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Chapter Summary

Foreign governments, public international organizations, and many of the officials who work for them often claim that they are immune from suit in U.S. courts. This chapter addresses the immunities of government officials and representatives as well as immunities applicable to public international organizations and their employees. Determining exactly which immunities apply to a particular defendant requires analyzing several interrelated immunity provisions. The first issue considered in the chapter is to what extent, if at all, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) applies to officials of foreign states. It also addresses head-of-state immunity, a common law concept developed in the case law that protects current heads of state; diplomatic immunity, defined by a series of international agreements and statutes; the immunity afforded to government representatives engaged in official missions; the immunities of officials of public international organizations; and waivers of immunity.

Keywords: diplomatic immunity; Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA); government officials; head-of-state immunity; official missions; public international organizations; waivers



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