A TEST ON THE CONCEPT OF JURISDICTIONAL IMMUNITY IN MODERN INTERNATIONAL LAW
With Particular Reference To the Tononoka Steels Limited Vs The Eastern and Southern Africa Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank) Case
This paper seeks to explain the meaning and scope of the concept of jurisdiction immunity and its application in the international community. A case study is used to give a conceptual and comparative analysis relating to this topic. A critique is also given on the extent to which this law has been applied, its relevance, the backlashes and finally, the conclusion.
Jurisdictional Immunity is a principle of International Law that concerns the question of the extent to which States, or their organs or State enterprises, can be sued in the civil courts of other States, and how far there can be execution on property of a foreign state.
Originally in International Law the theory prevailing was that of absolute immunity but this proved difficult to apply without consent from the foreign States. However, Restrictive Immunity theory is fundamentally being applied the world over as an aspect of International Law. Immunity in this case is to be granted only in the case of particular types of property, notably those of a sovereign nature. How precise we can be in demarcating immune and non-immune State activities is a question of concern.
The major principles on which the immunity may be based are the Sovereign Immunity and Diplomatic immunities, Privileges and Facilities. The Principle of Diplomatic Immunity is said to have dated back to ancient tribes where messengers or emissaries did the exchange of information and were allowed to travel from tribe to tribe without fear or harm. It is also documented that in Antiquity the Greek government extended special status to foreign envoys. The purpose of this was basically to allow representatives of foreign governments to work and operate under the laws of their home country