The exercise of civil jurisdiction by a national court over a foreign sovereign has been a perennial source of controversy in international relations. It resulted in the development of the doctrine of state immunity, founded on the notion of the comity of nations. The doctrine at some point was considered an absolute rule. With time, exceptions to the rule were accepted, notably in the area of commercial activities. In recent times, there has been a movement to recognize a further exception involving violation of jus cogens norms in order to limit the tendency of certain state agents to engage in gross violations of human rights and humanitarian norms. Yet this movement has encountered strong resistance. The resistance is apparent in three decisions rendered respectively by the European Court of Human Rights, the Ontario Court of Appeal, and the British House of Lords. In this article, it is contended first that the resistance noted in these cases is largely founded on fundamental misconceptions. It is further contended that the comity of nations is no longer sustainable as a rational basis for the doctrine of state immunity, especially in the face of jus cogens as a peremptory norm of international law.