),  1 WLR 4437,  1 All … Continue reading Harb v HRH Prince Abdul Aziz: ChD 9 Jun 2014
LRA Beneficial Interests, Trusts and Restrictions : Restrictions Where No Beneficial Interest Dismemberment of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; entry of restrictions; lex situs; private domestic law of England and Wales; occupation of property by a member of the Serbian diplomatic mission; principle of justiciability; ‘sufficient interest’; ‘right or claim’; Agreement on Succession Issues … Continue reading The Republic of Croatia v The Republic of Serbia: LRA 2 Jul 2009
An application to extradite a former head of state for an offence which was not at the time an offence under English law would fail, but could proceed in respect of allegations of acts after that time. No immunity was intended for heads of state. International law prohibiting torture has the character of jus cogens … Continue reading Regina v Bartle and Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and Others, ex parte Pinochet Ugarte; Regina v Evans and Similar (No 3): HL 24 Mar 1999
nigeria_ogbonnaEAT2011 EAT JURISDICTIONAL POINTS – State immunityA claim for compensation for psychiatric illness caused by unlawful discrimination is a claim for ‘personal injury’ within the meaning of section 5 of the State Immunity Act 1978 and an employment tribunal accordingly has jurisdiction to entertain such a claim by an employee of a state even if … Continue reading The Federal Republic of Nigeria v Ogbonna: EAT 12 Jul 2011
The claimant had supplied a factory to Iraq, but remained unpaid. Assets had been frozen in the respondent Iraqi bank, and with the new government, the liquidators were to pay assets to a fund who were, in turn to discharge debts pro rata. The appellant sought a third party debt order, but the respondent relied … Continue reading Servaas Incorporated v Rafidain Bank and Others: ComC 14 Dec 2010
EAT Jurisdictional Points : State Immunity – An employee at the Brazilian Embassy in London was dismissed having reached the age of 70. He contended that he had been unfairly dismissed and that the dismissal constituted unlawful jurisdiction on the grounds of age. The claim form was served in accordance with the provisions of section … Continue reading Embassy of Brazil v De Castro Cerqueira: EAT 28 Mar 2014
The respondent had issued bonds but in 2001 had declared a moratorium on paying them. The appellant hedge fund later bought the bonds, heavily discounted. Judgment was obtained in New York, which the appellants now sought to enforce against assets in the UK. They argued that the terms of issue waived state immunity. Held: The … Continue reading NML Capital Ltd v Argentina: SC 6 Jul 2011
Whether activities outsourced by a state retained immunity under the 1978 Act. . .
Application made by the second defendant for an order that, in effect, bifurcates the determination of issues concerning the jurisdiction of the court to entertain a claim brought by the claimant against the second defendant. The order sought is for . .
Enforcement of arbitration award – state immunity . .
Diplomatic immunity had not been waived by an Australian policeman acting in breach of a court undertaking re documents. The effect of s14(1) was to give state officials protection ‘under the same cloak’ as the state itself: ‘The protection afforded . .
The appellant had contracted to construct a factory in Iraq. On the imposition of sanctions, the respondent bank’s assets were frozen. The appellant sought to recover the sums due to it, and obtained judgment in France. After the fall of Hussain, . .
A commercial debt due to the claimant from the former Iraqi government, and for which judgment had been obtained in France, had been bought from receivers by the new Iraqi Development fund. The appellants sought to secure their judgment in full by a . .
The claimants said that they had been tortured by Saudi police when arrested on false charges. They sought damages, and appealed against an order denying jurisdiction over the defendants. They said that the allegation of torture allowed an exception . .
The concept of absolute immunity for a Sovereign adopts a theory of restrictive immunity in so far as it concerns the activities of a State engaging in trade: (Lord Wilberforce) ‘It was argued by the [appellants] that even if the Republic of Cuba . .
The claimant had been an employee of a foreign diplomatic mission. He said that he was not debarred by the 1978 Act from bringing claims for unfair dismissal and breach of working time regulations, saying that any exemption would infringe his human . .
A bank account used to cover the day-to-day expenses of an Embassy, clearly served sovereign purposes and therefore was immune from enforcement measures. The Act of 1978 must be read against the background of customary international law current in . .
Grand Chamber – The first applicant said he had been injured by a shot fired by a British soldier who had been carried for two miles into the Republic of Ireland, clinging to the applicant’s vehicle following an incident at a checkpoint.
Held: . .
The US established a base at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire, and provided educational services through its staff to staff families. The claimant a teacher employed at the base alleged that a report on her was defamatory. The defendant relied on state . .
The government of Spain had issued an arrest warrant and application for extradition in respect of Pinochet Ugarte for his alleged crimes whilst president of Chile. He was arrested in England. He pleaded that he had immunity from prosecution.
Application for third party debt order. . .
Claimant’s application for summary judgment in default of acknowledgment of service – forfeiture of internet domain names . .
The court considered a claim to sovereign immunity made on behalf of respondents who were the half brother of the sovereign and his son. They lived apart from the sovereign but claimed to be members of his household.
Held: The claims to . .
ECHR Article 6
Access to court
Decision to strike out civil claims alleging torture on account of immunity invoked by defendant State (the Kingdom of Saudi . .
The claimants sought damages in defamation in respect of a letter faxed by the first defendant to the other defendants in London. The first defendant said that it had state immunity, and the other claimed similar benefits acting as the bank’s . .
EAT JURISDICTIONAL POINTS: Excluded employments
The issue in this case is whether the Employment Tribunal was entitled to refuse to review three earlier decisions in which it had concluded that the . .
The parties were involved in an international investment dispute arbitration. An injunction had been sought to prevent repatriation of assets to Bolivia.
Held: The international system of arbitration was not subject to any national law and did . .
The defendant state could not now claim state immunity to avoid enforcement of an arbitration award, having agreed to the reference to arbitration in writing.
Held: A person against whom an award has been made is not bound to challenge it . .
The court was asked whether a claim to enforce an arbitration award constituted ‘proceedings relating to’ the transaction that gave rise to the award for the purposes of section 3(1)(a).
Held: It did not. . .
At a preliminary hearing, when the respondent failed to appear, the tribunal decided that it had jurisdiction to hear a case brought by the claimant against the respondent despite the 1978 Act. The respondent sought to appeal out of time.
The appellant challenged a decision by the tribunal made in its absence that the tribunal had jurisdiction to hear against it a claim for unfair dismissal.
Held: The tribunal had erred. Though Sengupta had been decided under common law, it . .
The defendant was to sell a Maori carving which had been unlawfully exported from New Zealand. The Attorney General sought its recovery and an injunction to prevent its sale, relying on the Historical Articles Act 1962. The judge had ordered its . .
The service of a writ was effective even though it was on a junior employee, provided he was in apparent charge of the office. Sovereign immunity granted to corporation only if acts are governmental acts. . .
India did not appear at court to take a point on jurisdiction under the 1978 Act. The Court asked for the appointment of an amicus to assist it.
Held: The court has a duty under statute to give the effect to the immunity conferred, even though . .
Where a defence had been filed to an action without a claim for state immunity having been made, it would have to be shown that the head of mission had submitted to the jurisdiction. . .
The claimant alleged that he had suffered torture in a security prison in Kuwait, and he obtained leave to serve out of the jurisdiction on the Government of Kuwait, and on three individuals, one of whom at least was served, on the ground that he . .
The defendant argued that as Governor and Chief Excecutive of Bayelsa State in Nigeria he had sovereign immunity. The Foreign Office had issued a certificate that the defendant was not a Head of States under the 1978 Act. The A-G of Bayelsa had . .
In 1885 the Sultan of Johore came to England, and according to the plaintiff, Miss Mighell, took the name Albert Baker and promised to marry her. Held: The Sultan was entitled to immunity even though up to the time of suit ‘he has perfectly concealed the fact that he is a sovereign, and has acted … Continue reading Mighell v Sultan of Johore: CA 1 Dec 1893
Police’s Complete Immunity was Too Wide (Grand Chamber) A male teacher developed an obsession with a male pupil. He changed his name by deed poll to the pupil’s surname. He was required to teach at another school. The pupil’s family’s property was subjected to numerous acts of vandalism, which the police investigated and in respect … Continue reading Osman v The United Kingdom: ECHR 28 Oct 1998
The Employment Appeal Tribunal must give reasons for its decision, if it chooses to allow the amendment of appeal the papers in order to hear a point of law which had been conceded in the industrial tribunal. Citing Liverpool Corporation v Wilson, ‘if a point of law goes to jurisdiction, that may be a good … Continue reading Jones v Governing Body of Burdett Coutts School: CA 2 Apr 1998
Banker’s Liability for Negligent Reference The appellants were advertising agents. They were liable themselves for advertising space taken for a client, and had sought a financial reference from the defendant bankers to the client. The reference was negligent, but the bankers denied any assumption of a duty of care to a third party when purely … Continue reading Hedley Byrne and Co Ltd v Heller and Partners Ltd: HL 28 May 1963
The claimant sought damages against the Crown, having suffered asbestosis whilst in the armed forces. He challenged the denial to him of a right of action by the 1947 Act. Held: Human rights law did not create civil rights, but rather voided procedural bars to their enforcement. The issue of what is a substantive and … Continue reading Matthews v Ministry of Defence: HL 13 Feb 2003
The defendants faced trial on charges of false accounting in connection in different ways with their expenses claims whilst serving as members of the House of Commons. They appealed against rejection of their assertion that the court had no jurisdiction to try them because of parliamentary privilege. Held: The appeals were dismissed. Neither Article 9 … Continue reading Chaytor and Others, Regina v: SC 1 Dec 2010
Use of Special Counsel as Last Resort Only The accused faced charges of conspiring to supply Class A drugs. The prosecution had sought public interest immunity certificates. Special counsel had been appointed by the court to represent the defendants’ interests at the applications. Held: It was permissible to use special counsel, but this must genuinely … Continue reading Regina v H; Regina v C: HL 5 Feb 2004
The House was asked whether an action for unlawful means conspiracy was available against a participant in a missing trader intra-community, or carousel, fraud. The company appealed a finding of liability saying that the VAT Act and Regulations contained the entire regime. Held: Criminal conduct at common law or by statute can constitute unlawful means … Continue reading Total Network Sl v Revenue and Customs: HL 12 Mar 2008
EAT PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Review Claim under Disability Discrimination Act 1995 dismissed at PHR because Claimant not available to give evidence as to long-term effect of injury – Judge willing to offer adjournment if absence of Claimant had been explained and adjournment applied for – Counsel tells Judge that he does not know reason … Continue reading Council of The City of Newcastle Upon Tyne v Marsden (Rev 1): EAT 23 Jan 2010
Guidance for Wasted Costs Orders Guidance was given on the circumstances required for the making of wasted costs orders against legal advisers. A judge invited to make an order arising out of an advocate’s conduct of court proceedings must make full allowance for the fact that an advocate has to make decisions quickly and under … Continue reading Ridehalgh v Horsefield; Allen v Unigate Dairies Ltd: CA 26 Jan 1994
Immunity from disclosure of their identity should be given to those who gave information about neglect or ill treatment of children to a local authority or the NSPCC similar to that which the law allowed to police informers. Lord Simon of Glaisdale said: ‘I cannot leave this particular class of relevant evidence withheld from the … Continue reading D v National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children: HL 2 Feb 1977
An expert witness admitted signing a joint report but without agreeing to it. The claimant who had lost his case now pursued her in negligence. The claimant appealed against a finding that the expert witness was immune from action. Held: The appeal succeeded. The immunity from civil suit in negligence or contract for an expert … Continue reading Jones v Kaney: SC 30 Mar 2011
Need for Advocate’s Immunity from Negligence The appellant had obtained the services of the respondent barrister to defend him on a dock brief, and alleged that the respondent had been negligent in the conduct of his defence. Held: The House considered the immunity from suit of barristers acting in court. An advocate should remain immune … Continue reading Rondel v Worsley: HL 1967
The plaintiff, on arriving at the airport found that his luggage had been lost. The defendant denied liability saying he had not notified his claim within the requisite period.
Held: Elementary justice requires that the rules by which the . .
A ship owned by the defenders caused substantial damage whilst moored at the claimant’s docks. The claim was made against different members of the defendants as they asserted and denied responsibility. The last company asserted that the claim was . .
A design for sunglasses was challenged for prior publication. However the law in England differed from that apparently imposed from Europe as to the existence of a 12 month period of grace before applying for registration.
Held: Instruments . .
The applicant sought habeas corpus to prevent his extradition to France.
Held: The English court was not to be concerned with facts underlying an extradition request. The laws of France were framed differently, but the facts alleged would . .
The certificate of the Secretary of State confirmed the state immunity of the defendant. . .
The claimant pursued Employment Tribunal proceedings against the Immigration Service when his security clearance was withdrawn. The Tribunal allowed the respondent to use a closed material procedure under which it was provided with evidence unseen . .
AIC had used the 1920 Act to register a judgment obtained in Nigeria against the Nigerian Government. The underlying matter was a commercial transaction. Nigeria applied to set the registration aside, saying that registration was an adjudicative act . .
The plaintiff’s son aged 10 died of Addison’s Disease which had not been diagnosed. An action against the Health Authority was settled. The parents then brought an action against 5 doctors in their local GP Practice in relation to matters that had . .
The defendant had been wrongly convicted of IRA bombings. She said that the prosecution had failed to disclose evidence.
Held: The prosecution’s forensic scientists are under a common law duty to disclose to the defence anything they may . .
The claimant sought damages from the defendant barristers who had represented her in criminal proceedings. They had not passed on to her the statement made by the judge in chambers that if she pleaded guilty he would not impose a sentence of . .
The applicants were relatives of persons who had been killed in the NATO air-raid on Belgrade in 1999. The raid was said to be an act of war in violation of international law. It had been launched from bases in Italy. The Corte de Cassazione had . .
Grand Chamber – The applicant alleged that he had been deprived of his right of access to a court as a result of the immunity from jurisdiction upheld by the domestic courts.
This was a claim for unfair dismissal, brought before the French . .
‘In customary international law, the immunities accorded to Ministers for Foreign Affairs are not granted for their personal benefit, but to ensure the effect of the performance of their functions on behalf of their respective States. In order to . .
The grant of immunity from the jurisdiction of the national court to an international organisation according to a long-standing practice essential for ensuring the proper functioning of these organisations free from unilateral interference by . .
There had been a theft by Cuban sellers of one cargo of sugar, property in which had already passed to the buyers, and non-delivery of a second combined with trickery whereby the intended buyers were nonetheless induced to pay its price. The first . .
A state-owned ship that was used for public purposes could not be made the subject of proceedings in rem. Lord Atkin described the absolute immunity of a sovereign of a foreign state within this jurisdiction: ‘The foundation for the application to . .
(Ontario Court of Appeal) Florida state officials were sued for alleged conspiracy maliciously to prosecute and to kidnap and detain the claimant, in order to blackmail him into giving up a civil suit.
Held: It is the character of the act, . .
G was a prisoner who was refused permission by the Home Secretary to consult a solicitor with a view to bringing libel proceedings against a prison officer. The court construed article 6 of ECHR, which provides that ‘in the determination of his . .
The court considered the developing international jurisdiction over commercial activities of state bodies which might enjoy state immunity, and sought to ascertain whether or not the Central Bank of Nigeria was entitled to immunity from suit.
(Hong Kong) Sovereign immunity was denied to state trading ships, restricting the extent of state immunity. . .
The parties, the bankrupt and her trustee, had engaged in a mediation which failed at first, but applicant said an agreement was concluded on the day following. The defendants denied this, and the court as asked to determine whether a settlement had . .