The CAHDI monitors developments in the field of immunities of states and international organisations by considering relevant international case-law, case-law of member and observer states' domestic courts and national legislation on the matter.  It also monitors international conventions in this area.

 The committee also conducted a study of state practice regarding state immunities, which gave rise to a publication.

On-going CAHDI activities

Following the publication of the Pilot Project study, the CAHDI decided to keep the issue of state immunities on its meeting agendas and asked members to report on the latest developments in their states in this area and update their existing contributions.  At each meeting, delegations give details of cases pending before their courts or international courts regarding state immunities and of any amendments to their legislation.  This activity is now covered by the CAHDI's terms of reference, which require it to "continue to update and improve databases managed by the committee which are related to states' practice on immunities of states".

In practice, the study of state immunities has evolved to take account of issues relating to the immunities of international organisations and their officials, as well as those of Heads of State and senior government officials.

In addition, as mentioned above, the CAHDI monitors the ratification and signature of the UN Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property by its member and observer states.

United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property

At its 3rd meeting (Graz, 16-17 March 1992), the CAHDI initiated a follow-up of the draft Articles on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property drawn up by the International Law Commission (ILC) and, in particular, the relevant activities of the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly.

Since its 29th meeting (Strasbourg, 17-18 March 2005) and the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property in December 2004, the CAHDI has monitored the ratification and signature of the Convention by its member and observer states.


Special guests

At the 24th meeting of the CAHDI (Bratislava, 9-10 September 2002), Mr Gerhard Hafner, Chair of the Working Group of the UN General Assembly on State Immunities, described the work done by the United Nations in the field of jurisdictional immunities of states and highlighted some divisive issues where discussion was continuing, in particular concerning exceptions to state immunity (see Appendix IV to the meeting report).

Council of Europe Pilot Project regarding State Immunities

At its 21st meeting (Strasbourg, 6-7 March 2001), the CAHDI began studying state legal practice under the "Pilot Project of the Council of Europe on State Practice regarding State Immunities".  The aim of the activity was to compile the most relevant judicial decisions regarding the immunities of states and their property in order to take stock of the current situation and state practice.  At the subsequent meeting (Strasbourg, 11-12 September 2001), delegations were invited to appoint a national co-ordinator in each state to collect data on their practice.

At its 26th meeting (Strasbourg, 18-19 September 2003), the CAHDI asked the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, the Centre for International Law of Vienna University and the Geneva Graduate Institute of International Studies to prepare an analytical study of the contributions submitted by Council of Europe member and observer states.

At the 27th meeting (Strasbourg, 18-19 March 2004), Ms Susan Breau from the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and Mr Marcelo G Kohen and Mr Saba Rangel do Carmo from the Graduate Institute of International Studies held an exchange of views with members on the method employed and the progress made with the preparation of the analytical report.

The final analytical report was presented by Mr Gerhard Hafner at the 30th meeting (Strasbourg, 19-20 September 2005).

The study was published shortly before the CAHDI's 32nd meeting (Athens, 13-14 September 2006) under the title State Practice Regarding State Immunities.

The states' contributions gave rise to the development of a database on State Practice regarding State Immunities in which details of state practice in this area can be consulted.

Debts of diplomatic missions

At its 9th meeting (Strasbourg, 21-22 March 1995), the CAHDI agreed to set up a working party to study in depth the specific question of the debts of embassies.  The working party drew up a draft recommendation on the subject, which the CAHDI adopted at its 13th meeting (Strasbourg, 4-5 March 1997).  This led to the adoption by the Committee of Ministers at the 595th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies on 12 June 1997 of Recommendation No. R (97) 10 on debts of diplomatic missions, permanent missions, and diplomatic missions with "double accreditation.