The ‘Gänseliesel’ (Goose Girlis), a historical fountain erected in 1901, represents the most well-known landmark of the city of Goettingen.

Without (State) Immunity, No (Individual) Responsibility

Giovanni Boggero



The present article is a first attempt to add new theoretical arguments to the rationale of State immunity. The author tries to assert that upholding State immunity for human rights violations should not logically lead to the impunity of State officials acting on behalf of the State. On the contrary, the right to State immunity is an essential precondition for the individual perpetrators to be prosecuted and convicted. To come to this conclusion, the author first finds that universal jurisdiction is a tool to prosecute individuals and not States. On this basis, he argues that functional immunity ratione materiae and State immunity should be distinguished. This leads to the consequence that State officials’ and State’s responsibility are of different nature.



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