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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Act of State Doctrine

Fausto de Quadros, John Henry Dingfelder Stone

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 22 July 2024

Act of state doctrine — Immunity from jurisdiction, states — Sources, foundations and principles of international law

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 Historically, the Act of State Doctrine has actually involved three distinct, but related, doctrines. The first line of cases involves the principle wherein a sovereign entity, under particular circumstances, may claim immunity from suit in the courts of another jurisdiction. This concept is commonly known today as foreign sovereign immunity (in the United States of America [‘US’]) or State immunity (in the United Kingdom [‘UK’]). A second line of cases, predominantly in the UK, concerns the so-called ‘royal prerogative’, which creates a defence to a tort action...
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