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The Jus Cogens Prohibition of Torture and the Importance of Sovereign State Immunity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter highlights Lucius Caflisch's dissent from the majority judgment of the Grand Chamber of European court of human rights in Al-Adsani v. United Kingdom. In 2000, a Grand Chamber of the European court of human rights was faced with three separate cases all claiming the European convention on human rights had been violated due to restrictions placed on access to court by applications of sovereign state immunity. The cases were decided in the wake of the Pinochet litigation, and the jus cogens references in those judgments provided much of the ballast for the applicants' arguments. Their arguments provide the groundwork for judges to read the jus cogens prohibition on torture as overriding international obligations to grant states and their agents full immunity in cases alleging torture.

Keywords: Al-Adsani dissent; European court of human rights; international law commission (ILC); jus cogens prohibition; Lucius Caflisch; prohibition against torture; sovereign state immunity



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