Riccardo Pisillo Mazzeschi

The Immunities of States and State Officials Preclude Access to Justice to Victims of Torture: The "Jones" Case Before the European Court of Human Rights

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Immunity of States; Functional Immunity of State Officials; Access to Justice; Torture; International Crimes; Customary International Law

On 14 January 2014 the European Court of Human Rights handed down its judgment in the case "Jones and others v. United Kingdom". The Court upheld the UK House of Lords' decision of 14 June 2006, which accorded State immunity in civil proceedings brought against Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia officials by British nationals who had been tortured in Saudi Arabia. The European Court established that the granting of immunity to Saudi Arabia and to its officials reflected recognised rules of customary international law and that, therefore, the United Kingdom did not violate Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights The judgment of the European Court, which is here critically analyzed, is rather weak and defective both in its reasoning and in its conclusions.

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