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Is There State Immunity in Cases of War Crimes Committed in the Forum State? On the Decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of 3 February 2012 in Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Germany v. Italy: Greece Intervening)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 March 2019

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On 3 February 2012, in a case brought by the Federal Republic of Germany against Italy, the ICJ decided that state immunity protects the state against compensation claims even in cases of extreme violations of human rights. With this ruling, the court established a provisional conclusion to the question of possible exceptions to state immunity in respect of jurisdictional immunity of the state and constraint measures in civil claims. This question has repeatedly arisen in recent years not only in international and European cases, but also in other national cases.

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Copyright © 2013 by German Law Journal GbR 

References

1 See Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.: Greece Intervening), 2012 I.C.J. 143 (Feb. 3), http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/143/16883.pdf.Google Scholar

2 See Christoph Bornkamm, State Immunity Against Claims Arising from War Crimes: The Judgment of the International Court of Justice in Jurisdictional Immunities of the State, 13 German L.J. 77, 779–80 (2012); Norman Paech, Staatenimmunität und Kriegsverbrechen, 47 Archiv des Völkerrechts 36, 51–53 (2009), Julia Saarschmidt, Die Reichweite des völkerrechtlichen Immunitätsschutzes—Deutschland v. Italien vor dem Igh, Beiträge Zum Europa-Und Völkerrecht 12–14 (2010).Google Scholar

3 See Paech, supra note 2, at 36–92; Eibe Riedel, Der internationale Menschenrechtsschutz. Eine Einführung, in Menschenrechte. Dokumente Und Deklarationen 11 (Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung ed., 2004).Google Scholar

4 See Monomeles Protodikeio Livadeiasin [Mon. Pr.] [District Court of Livadia], 137/1997 (Greece); see also Ilias Bantekas, International Decisions: Prefecture of Voiotia v. Federal Republic of Germany, 92 Am. J. Int'l L. 765 (1998).Google Scholar

5 See generally Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 20. On June 10, 1944, in the Greek village of Distomo, a Wehrmacht armored infantry troop, integrated into the SS, brutally murdered 218 men, women and children and burnt the village to the ground as “an act of atonement.” This massacre of innocent civilians was retaliation for the deaths of three soldiers from a partisan ambush.Google Scholar

6 See generally Bornkamm, supra note 2, at 773–76; Christian Tomuschat, The International Law of State Immunity and its Development by National Institutions, 44 Vand. J. Transnat'l L. 1105, 1107–16 (2011); see Paech, supra note 2, at 8–9. See Paech, supra note 2, at 36–48 for decisions of individual courts.Google Scholar

7 See Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 52. This was not contested by Germany and was assumed by the ICJ because of its distinction between the jurisdiction over the acts on the one hand and jurisdiction regarding the Italian judgments on the other hand; Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, paras. 45–46, 97. Article 3 of the Hague Convention provides for the duty to make reparation.Google Scholar

8 Since the decision in the Case of Ferrini, over 50 individual and class action lawsuits against Germany were pending in which the plaintiffs has sought redress for crimes of the Third Reich during the Second World War; BT-Drucks., 13/8933, at 5.Google Scholar

9 The district court of Bonn, the regional appeal court of Cologne, and the Federal Court denied the existence of an individual right to compensation and excluded measures of constraint against a foreign state because of the principle of state immunity. Landgericht [LG–Regional Court], Case No. 1 0358/95 (June 23, 1997); Oberlandesgericht Köln [OLG Köln–Higher Regional Court], Case No. 7U 167/97 (Aug. 8, 1998); Bundesgerichtshof [BGH–Federal Supreme Court], Case No. III ZR 245/98, 155 Entscheidungen des Bundesgerichtshofs in Zivilsachen [BGHZ] 279, 281–85 (June 26, 2003) (the subsequently raised constitutional complaint was rejected by the Federal Constitutional Court on Feb. 15, 2006). Bundesverfassungsgericht [BVerfG –Federal Constitutional Court], Case No. 2 BvR 1476/03, 7 BVerfG-K 303 (Feb. 15, 2006); see also Markus Rau, State Liability for Violations of International Humanitarian Law—The Distomo Case Before the German Federal Constitutional Court, 7 German L.J. 701, 701–20 (2005).Google Scholar

10 Luigi Ferrini v. Bundesrepublik Deutschland, see Cass., 6 novembre 2003, n. 5055–04, 87 Rivista Di Diritto Internazionale (RDI) 539 (2004), 128 Int'l L. Rev. 659 (2006), http://www.uniurb.it/scipol/pretelli/3%20ferrini.pdf, (It.). See also Pasquale de Sena & Francesca de Vittor, State Immunity and Human Rights: The Italian Supreme Court Decision on the Ferrini Case, 16 Eur. J. Int'l L. 89 (2005); see Paech, supra note 2, at 7–8.Google Scholar

11 See generally Application of the Federal Republic of Germany, Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.), Dec. 23, 2008, at 14.Google Scholar

12 Thereby, the Corte confirmed a decision of the appellate court, the Corte Florence, which had declared the decision of the Greek Aeropag in respect of German property in Italy enforceable. Even though the Corte overturned the decision of the appellate Florence Corte, Corte d'Appello di Firenze, 2 maggio 2005, n. 308/0), regarding the application of EuGGVO, it recognized the jurisdiction of Italy and the enforceability of the judgment of the Aeropag on the basis of article 64 of the Italian IPR law, law No. 218/1995, available at http://www.iusreporter.it/Testi/legge218-1995.htm) firmly. See Cass., 29 maggio 2008, n. 14.201, 134 Foro Italiano I 1568, 91 RDI, at 896.Google Scholar

13 See Application of the Federal Republic of Germany, Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.), supra note 11, at 4, 18.Google Scholar

14 The Federal Republic of Germany criticized the case law of the Corte, which did not explicitly reflect the current state of international law and considered that it did not constitute a trend in international law, but a development of the law that placed Italy in the position of outsider. Memorial of the FRG, Ger. v. It., paras. 57–64 (June 12, 2009).Google Scholar

15 See Ger. v. It, 2012 I.C.J. 143, paras. 81–91 (“The Court must emphasize that it is addressing only the immunity of the State itself from the jurisdiction of the courts of other States; the question of whether, and if so to what extent, immunity might apply in criminal proceedings against an official of the State is not in issue in the present case.”).Google Scholar

16 See Kreicker, Helmut, Die Entscheidung des Internationalen Gerichtshofs zur Staatenimmunität—Auswirkungen auf das (Völker-Strafrecht?, 4 Zeitschrift Für Internationale Strafrechtsdogmatik [ZIS] 107 (2012).Google Scholar

17 See Arrest Warrant of April 11, 2000, Dem. Rep. Congo v. Belg., 2002 I.C.J. 3, para. 58. In its justification for the immunity of the then-reigning Congolese foreign minister, the ICJ, for the duration of the term of his office, held that there was absolute immunity in criminal proceedings without regard to whether the actions were of an official or private nature.Google Scholar

18 See Al-Adsani v. United Kingdom, ECHR App. 35763/97, 2001-XI Eur. Ct. H.R. 101; McElhinney v. Ireland, ECHR App. 31253/96, 2001-XI Eur. Ct. H.R. 763.Google Scholar

19 See Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, para 48 (“The Court is therefore not called upon to rule on those questions.”).Google Scholar

20 See U.N. Charter art. 2, para. 1 (“The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.”).Google Scholar

21 See Stoll, Peter-Tobias, State Immunity, in Encyclopedia of Public International Law (EPIL) para. 4 (2011); Herdegen, in Völkerrecht 10, ch. 37 paras. 1 et seqq. (2011); Hailbronner, Kay & Kau, Marcel, Der Staat und der Einzelne als Völkerrechtssubjekte, in Völkerrecht 5, paras. 89 et seqq. (Wolfgang Graf Vitzthum ed., 2010); see Paech, supra note 2, at 10–12.Google Scholar

22 See Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 109 et seqq.; Hailbronner, Kay, Der Staat und der Einzelne als Völkerrechtssubjekte, in Völkerrecht 4, para. 93 (Wolfgang Graf Vitzthum ed, 2007).Google Scholar

23 See Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 58 (“[T] he law of immunity is essentially procedural in nature.”).Google Scholar

24 See generally Gerichtsverfassungsgesetz [GVG] [German Judicature Act], Jan. 27, 1887, 20 (Ger.).Google Scholar

25 See Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, paras. 80, 93.Google Scholar

26 In accordance with article 13 of the “Draft Articles on the Responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts” of the ILC, the legality of a measure is measured only at the level of the then-current international law. Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 58; ILC Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, in Report of the International Law Commission on the Work of its Fifty-Third Session, UN Doc. A/56/10, 43 (2001). See Helmut Kreicker, supra note 16, at 109.Google Scholar

27 See European Convention on State Immunity, May 16, 1972, BGBl. II at 34 (Ger.).Google Scholar

28 See United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property, Dec. 2, 2004, U.N. Doc.A/59/508, reprinted in 44 ILM 803 (2005).Google Scholar

29 See Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, para 54.Google Scholar

30 The restrictive immunity theory was received in 1976 by the United States, for example, in § 1605 of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and 1978 of the United Kingdom in § 3 of the State Immunity Act (SIA), reprinted in 15 ILM 1388 (1976) and 17 ILM 1123 (1978); see European Convention on State Immunity, supra note 21, at 37 para. 5.Google Scholar

31 See Counter-Memorial of Italy (Ger. v. It), paras. 4.27–4.42 (Dec. 22), available at http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/143/16648.pdf.Google Scholar

32 See Statute of the International Court of Justice, art. 27 (2); see Helmut Kreicker, supra note 16, at 113.Google Scholar

33 European Convention on State Immunity, art. 11 (1972), http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Treaties/Html/074.htm (“A Contracting State cannot claim immunity from the jurisdiction of a court of another Contracting State in proceedings which relate to redress for injury to the person or damage to tangible property, if the facts which occasioned the injury or damage occurred in the territory of the State of the forum, and if the author of the injury or damage was present in that territory at the time when those facts occurred.”).Google Scholar

34 G.A. Res. 59/38, U.N. GAOR, 59th Sess., Supp. No. 49, U.N. Doc. A/59/49, at art. 12 (Dec. 2, 2004) (“Unless otherwise agreed between the States concerned, a State cannot invoke immunity from jurisdiction before a court of another State which is otherwise competent in a proceeding which relates to pecuniary compensation for death or injury to the person, or damage to or loss of tangible property, caused by an act or omission which is alleged to be attributable to the State, if the act or omission occurred in whole or in part in the territory of that other State and if the author of the act or omission was present in that territory at the time of the act or omission.”).Google Scholar

35 For the development, application and meaning of tort clauses, see generally supra note 2, at 51–88. See Paech, supra note 2, at 16–20 for the I.C.J.'s position. See section IV.3.Google Scholar

36 See Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 65.Google Scholar

37 This is the conclusion of the ICJ on the basis of Article 31 of the Basel Convention, which excludes military action, and from the interpretation of the ILC on the UN Immunity Convention. Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 67–69; but see the commentary cited by the ICJ of the International law Commission on Article 12 of the UN Immunity Convention; 2 Y.B. Int'l L. Comm'n 46, U.N. Doc.Google Scholar

38 See id. para. 67–69.Google Scholar

39 See id. para. 70–75.Google Scholar

40 See 2 Y.B. Int'l L. Comm'n 23, U.N. Doc. A/CN.4/SER.A/1991/Add.1.; Dissenting Opinion of Judge ad hoc Gaja, Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, section 9 (referring to the commentary of the ILC on article 5 of the UN Immunity Convention). See also Letelier v. Chile, 488 F.Supp. 665 (D.D.C. 1980); Liu v. Peoples Republic of China, 892 F.2d 1419 (9th Cir. 1989).Google Scholar

41 See Martin Seegers, Das Individualrecht Auf Wiedergutmachung 246 (2005); see Paech, supra note 2, at 71–74; Kenneth C. Randall, Federal Courts and the International Human Rights Paradigm 94 (1990); Andrea Bianchi, Denying State Immunity to Violators of Human Rights, 46 Austrian J. Publ. Intl L. 195, 217 (1994).Google Scholar

42 See Mon. Pr. [District Court of Livadia], supra note 4, at para. 60.Google Scholar

43 See Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 73, 74.Google Scholar

44 The district court of Livadia explained its decision that state acts that violate jus cogens are not considered as acta jure imperii and thus do not fall under immunity. The Greek Supreme Civil Court, the Areopagus, rejected a revision of the German Federal Government against the decision; in the case of disproportionate tortious acts under international law an exception to the principle of state immunity must be applied. The ruling in Greece, although legally binding, could not be enforced because the required permission, according to the Law of Civil Procedure in Greece, was not given by the Minister of Justice.Google Scholar

45 See Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 76.Google Scholar

46 See id. at paras. 79–91; see Kalogeropoulou et al. v. Greece and Germany, ECHR App. 59021/00, Eur. Ct. H.R. (Dec. 12, 2002), available at http://hudoc.echr.coe.int.Google Scholar

47 See British House of Lords, Regina v. Bow Street Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrate and Others, ex parte Pinochet Ugarte (No. 3), Judgment of 24 March 1999, [2000] AC 147.Google Scholar

48 See Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 87.Google Scholar

49 See British House of Lords, Regina v. Bow Street Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrate and Others, ex parte Pinochet Ugarte (No. 3), Judgment of 24 March 1999, [2000] AC 147. See also Isabelle Buffard, Der Fall Pinochet: Für und wider die Immunität: Auslieferungsspezifische Aspekte im Fall Pinochet und Argumente für die Immunität, in Völker und Europarecht, Österreichischer Völkerrechtstag und Herbert-Miehsler Gedächtnisvorlesung 25 (W. Karl & U. Brandled eds., 2000).Google Scholar

50 See Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 87; see Paech, supra note 2, at 56–58.Google Scholar

51 See Counter-Memorial of Italy (Ger. v. It.), Dec. 22, 2009, para. 6.26.Google Scholar

52 Id. at para. 6.26–6.28.Google Scholar

53 See Institut de Droit International, Third Commission: Resolution on the Immunity from Jurisdiction of the State and of Persons Who Act on Behalf of the State in Case of International Crimes, in 73 Annuaire De l'institut De Droit International Session De Naples 2009, available at http://www.idi-iil.org/idiF/navig_ann_2009.html. The rapporteur Lady Fox notes that an exception to immunity for any jus cogens violation would be too far. See id. at 58.Google Scholar

54 See Vertrag über Leistungen zugunsten griechischer Staatsangehöriger, die von nationalsozialistischen Verfolgungsmaßnahmen betroffen worden sind, Sept. 14, 1961, BGBl. II at 1597 (Ger.) (Treaty concluded with Greece to compensate victims of specific national-socialist measures of prosecution).Google Scholar

55 See Vertrag über Leistungen zugunsten italienischer Staatsangehöriger, die von nationalsozialistischen Verfolgungsmaßnahmen betroffen worden sind, June 28, 1963, BGBl. II at 793 (Ger.) (Treaty concluded with Italy to compensate victims of specific national-socialist measures of prosecution).Google Scholar

56 Germany has paid 115 million marks to Greece and 40 million marks to Italy. See German Federal Law Gazette (BGBl. II) 1597 (1961), art. 1, para. 1 (“contract services for the benefit of Greek nationals who have been affected by nationalist persecution”); id. Google Scholar

57 Both in Article 77 (4) of the Peace Treaty and Article 2 (1) of the “Abkommen über die Regelung gewisser vermögensrechtlicher, wirtschaftlicher und finanzieller Fragen” (“Agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Italian Republic Governing Certain Property-Law, Economic and Financial Questions”) German Federal Law Gazette [BGBl. II] 669 (1963). See Counter-Memorial of Italy (Ger. v. It.), Dec. 22, 2009, paras. 2.9– 2.19 (Italy waived all claims against Germany and German nationals … if they are based on rights and conditions which arose in the period from September 1939 and 8 May 1945. From Italy's perspective, however, these clauses were like the London Schuldenmoratorium aimed at deferring the reparation payments to a later, more appropriate time).Google Scholar

58 See Gesetz zur Errichtung einer Stiftung “Erinnerung, Verantwortung, Zukunft” [EVZ] [The Law on the Creation of a Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility, Future”], Aug. 2, 2000, BGBl I. 1263, at § 11 (3) (Ger.). On this basis, the majority of the Italian military internees were rejected. The Constitutional Court ruled in 2004 that this is not an infringement of the principle of equality in Article 3 of the German Basic Law. Bundesverfassungsgericht [BVerfG —Federal Constitutional Court] Case No. 2 BvR 1379/01, 3 BverfG-K 227 (June 28, 2004), http://dejure.org/dienste/vernetzung/rechtsprechung?Text=2%20BvR%201379%2F01&Suche=2%20BVR%201379%2F01.Google Scholar

59 See Article 5 para. 2 LDA (“Consideration of claims arising out of the second World War by countries which were at war with or were occupied by Germany during that war, and by nationals of such countries, against the Reich and agencies of the Reich, including costs of German occupation, credits acquired during occupation on clearing accounts and claims against the Reichskreditkassen shall be deferred until the final settlement of the problem of reparation.”); German Federal Law Gazette (BGBl II) 331 (1953).Google Scholar

60 See Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 99.Google Scholar

61 See Kempen, Bernhard, Der Fall Distomo: griechische Reparationsforderungen gegen die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, in Festschrift für Helmut Steinberger, 179 (Cremer et. al. eds., 2002); Dietrich Rauschning, Beendigung der Nachkriegszeit mit dem Vertrag über die abschließende Regelung in Bezug auf Deutschland, in Das Deutsche Verwaltungsblatt 1275, at 1279 (1990); See Paech, supra note 2, at 82–83.Google Scholar

62 See Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, paras. 46–48.Google Scholar

63 See Paech, supra note 2, at 80–83.Google Scholar

64 See Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 94.Google Scholar

65 In the Distomo case, the armed forces of the SS violated in particular Article 46 and 50 of the Land Warfare Convention of 1907. In regards to the Italian war victims, other provisions of the Land Warfare Convention and the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War of 1929 come into question. The duty to make reparation is provided in Article 3 of the Hague Convention.Google Scholar

66 See Magallona, Merlin M., The Concept of Jus Cogens in the Vienna Convention on the Law of the Treaties, in 51 Philippine L.J., 521 (1976); Stefan Kadelbach, Zwingendes Völkerrecht 26–35, 324341 (1992); Kirsten Schmalenbach, Art. 53, in Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 897 (Oliver Dörr & Kirsten Schmalenbach eds., 2012).Google Scholar

67 See Ger. v. It., 2012 I.C.J. 143, paras. 81–97.Google Scholar

68 In the case of Congo v. Belgium, Judge Al-Khasawneh of Jordan and the Belgian ad hoc Judge Van den Wyngaert argued for an exception to immunity and justified this with the developments in international criminal law and the jus cogens character of the violated norms. (Dissenting Opinion of Judge Van den Wyngaert (Dem. Rep. Congo v. Belg), 2002 I.C.J. 3, para. 28; Dissenting Opinion of Judge Al-Khasawneh (Dem. Rep. Congo v. Belg), 2002 I.C.J. 3, para. 7).Google Scholar

69 See Zeichen, Sigrid & Hebenstreit, Johannes, Kongo v. Belgien. Sind Außenminister vor Strafverfolgung völkerstrafrechtlicher Verbrechen immun?, in 41 Archiv des Völkerrechts 182–83, 199 (2003); Dem. Rep. Congo v. Belg., 2002 I.C.J. 3, para. 60.Google Scholar

70 See Al-Adsani v. United Kingdom, App. No. 35763/97, Eur. Ct. H.R. (2001)‥Google Scholar

71 The English Court of Appeal had dismissed a civil claim raised by Kuwaiti nationals for compensation for torture against the Kuwaiti government on the ground of the state immunity. Al-Adsani v. Government of Kuwait and Others, Court of Appeal, Jan. 21, 1994, reprinted in 100 ILR 465 (1995). The applicant then submitted to the European Court of Human Rights an individual complaint for breach of the right to legal protection provided in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The decisive argument in the ruling of Al-Adsani was not the distinction between procedural and substantive rights but the State's practice. The question of whether there was indeed a conflict has been treated in an inadequate manner. Christian J. Tams, Schwierigkeiten mit dem Ius Cogens, 40 AVR 331, 341 (2002).Google Scholar

72 See Al-Adsani v. United Kingdom, supra note 18, para. 53.Google Scholar

73 In its Judgment of 12 December 2002, the ECtHR dismissed a complaint because of a violation of the right to a fair trial (Article 6 I (1) ECHR) and the right to an effective remedy (Article 13 ECHR) as inadmissible. Kalogeropoulou v. Greece and Germany, ECHR App. 59021/00, Eur. Ct. H.R. n. 43 (Dec. 12, 2002). See also Saarschmidt, supra note 2, at 27–28.Google Scholar

74 See Al-Adsani v. United Kingdom, supra note 18, paras. 54, 35.Google Scholar

75 See Counter-Memorial of Italy (Ger. v. It.), Dec. 22, 2009, para. 4.88–4.101.Google Scholar

76 See Al-Adsani v. United Kingdom, supra note 18, at para. 38 (“The Court observes that, on the material before it … there appears to be a trend in international and comparative law towards limiting State immunity in respect of personal injury caused by an act or omission within the forum state, but that this practice is by no means universal.”).Google Scholar

77 See id. Dissenting Opinion of Judge Rozakis, para. 2 (“Yet, the fact that the law on state immunity was - and still is - at a stage of transition, and that the clear preference of the international community was - and is - to limit it in specific States’ actions, … [t]he plea of state immunity loses much of its weight in view of the developments of international law and the current status of the law on state immunity.”).Google Scholar

78 See id. Dissenting Opinion of Judge Rozakis et. al., para. 3 (“Due to the interplay of the jus cogens rule on prohibition of torture and the rules on State immunity, the procedural bar of State immunity is automatically lifted, because those rules, as they conflict with a hierarchically higher rule, do not produce any legal effect.”).Google Scholar

79 See Kalogeropoulou et al. v. Greece and Germany ECHR App. 59021/00, Eur. Ct. H.R. n. 46 (Dec. 12, 2002) (under the heading “The Court's assessment.”)Google Scholar

80 See Al-Adsani, ECHR App. No. 35763/97 (the Corte relates inter alia on the minority votes from this judgment); Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.), 2012 I.C.J. 143 (Feb. 3) (the Corte also relates to an obiter dictum from this judgment). See also Alkotmánybíróság [AB—Constitutional Court] 1993.53 (Hung.); Prosecutor v. Anto Furundzija, Case No. IT-95-17/1 (Int'l Crim. Trib. for the Former Yugoslavia Dec. 10, 1998), http://www.icty.org/case/furundzija/4; Prosecutor v. Kupreskic, Case No. IT-95-16-T (Int'l Crim. Trib. for the Former Yugoslavia Jan. 14, 2000), http://www.icty.org/case/kupreskic; Ferrini, n. 5055–04 (It.), paras. 8.3, 9 (“fundamental human rights that are rooted by irrefutable standards in the international legal order and are at the forefront of the international legal order and that over all other conventional and customary norms take priority …, and thus also towards those concerning steps the State Immunity.”).Google Scholar

81 See Al-Adsani, ECHR App. No. 35763/97, para. 2 (Rozakis, J. et al., dissenting) (emphasizing explicitly—although most ICJ and ECtHR judgments implicitly assume—that state immunity does not have the status of jus cogens) (“The Court's majority do not seem … to deny that the rules on State immunity; customary or conventional, do not belong to the category of jus cogens.“). See also Lee M. Caplan, State Immunity, Human Rights, and Jus Cogens: A Critique of the normative Hierarchy Theory, 97 Am. J. Int'l L. 741, 741742 (2003).Google Scholar

82 Danilenko, Gennady M., International Jus Cogens: Issues of Law-Making, 2 Eur. J. Int'l L. 42, 42 (1991); Andreas L. Paulus, Die internationale Gemeinschaft im Völkerrecht 354–356 (2001) (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Universität München).Google Scholar

83 See Koskenniemi, Martti, Hierarchy in International Law: A Sketch, 8 Eur. J. Int'l L. 566 (1997); Juan Antonio Carrillo Salcedo, Reflections on the Existence of a Hierarchy of Norms in International Law, 8 Eur. J. Int'l L. 583 (1997); Joseph H.H. Weiler & Andreas L. Paulus, The Structure of Change in International Law or Is There a Hierarchy of Norms in International Law?, 8 Eur. J. Int'l L. 545 (1997).Google Scholar

84 Al-Adsani, ECHR App. No. 35763/97, para. 66 (“The Court … does not accordingly find it established that there is yet acceptance in international law of the proposition that States are not entitled to immunity in respect of civil claims for damages for alleged torture committed outside the forum State.“) (emphasis added); McElhinney, ECHR App. No. 31253/96 para. 38 (“[T]here appears to be a trend in international and comparative law towards limiting State immunity in respect of personal injury caused by an act or omission within the forum State“) (emphasis added).Google Scholar

85 Stoll, supra note 21, at para. 84 (“However, legal developments in this area cannot stop at this point. There is an urgent need further to consider the role that human rights and jus cogens should play in the context of State immunity.”). For a current opinion, see Christian Appelbaum, Einschränkungen der Staatenimmunität in Fällen schwerer Menschenrechtsverletzungen 79 (2007). See also Philipp Stammler, Der Anspruch von Kriegsopfern auf Schadensersatz (2009).Google Scholar

86 Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.), 2012 I.C.J. 143 para. 94 (Feb. 3). See Appelbaum, supra note 85, at 270 (the author also holds this view).Google Scholar

87 Mem'l of the Federal Republic of Germany (Ger. v. It.), 2009 I.C.J. paras. 57–64 (June 12) (demonstrating the separation between the ban and the obligation to legal protection is not further substantiated by the ICJ because the duty to prosecute human rights violations and to guarantee legal protection is of more recent origin than human rights). See, e.g., Geneva Conventions of 1949, Aug. 12, 1949, arts. 51, 52, 131, 148; Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of Aug. 12 1949 (Protocol I), June 8, 1977, art. 85; Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Dec. 9, 1948, arts. 4, 6; International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment on the Crime of Apartheid, Nov. 30, 1973, art. 4(b) (enshrining the duty to prosecute human right violations in treaties). See Velásquez-Rodríguez v. Honduras, Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 4 (July 29, 1988), available at http://www.corteidh.or.cr/docs/casos/articulos/seriec_04_ing.pdf) (only after this judgment is it discussed seriously whether there is a general obligation to prosecute human rights violations); see, e.g. Kai Ambos, Völkerrechtliche Bestrafungspflichten bei schweren Menschenrechtsverletzungen, 37 Archiv des Völkerrechts 318 (1999).Google Scholar

88 Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.), 2012 I.C.J. 143 para. 93 (Feb. 3). Accord, International Law Commission, Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, U.N. Doc. A/56/10, art. 41 (2001) (“Particular consequences of a serious breach of an obligation under this chapter: 1. States shall cooperate to bring to an end through lawful means any serious breach within the meaning of Article 40. 2. No State shall recognize as lawful a situation created by a serious breach within the meaning of Article 40, nor render aid or assistance in maintaining that situation.”). But see Alexander Orakhelashvili, State Immunity and Hierarchy of Norms: Why the House of Lords Got It Wrong, 18.5 Eur. J. Int'l L. 955, 963970 (2007); Lorna McGregor, Torture and State Immunity: Deflecting Impunity, Distorting Sovereignty, 18.5 Eur. J. Int'l L. 964, 967 (2007).Google Scholar

89 Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.), 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 95 (Feb. 3) (“To the extent that it is argued that no rule which is not of the status of jus cogens may be applied if to do so would hinder the enforcement of a jus cogens rule, even in the absence of a direct conflict, the Court sees no basis for such a proposition.”).Google Scholar

90 Barcelona Traction, Light and Power Co. (Belg. v. Spain), 1970 I.C.J. 3, 3334 (Feb. 5).Google Scholar

91 See Court Judgment of 06 November 2003, Int'l L.Rev., supra note 10, at 668–669.Google Scholar

92 See Bartsch, Kerstin & Elberling, Björn, Jus Cogens vs. State Immunity, Round Two: The Decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the Kalogeropoulou et al. v. Greece and Germany Decision, 4 German L.J. 477, 487488 (2003).Google Scholar

93 Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.), 2012 I.C.J. 143, paras. 81–97 (Feb. 3).Google Scholar

94 But see Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 2004 I.C.J. 136 (July 9) (derives from the erga omnes obligation, the obligation of third States not to recognize the illegal situation created by the separation wall). See also Prosecutor v. Anto Furundzija, Case No. IT-95-17/1, para. 151 (Int'l Crim. Trib. for the Former Yugoslavia Dec. 10, 1998).Google Scholar

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96 See also International Law Commission, Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, U.N. Doc. A/56/10, art. 48(1)(b) (“Any state other than the injured State is entitled to invoke the responsibility in accordance with paragraph 2 if … the obligation breached is owed to the international community as a whole.”).Google Scholar

97 Appelbaum, supra note 85, at 240–252.Google Scholar

98 Saarschmidt, supra note 2, at 30–32.Google Scholar

99 See also Bartsch & Elberling, supra note 92, at 486–487.Google Scholar

100 Kokott, Juliane, Missbrauch und Verwirkung von Souveränitätsrechten bei gravierenden Völkerrechtsverstössen, in Festschrift für Rudolf Bernhardt 135, 136137 (Ulrich Beyerlein et al. eds., 1995) (demonstrating that the legal concept of forfeiture is a general principle of international law within the meaning of Article 38 paragraph 1 lit. c of the ICJ Statute); Karl Doehring, Völkerrecht para. 417 (2004); Karl Doehring, Zum Rechtsinstitut der Verwirkung im Völkerrecht, in Festschrift für Ignaz Seidl-.Hohenveldern 51, 51 (Karl-Heinz Böckstiegel ed., 1988); Kreicker, supra note 16, at 114; Paech, supra note 2, at 59–60. But see Tomuschat, supra note 6, at 1123; Appelbaum, supra note 85, at 280.Google Scholar

101 Doehring, Karl, Zum Rechtsinstitut der Verwirkung im Völkerrecht, in Festschrift für Ignaz Seidl-Hohenveldern 51, 52 (Karl-Heinz Böckstiegel ed., 1988).Google Scholar

102 Counter-Memorial of Italy, Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.) 2009 I.C.J. 143, paras. 4.69–4.71 (Dec. 22).Google Scholar

103 Id. at para 4.69 (Italy referring to Kokott, supra note 100).Google Scholar

104 Reply of the Federal Republic of Germany, Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.) 2010 I.C.J. 143, para. 60 (Oct. 5), available at http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/143/16650.pdf (Germany rejecting the forfeiture argument and describing it as theoretical speculation with no basis in international law or foundation in state practice; the ICJ did not address this argument).Google Scholar

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106 Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.), 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 104 (Feb. 3).Google Scholar

107 Id. para. 102.Google Scholar

108 Kokott, supra note 100, at 144.Google Scholar

109 Id. at 144–145. But see Cremer, supra note 106, at 156 (seeing the subsidiarity principle as violated).Google Scholar

110 See, e.g., Dissenting Opinion of Judge Trindade and Dissenting Opinion of Judge Yusuf, Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.), 2012 I.C.J. 143 (Feb. 3).Google Scholar

111 Counter-Memorial of Italy, Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.) 2009 I.C.J. 143 para. 4.117 (Dec. 22) (“immunity must be denied when, if granted, it would amount to an absolute denial of justice for the victims and to impunity for the State;” thus, Italy's argument does not explicitly depend on jus cogens). See also Doehring, supra note 101, at 60 (arguing that the question of whether immunity can be considered forfeited, does not depend only on the jus cogens character of the violated human rights, but is also a result of a balancing process between the legal interests).Google Scholar

112 For Germany's position, see Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.), 2012 I.C.J. 143, paras. 93–97 (Feb. 3).Google Scholar

113 Doehring, supra note 101, at 55.Google Scholar

114 Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.), 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 93 (Feb. 3).Google Scholar

115 Kadelbach, supra note 67, at 56.Google Scholar

116 Rep. of the Int'l Law Comm'n, 53rd Sess., Apr. 23–June 1, July 2–Aug. 10, 2001, para. 54, U.N. Doc. A/56/10 (2001); GAOR, 56th Sess., Supp. 10 (2001). See also Saarschmidt, supra note 2, at 32–33 for the idea of denying immunity as a countermeasure.Google Scholar

117 Rep. of the Int'l Law Comm'n, 53rd Sess., Apr. 23–June 1, July 2–Aug. 10, 2001, para. 2, U.N. Doc. A/56/10 (2001); GAOR, 56th Sess., Supp. 10 (2001).Google Scholar

118 Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 2004 I.C.J. 136, paras. 137, 157, 159, 160 (July 9).Google Scholar

119 Institut de Droit International, supra note 53, at 227–31.Google Scholar

120 Id. at 101 (“A State may not enjoy immunity from the civil jurisdiction of the national courts of another State for violations of the fundamental rights of the person as defined in the present Resolution wherever committed unless it is established that the State has performed its obligations to make reparation in accordance with the applicable international convention or customary international law.”).Google Scholar

121 Int'l Law Ass'n, Sofia Conference 2012: Reparation for Victims of Armed Conflict (Procedural Issues) 17, available at http://www.ila-hq.org/en/committees/index.cfm/cid/1018.Google Scholar

122 Id. at 6–7.Google Scholar

123 Id. at 2–3, 68.Google Scholar

124 See Yang Xiaodong, St a t e Immunity in International La w 132–198 (2012), for a theoretical legal justification that denies the voidability of dispositive law without there being explicit regulation of the legal consequences, that can be applied in the case of violating jus cogens rules.Google Scholar

125 Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany, Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.) 2009 I.C.J. 143, para. 114 (June 12).Google Scholar

126 Kadelbach, supra note 67, at 335–339.Google Scholar

127 Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.), 2012 I.C.J. 143, paras. 119–120, 139 (Feb. 3) (holding that treatment of the measures of constraint taken against Villa Vigoni and enforcement of the decision of the Greek court in the Distomo case are no longer relevant for the evaluation of state immunity under this Article because the immunity from enforcement goes further than jurisdictional immunity). See Saarschmidt, supra note 2, at 35– 39, for more details about the immunity from enforcement and the significance of the case Ger. v. It.Google Scholar

128 Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property, United Nati o ns Treaty Collection ch. 3.13 http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?mtdsg_no=III-13&chapter=3&lang=en (last visited Aug. 4, 2013).Google Scholar

129 Arrest Warrant of 11 April 2000 (Dem. Rep. Congo v. Belg.), 2002 I.C.J. 3 (Feb. 14).Google Scholar

130 Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.), 2012 I.C.J. 143, paras. 99, 104 (Feb. 3) (“It considers however that the claims … which formed the basis for the Italian proceedings could be the subject of further negotiation involving the two States concerned, with a view to resolving the issue.”).Google Scholar

131 Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany, Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.) 2009 I.C.J. 143, para. 112 (June 12).Google Scholar

132 See Reinhard Müller, Rechtsfrieden, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), Feb. 3, 2012, http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/staat-und-recht/entscheidung-in-den-haag-rechtsfrieden-11636702.html.Google Scholar

133 See Andreas Fischer-Lescano, Opfer ohne Schutz, Frankfurter Rundschau, Feb. 15, 2012, http://www.fronline.de/meinung/gastbeitrag-opfer-ohne-schutz,1472602,11642126.html.Google Scholar

135 Cf. Bornkamm, supra note 2, at 781–82. See Al-Adsani, ECHR App. No. 35763/97 paras. 55–67; Kalogeropoulou, ECHR App. No. 59021/00; and Grosz v. France, ECHR App. No. 14717/06 (June 16, 2009), http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/, for the deviating jurisprudence of the EctHR.Google Scholar

136 See Bartsch, & Eberling, , supra note 93, at 486–88; Orakhelashvili, supra note 89, at 963–70; Yang, supra note 125, at 131.Google Scholar

137 Institut de Droit International, supra note 53, at 99 (showing Principle III of the Draft resolution, de lege lata: “A balance is to be achieved in resolving conflict arising from the application of the above principles relating to the protection of human rights and the jurisdictional immunities of States and persons acting on their behalf.”).Google Scholar

138 See also Bornkamm supra note 2, at 778–782, for criticisms.Google Scholar

139 See, e.g., Dissenting Opinion of Judge Yusuf, Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.), 2012 I.C.J. 143, paras. 46–50, 58 (Feb. 3); Separate Opinion of Judge Keith, 2012 I.C.J. 143; Separate Opinion of Judge Koroma, 2012 I.C.J. 143, paras. 9–10; Dissenting Opinion of Judge ad hoc Gaja, 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 1.Google Scholar

140 See Separate Opinion of Judge Bennouna, Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.), 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 25 (Feb 3). See also Paul Christoph Bornkamm, Rwanda's Gacaca Courts: Between Retribution and Reparation 120–125 (2012).Google Scholar

141 European Convention on Human Rights arts. 34, 41 Sep. 3, 1954, 213 U.N.T.S. 222; American Convention on Human Rights art. 63(1), Nov. 22, 1969, 1144 U.N.T.S. 123; see Yasser Abdelrehim, Das Recht des Individuums auf Wiedergutmachung, humanitäres völkerrecht – informationsscriften (HUV-I) (2013, forthcoming).Google Scholar

142 Kintzel, Yvonne, Das Recht der Opfer schwerer Menschenrechtsverletzungen und schwerer Verletzungen des internationalen humanitären Völkerrechts auf Wiedergutmachung, 3 Menschenrechts Magazin (MRM) 40 (2007); see Int'l Law Ass'n (ILA), Hague Conference 2010: Reparation for Victims of Armed Conflict (Substantive Issues) art. 6 cmt. 2 [hereinafter ILA Report 2010], available at http://www.ilahq.org/en/committees/index.cfm/cid/1018, for an individual duty to make reparation.Google Scholar

143 G.A. Res. 60/147, U.N. Doc. A/RES/60/147 (Dec. 16, 2005) (considering individuals as the beneficiaries of reparations for violations and establishing comprehensive rights for victims, but exclusively covering—like the codification proposal of the ILA—material and not procedural matters).Google Scholar

144 See Int'l Law Ass'n, Res. 2/2010, 74th Conf., Aug. 15–20, 2010, art. 6 (considering that there is only a tendency allowing for legal remedies before national courts), available at http://www.ilahq.org/en/committees/index.cfm/cid/1018.Google Scholar

145 See also Abdelrehim, supra note 141, for this issue.Google Scholar

146 Appelbaum, supra note 85, at 77–78; Arrest Warrant of 11 April 2000 (Dem. Rep. Congo v. Belg.), 2002 I.C.J. 3, para. 58 (Feb. 14).Google Scholar

147 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, art. 75, July 17, 1998, 2187 U.N.T.S. 90; see also Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, art. 24(3), May 25, 1993, for a similar provision; Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, art. 23(3), Nov. 8, 1994 (relating, however, to the powers of the court and not establishing individual claim for damages).Google Scholar

148 Abdelrehim, supra note 141; see also Appelbaum, supra note 85, at 293.Google Scholar

149 See, e.g., Dissenting Opinion of Judge Trindade, Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.), 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 253 (Feb. 3); Tomuschat, supra note 6, at 1132.Google Scholar

150 Kintzel, supra note 142, at 45 (showing that the UNCC received almost 2.6 million claims for compensation totaling 352 billion U.S. dollars, and 1.54 million complaints were admitted until the work of the UNCC ended in June 2005).Google Scholar

151 Kamminga, Menno T., Towards a Permanent International Claims Commission for Victims of Violations of International Humanitarian Law, 25 Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 23 (2007), http://arno.unimaas.nl/show.cgi?fid=3610.Google Scholar

152 See Verena Jüt te, Die United Na t i o n s Compensation Commission 58 (1999) (arguing that in the case of the UNCC, Iraq was not involved in the proceedings and was unable to comment on the lawsuits).Google Scholar

153 Kamminga, supra note 151, at 5.Google Scholar

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155 See Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, arts. 113–118, July 17, 1998, 2187 U.N.T.S. 90, for financing the ICC; see also Maarten Halff & David Tolbert, Funds of the Court and of the Assembly of States Parties: Article 115, in Commentary on the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court 1221, 1221–28 (Otto Triffterer ed., 2008).Google Scholar

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157 Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.), 2012 I.C.J. 143, paras. 72–78 (Feb. 3).Google Scholar

158 Dissenting Opinion of Judge ad hoc Gaja, Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.), 2012 I.C.J. 143, para. 6 (Feb. 3).Google Scholar

159 See Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property, supra note 129, for the Declarations of Sweden and Norway on the UN Convention.Google Scholar

160 But see Die Bundesversammlung der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft, in Bundesbeschluss über die Genehmigung und die Umsetzung des UNO-Übereinkommens über die Immunität der Staaten und ihres Vermögens von der Gerichtsbarkeit art. 1(3) (Dec. 11, 2009), http://www.droit-bilingue.ch/ff/lecteur.php?page1=8805&source=d&cible=f&an=2009&page2=8026, for the decision of Switzerland concerning the approval and the implementation of the United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property.Google Scholar

161 See Michael Traßl, Die Wiedergutmachung von Menschenrechtsverletzungen im Völkerrecht 73–74 (1994) (arguing the duty to make reparation requires in international law the existence of a causal link between a breach of an international obligation and the injury).Google Scholar

162 See ILA Report 2010, art. 4 cmt. 3; but see Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of Aug. 12 1949 (Protocol I), June 8, 1977, art. 91; Hague Peace Conference, Oct. 17, 1907, art. 3 (demonstrating classic international humanitarian law leaves the normal acts of war taking place within the Convention limits without sanctions and penalizes only the violation of the Convention rules through imposing the duty to make reparation). See also G.A. Res. 60/147, U.N. Doc. A/RES/60/147 (Dec. 16, 2005) para. 15 (making the performance of compensation conditional on the gravity of the violation).Google Scholar

163 But see Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Comm'n, Decision No. 4: Evidence, Aug. 2001, para. 3, available at http://www.pca-cpa.org/showpage.asp?pag_id=1151. See Markus Benzing, The Law of Evidence Before International Courts and Arbitral Tribunals in Inter-State Disputes, 215 Beiträge zum Ausländischen Öffentlichen Recht und Völkerrecht 739, 753 (2010), for the procedural means of a reduction or a reversal of the burden of proof in international law.Google Scholar

164 See ILA Report 2010, supra note 143 (not offering suggestions on how to deal with cases in which the offending state has already paid reparations under a global agreement and obtained a discharge for any future claims).Google Scholar

165 See Abdelrehim, supra note 141.Google Scholar

166 Trendtex Trading Corp. v. Central Bank of Nigeria (1977) 1 Q.B. 529, 556; Dissenting Opinion of Judge Yusuf, Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Ger. v. It.), 2012 I.C.J. 143, 46 (Feb. 3).Google Scholar

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Is There State Immunity in Cases of War Crimes Committed in the Forum State? On the Decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of 3 February 2012 in Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Germany v. Italy: Greece Intervening)
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