State Immunity and Criminal Proceedings: Why Foreign Officials Cannot Claim Immunity Ratione Materiae from the Legal Process of Extradition
Posted: 6 Aug 2013 Last revised: 22 Jan 2015
Date Written: September 13, 2013
Any debate on the exceptions to the immunity enjoyed by former State officials immediately brings to mind the extradition proceedings before English courts against Chile’s former President Pinochet. Ever since, the assumption has been that former State officials, as a rule, enjoy immunity from extradition proceedings once they have acted on behalf of a State. Supported by recent developments, however, this article questions this assumption. The idea that the immunity enjoyed by former State officials applies to every measure of criminal procedure, and that extradition is one such measure, misconceives the nature and purpose of both immunity ratione materiae and extradition proceedings.
Keywords: functional immunity, extradition, State officials, public international law
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