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Gresham College: Prof. Sir Geoffrey Nice Q.C. – Law Lectures 2013/2014 – #6/6 – Head of State Immunity: a Useful Relic?


About this series

Six public lectures by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, delivered in his role as Gresham Professor of Law.

About this lecture

Head of State Immunity, once unchallengeable, may now seem an antiquated concept rather than an essential component required for the orderly management of international affairs. Heads of State have become exposed to judicial intervention by international tribunals. Prosecution of Kenya’s President, Kenyatta, at the International Criminal Court (ICC) will be considered, as will the theoretical and practical basis for preserving Head of State immunity. Related and recent developments in the world of international criminal tribunals will also be explored, including the revelation by a judge at one tribunal of straight political pressure said to have been exerted on judges to reach verdicts that would be favourable to states that intervene in the conflicts of others.

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