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  • Author: Alexander Orakhelashvili
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The proper way of addressing the impact of normative hierarchy on state immunity is to adopt the normative-evidentiary approach cleansed of preconceptions motivated by certain risk factors that possess only theoretical significance. The European Court stated in Al-Adsani on the hierarchy of norms issue without properly examining most of its crucial aspects. The Joint Dissenting Opinion of six judges has exposed the weaknesses in the Court's reasoning. Still, some national courts, especially the House of Lords in Jones v. Saudi Arabia, have taken the Al-Adsani ruling as axiomatic, and accepted its outcome without enquiring into whether the line of reasoning the European Court had pursued was consistent or supported with evidence. The outcome is an unfortunate thread of judicial decisions, which do not properly examine the impact of the hierarchy of norms on State immunity, and consistently uphold the impunity of the perpetrators of torture as well as the denial to victims of the only available remedy.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Saudi Arabia