Access to Court V. State Immunity

Posted: 23 Jan 2006

See all articles by Emmanuel Voyiakis

Emmanuel Voyiakis

Brunel University - School of Social Sciences and Law


The article discusses the relation between the right of access to court under Article 6(1) of the ECHR and the law of State immunity, in the light of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in Al-Adsani v UK, Fogarty v UK and McElhinney v Ireland. First, it considers the applicability of Article 6(1) in respect of jurisdictional limitations imposed as a matter of general international law and the legitimacy of aim and proportionality of States' decision to grant immunity. Second, it considers whether the exceptions to State immunity alleged in McElhinney v Ireland and Al-Adsani v UK reflect current international law, paying particular attention to the nature and legal effects of peremptory norms of international law (jus cogens).

Keywords: state immunity, access to court, fair trial, international law, customary international law, jus cogens, European Convention on Human Rights

JEL Classification: K19, K33, K41, K42

Suggested Citation

Voyiakis, Emmanuel, Access to Court V. State Immunity. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Vol 52, No. 2, pp. 297-332, 2003. Available at SSRN:

Emmanuel Voyiakis (Contact Author)

Brunel University - School of Social Sciences and Law ( email )

Kingston Lane
Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH
United Kingdom

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