European Court Practice Concerning State Immunity from Enforcement Measures
Posted: 29 Feb 2008
Date Written: September 2006
The practice of national courts in Europe with regard to enforcement immunity is far from uniform. Nevertheless, certain common principles have emerged over the last decades. Absolute immunity from enforcement measures has been largely abandoned and almost all jurisdictions have adopted a restrictive approach to enforcement immunity in one or another form. Enforcement measures are usually permitted in case of waiver or with regard to earmarked property. In practice, the most important exception from immunity concerns non-governmental property. Here it is primarily the purpose of the property against which enforcement measures are sought that determines whether or not immunity will be granted. This article surveys the judicial practice in Europe, focusing on the case-law of the last 50 years, in order to permit an assessment of whether various recent codifications, most importantly the 2004 United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property, actually codify such practice or depart from it.
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