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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Heads of Governments and Other Senior Officials

Sir Arthur Watts†, Joanne Foakes

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved.date: 18 August 2022

Heads of state and other senior officials — Immunity from jurisdiction, states — Act of state — Recognition of states

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 The offices of Heads of State and Heads of the Governments of State[s] are notionally distinct. The former (typically King, Queen, or President) is the constitutional and titular ruler of the State; the latter (typically Prime Minister) is the head of the executive branch of the State’s government. But the two roles may be combined (as with the office of President of the United States). The nature, powers, style, and title of a State’s Head of Government are matters for the State to determine for itself. 2 It is more difficult to identify precisely to whom the...
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