Date of Award
The state immunity rule was founded upon such sound rationales as respect for the sovereign equality of all states and non-interference with state functions. However, its application in the international criminal justice system produces numerous problems. These include impunity for violation of peremptory international legal norms (like the prohibitions on serious international crimes) and violation of human rights. It also undermines the individual accountability and justice administration missions of the system because it shields state officials from criminal responsibility and subjects their victims to injustice. The international community has adopted various legal mechanisms which attempt to respond to these problems by abolishing state immunity for international crimes. However, some weaknesses, including external political influence, selective justice, and lopsided implementation against developing states, render the mechanisms sometimes ineffective. This thesis examines the problems arising from the rules application, evaluates the response mechanisms strengths and weaknesses, and suggests reforms in the mechanisms.
Celestine Nchekwube Ezennia, Application of the State Immunity Rule in the International Criminal Justice System: Problems Arising and a Critique of Legal Response Mechanisms (LLM Thesis, Dalhousie University, 2014) [unpublished].