Privileges and Immunities of States


Immunity of State from being prosecuted or sued in foreign court

• Two types of immunities.

– Immunities ratione materiae (subject-matter or functional immunities), eg state immunity.

– Immunities ratione personae (personal or status immunities), eg diplomatic immunity, immunity of head of state, immunity of head of government, immunity of minister for foreign affairs

• Why immunities to states?



– Equality and independence of states.

– An equal has no authority over an equal.

– To ensure the proper functioning of foreign state officials and diplomats.