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Civil Remedies for Torture in the UK Courts: Jones v Saudi Arabia

18th December 2006

State immunity - Civil remedies for torture

Torture by officials of a foreign state: Can that state or its officials be sued in the courts of the victim's own country?

Despite the fundamental nature of the prohibition against torture, state immunity currently bars the bringing of proceedings for torture in a national court against a foreign state. Claims to exercise universal civil jurisdiction for reparation of torture are at the present time controversial and excite very different responses.

The featured seminar will explore the scope of state immunity to allegations of torture. Central to the analysis and discussion of the topic will be the decision of the House of Lords in Jones v Saudi Arabia [2006] UKHL 26.

The case in question featured a civil claim for damages brought in the English court against the individual official perpetrators as well as the State and its Department of the Interior in respect of acts of torture inflicted in a Saudi prison made in respect of torture.


This seminar is part of the British Institute's seminar series on private international law which will run throughout the Autumn of 2006 and well into 2007 entitled Private International Law in the UK: Current Topics and Changing Landscapes.

The British Institute's Series on Private International Law is kindly sponsored by:

If you have any queries relating to this event please contact Jacob van de Velden. If you would like to receive updates similar Institute events, please sign up to this website. Those with a particular interest in private international law are also encouraged to sign up to the Institute's Private International Law Discussion List.

2 CPD hours may be claimed by both solicitors and barristers through attendance at this event.

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