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sovereign immunity

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The exemption of the sovereign or other head of a foreign state and foreign governmental departments from the jurisdiction of the English courts. The principles governing this exemption are now contained in the State Immunity Act 1978 and are consistent with the European Convention on State Immunity. The immunity granted is no longer absolute; it is subject to numerous exceptions outlined in the Act. Subject to modifications, the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964 extends to foreign sovereigns the same privileges and immunities as are granted to heads of diplomatic missions. It is now clear under English law that such immunity does not apply to former heads of state who are alleged to have committed crimes against humanity.

Subjects: LawInternational Law

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