State immunities are highly relevant in public international law practice. They have shaped international relations and contributed to the configuration of international law as we know it today.
State immunities are of great practical relevance. However, until the adoption of the United Nation Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property at the end of 2004, no uniform international legal regime had been devised to regulate this matter in spite of attempts by various institutions, including the Council of Europe with its pioneer 1972 European Convention on State Immunity. As a result, national courts have often been obliged to take decisions on a case-by-case basis.
In order to shed new light on how States approach this issue, the CAHDI implemented a "Pilot Project of the Council of Europe on state practice regarding state immunities" from 2001 onwards with a view to examining judicial practice in the member and observer States of the Council of Europe. The CAHDI compiled the information supplied by the States regarding state immunities and then produced an analytical report based on it.
At its 30th meeting (Strasbourg, 19-20 September 2005), the CAHDI expressed the wish to be able to update the information gathered on an ongoing basis within the pilot project framework and create a monitoring mechanism making it possible to identify and examine new developments in this area. This resulted in the setting up of the database, which was presented at the 31st meeting (Strasbourg, 23-24 March 2006).
Owing to changing practices, the study did not remain restricted to state immunities. A broader range of issues has been raised by the States, both in their contributions and in statements made at meetings of the CAHDI.
As a result, while the database considers the question of immunities from two main viewpoints - immunities of States and immunities of international organisations -, it also takes account of related immunities, i.e. those of state officials and representatives (including Heads of State and Government and Foreign Affairs Ministers), of diplomatic and consular missions and also of international organisation staff.
The present data base contains the original national contributions. The Secretariat or the Organisation bears no responsibility for the information contained therein which should be attributed solely to the national delegations.
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