State Immunity

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Iran’s Tryst With the Terrorism Exception and State Immunity

Introduction On June 27, 2023, Iran instituted proceedings against Canada before the International Court of Justice (“the Court/ICJ”), contending a violation of its jurisdictional immunity and immunity from measures of constraint. A detailed statement of the jurisdictional and substantive issues raised in the case can be found in a previous blog post on this forum. In summary, Canada amended its state immunity legislation, enabling it to designate a State as a supporter of terrorism, and lifted the jurisdictional and enforcement immunity of States designated as such. Consequently, Canadian courts granted pre-judgment measures of constraint, recognized and enforced several judgments issued by US courts, and exercised jurisdiction over claims brought against Iran (see Iran’s Application, paras 14-20). In an insightful blog post on Just Security, Prof. William S. Dodge argues that this “terrorism exception” does not violate customary international law for two reasons. First, States are only granted immunity for sovereign acts, and supporting terrorism cannot be classified as acta jure imperii.

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Jurisdictional Immunities and Reparation for WWII Crimes: The Impact of the Italian Constitutional Court’s Judgement No. 159/2023 on Greek Victims’ Claims

Introduction With Judgement No. 159/2023, the Italian Constitutional Court wrote a new chapter in the long-running judicial saga between Germany and Italy over jurisdictional immunities and reparations for serious violations of human rights committed by the Third Reich during World War II. While, in her blog post, Pelliconi has brilliantly analysed the decision’s main…

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The Italian Constitutional Court’s new decision on state immunity and the ICJ Germany vs Italy No. 2

On 21 July 2023, the Italian Constitutional Court issued a new decision on state immunity that could bring the proceeding between Germany and Italy currently pending before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to conclusion. This post unpacks the decision and its broader impact on immunity in international law, showing that the judgment does not…

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Jurisdictional Immunities, all over Again?

ICJ proceedings instituted by Iran against Canada (27 June 2023): Some Observations on Jurisdiction and Merits Does State-backed terrorism enjoy State immunity from domestic jurisdiction or enforcement? This controversial question might finally be answered by the ICJ. Iran had already invoked its State immunities in Certain Iranian Assets, claiming that US court proceedings…

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EJIL: The Podcast! Episode 19 – “From Russia With War: Part Deux”

In this episode Marko Milanovic, Dapo Akande and Philippa Webb are joined by Oona Hathaway (Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law at Yale Law School) to discuss big legal issues arising from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, one year on.

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