• Sovereign Immunity and Human Rights. Why Shouldn''t there be a Human Rights Exception to Sovereign Immunity

Lambert Academic Publishing
Publication date:

(Dror Harel (LLM), received her LLM in International Law, specializing in human rights and sovereign immunity at the University of Toronto, Canada. Is a member of the Israeli Bar and has worked in several Israeli government agencies.)


While sovereign immunity has increasingly been set-aside in international criminal proceedings, it continues to block most cases of civil lawsuits based upon the same circumstances. The main explanation given by judges for this decision is that a wide consensus supporting an exception to the sovereign immunity rule, based on violation of human rights, cannot be found. This work argues against the above claim. It''s main object is to exposes the reasons judges give for their reluctance to adjudicate human rights claims as unconvincing. Through the analysis of the structure of sovereign immunity, it becomes very clear that the current outlook prevents a new exception from emerging. Not only do judges look at the concept in a way that fits their aim; they also base their claim on outdated arguments. By suggesting a different view of the situation, the book complicates the argument against using state immunity to bar jus cogens actions, opening the door to further considerations and future developments. Hence, it should be especially useful to international lawyers, human rights advocates or anyone interested in the situation of human rights.

MATERIAS: Human rights, torture, Government, sovereign immunity, Transnational Justice, international relations, Conventions, State Immunity, UN, Victims.