Immunities in Public and Private International law – 9th Session of the Seminar for Advanced Studies, 13-19 January 2013

Each year the Hague Academy of International law, one of the most renowned academic institutions in Europe, holds a seminar devoted to various aspects of public and private international law. The theme of this year’s seminar will be: ”Les immunités en droit international public et privé” (Immunities in public and private international law). This Programme of Advanced Studies (Cours de Perfectionnement) will take place from 13 to 19 January 2013 at the Academy building in The Hague.

Immunity from jurisdiction and enforcement in the areas of private, criminal and public law is a contemporary issue which touches upon the core of current international law. The seminar deals with questions regarding the immunity of representatives of state, diplomatic and consular personnel and international organizations and their agents in the courts of another state as opposed to international tribunals. Attention will be paid to the recent work of the International Law Commission concerning personal jurisdictional immunities of representatives of States and to immunity from jurisdiction and enforcement of states themselves. But issues concerning immunities at the heart of the legal practice of many states will also be covered.

Besides the difficulties of law due to legal regulation of national, European and international fragmentation according to subjects, areas and types of acts covered by immunity, many questions remain unanswered. The unanswered legal questions related to immunity concern various subjects, the types of acts, relevant legal areas (civil, criminal or public), the duration of protection covered by immunities and recent legal procedure (immunity from jurisdiction or enforcement).

This advanced course aims to provide participants with extensive knowledge and expertise regarding guarantees and mechanisms for the implementation of immunities in public and private international law. The course focuses in particular on unanswered questions concerning immunity and on aspects which are still in development. The part of the course that is concerned with immunity in public international law is divided into four different topics: States, State officials, diplomats, and international organizations and their agents. The part of the course that will deal with immunity in private international law takes up some of these issues in the field of jurisdiction and enforcement, as well as in the context of arbitration law and banking and finance. The last day of the course will be devoted to a case study in which participants are asked to solve a case of immunity with the help of expert practitioners in the field.

The seminar is aimed especially at legal professionals at practitioners (prosecutors, judges, national and international officials, lawyers, diplomats, etc.) who are active in the field of international law immunities and who need intensive training or update date in this field. However, professionals trained in subjects other than law, like international relations or economics, may also participate when they have become familiar with the general principles of international law through their professional experience.

The seminar is hosted by the following scholars:

  • Prof. Yves Daudet, Secretary General of the Academy of International Law in The Hague and Professor of Public International Law, University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne.
  • Prof. Samantha Besson, Coordinator of Refresher courses for practitioners Academy of International Law in The Hague and Professor of Public International Law, University of Fribourg.
  • Prof. Lucius Caflisch, International Law Commission and the Institute of International Studies and Development, Geneva.
  • Prof. Paola Gaeta, Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Geneva.
  • Prof. Ronny Abraham, Judge of the International Court of Justice, The Hague.
  • Prof. Pierre d'Argent, Catholic University of Louvain and the lawyer firm Foley Hoag.
  • Prof. Jamshid Momtaz, Tehran University and a member of Curatorium Academy of International Law, The Hague

The seminar and courses will be in French only. There will not be a simultaneous translation into English. For more information about this seminar, see the website of the The Hague Academy of International law.

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