Execution of State Property in English Law

Rosalyn Higgins Dbe Qc

in Themes and Theories

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780198262350
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682322 | DOI:
Execution of State Property in English Law

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It was not until the 1970s that the United Kingdom abandoned its longstanding adherence to the doctrine of absolute immunity from suit in respect to claims made against foreign states or governments. The transition from absolute to qualified immunity occurred, first in the common law and then more apprehensively, by statute. The question of execution of state property could arise where there had been a waiver of immunity from jurisdiction, or the entering of unconditional appearance. So far as in rem proceedings are concerned, the very nature of the proceedings somewhat blurs the normal distinction between jurisdiction and execution. In the in personam common law cases that affirmed restrictive immunity, the issue of execution was not clearly addressed. Section 9 of the State Immunity Act of 1978 provides that where a state has agreed in writing to arbitration (either ad hoc or in respect of a future dispute), it will not be immune from preceedings in the courts of the United Kingdom which relate to the arbitration.

Keywords: United Kingdom; execution; absolute immunity; State Immunity Act; qualified immunity; common law; jurisdiction; restrictive immunity; arbitration; state property

Chapter.  6666 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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