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The Law of State Immunity: Third Edition
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The Law of State Immunity: Third Edition

Price: $335.00
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Published 29 Aug 2013 (OUP)
ISBN: 9780199647064. Hard Cover, 704 pages.

Hazel Fox, QC, Philippa Webb

  • A fully revised new edition of this highly regarded and comprehensive guide, providing new analysis of recent developments in relation to state immunity
  • Demonstrates how the doctrine of state immunity has developed, assessing the theoretical and practical features of a plea of immunity by a foreign state
  • Contains both conceptual analysis and detailed examination of case law, the relevant international treaties, and domestic laws
  • Offers detailed comparative coverage of the UK and US domestic legislation
  • Considers the relationship between State immunity and human rights conventions

New to this edition

  • Investigates how state immunity is now entering into a new phase using immunity to allocate adjudicative and enforcement jurisdiction between the territorial state and the foreign state
  • Takes account of ongoing changes with regard to enforcement of arbitral awards to which a foreign state is party and of judgments relating to non-immune matters given against foreign states
  • Fully restructured to make the book more coherent and accessible to both academics and practitioners

The doctrine of state immunity bars a national court from adjudicating or enforcing claims against foreign states. This doctrine, the foundation for high-profile national and international decisions such as those in the Pinochet case and the Arrest Warrant cases, has always been controversial. The reasons for the controversy are many and varied. Some argue that state immunity paves the way for state violations of human rights. Others argue that the customary basis for the doctrine is not a sufficient basis for regulation and that codification is the way forward. Furthermore, it can be argued that even when judgments are made in national courts against other states, the doctrine makes enforcement of these decisions impossible.

This fully restructured new edition provides a detailed analysis of these issues in a more clear and accessible manner. It provides a nuanced assessment of the development of the doctrine of state immunity, including a general comprehensive overview of the plea of immunity of a foreign state, its characteristics, and its operation as a bar to proceedings in national courts of another state. It includes a coherent history and justification of the plea of state immunity, demonstrating its development from the absolute to the restrictive phase, arguing that state immunity can now be seen to be developing into a third phase which uses immunity allocate adjudicative and enforcement jurisdictions between the foreign and the territorial states. The United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of states and their Property is thoroughly assessed. Through a detailed examination of the sources of law and of English and US case law, and a comparative analysis of other types of immunity, the authors explore both the law as it stands, and what it could and should be in years to come.

Readership: Scholars and students of public international law, the law of immunity, and the role of international law in domestic legal order; diplomats, practitioners, government lawyers, judges, and NGO officials working with international law and immunities

Hazel Fox, QC, Barrister, Grays Inn, and Philippa Webb, Lecturer in Law, King's College London

Lady Fox CMG, QC (Hazel), was formerly Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and General Editor of the International and Comparative Law Quarterly. She is a member of the Institut de Droit international; Bencher of Lincoln's Inn; Honorary Fellow of Somerville College, University of Oxford; member of the International Law Association Committees on State Immunity, Diplomatic Protection, and Reparation for Victims of War Damage; and Barrister at 4-5 Gray's Inn Square.

Philippa Webb is Lecturer in Public International Law at the Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London. From 2006 to 2009, she was the Legal Officer and Special Assistant to Dame Rosalyn Higgins, President of the International Court of Justice. Prior to that, she had served as Associate Legal Adviser to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (2005-2006), Law Clerk to Judges Higgins and Owada of the ICJ (2004-2005), and Associate Officer at the United Nations in New York (2001-2003). She completed her doctorate at Yale Law School under the supervision of Professor Lea Brilmayer. Dr Webb's research interests are in public international law, including international dispute settlement, international criminal law, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, and the law of international organisations.

Review(s) from previous edition

"'...outstanding analysis...well written and superbly documented work...a must have for any public or private collection shelving the classics of international legal literature.' - American Society of International Law

"'This in-depth study will be one of the most consulted works on international law. Those who specialize in new areas of international law, whether human rights, environmental law, or international criminal law, should certainly read it....This is a work of rigorous scholarship. As an authoritative monograph , it will be of inestimable value to practitioners. And its careful review of the many theoretical issues will be valuable in helping to fashion the law in many countries...'" - Anthony Aust, International and Comparative Law Quarterly

"'Hazel Fox has long been known as the author of some the most probing scholarship on the relationship between international law and national law. In this substantial new volume, she sets out the most comprehensive and thoughtful analysis to date of a subect that is, as she so clearly demonstrates, no longer confined wither to immunities or to states....There is a great deal of interest and value in this book, both for scholars and practitioners. For specialists in the topic it will be an indispensable text.'" - Alan Boyle, The Law Review Quarterly

"This is a work of rigorous scholarship. As an authoritative monograph, it will be of inestimable value to practitioners....The book is user-friendly in its detailed list of contents, lavish use of headings, and sub-headings, clear scene-setters for each chapter, regular summaries and a good index....State immunity is a difficult subject for students, teachers, and practitioners of international law, and there has long been need for a good book on it ... practitioners will have already found the book essential for their work, a sign of a book being instantly indispensable." - International and Comparative Law Quarterly

Part I: General Concepts
1: The Institution of Proceedings and the Nature of the Plea of State Immunity
2: The Three Phases of the Concept of State Immunity
3: Act of State and Non-Justiciability Distinguished from State Immunity in Proceedings relating to a Foreign State
4: State Immunity and Jurisdiction: Immunity from the Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction of National Courts
5: The Relationship of State Immunity to Other Immunities
Part II: The Sources of the Law of State Immunity
6: A Review of the Sources: Treaties and Projects for Codification
7: The Restrictive Doctrine of State Immunity: Its Recognition in State Practice
8: English Law: The UK State Immunity Act 1978
9: US Law: The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act 1976
10: The 2004 UN Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property: General Aspects
Part III: The Current International Law of State Immunity
11: The Definition of the Foreign State
12: The Consent of the Foreign State, Express and Implied: Waiver and the Arbitration Exception
13: Exceptions to State Immunity: The Concept of Commerciality
14: Immunity from Adjudication: The Commercial and Related Exceptions to State Immunity
15: Immunity from Adjudication: The Exception for Personal Injuries and Jurisdiction over Acts in Violation of International Law
16: State Immunity from Enforcement
Part IV: Conclusions
17: Conclusions and Future Models
Appendix 1: UN General Assembly Resolution 59/38 of 16 December 2002
Appendix 2: Annex: UN Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property
Appendix 3: Sixth Committee Summary Record of the 13th Meeting, 59th Session of General Assembly, 25 October 2004

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