The jurisdictional immunities of international organisations and their officials
This thesis approaches the questions of the jurisdictional immunities of international organisations and their officials as the means whereby international organisations can be accommodated within the system of international law which allocates jurisdictional competence to States. The range of doctrinal approaches to these questions in the secondary literature is considered. However, general rules on such immunities are only of limited value in that each organisation must viewed on its own merits, and in the light of its own particular functional requirements. The thesis therefore seeks to demonstrate this individuated approach empirically by mapping the extensive range of international practice, i.e. treaty provisions, official decisions and views of international organisations and decisions of international courts and tribunals. At the level of national law, a comparative survey is made of legislative practice of various States and the decisions of their courts. The immunities of international officials are an extension of the immunities of their employer organisations, and also a means of ensuring institutional coherence and integrity. This thesis concludes that there are primarily two aspects to this process of accommodation of international organisations in the system of allocation of national jurisdiction: Firstly there is a functional aspect, which concerns the degree to which national authorities may exercise jurisdiction over the relations of international organisations with third parties. This is derived from treaty law and is specifically granted to meet functional requirements of each organisation. Secondly there is an institutional aspect, which concerns the internal relations of an organisation, including the relations between its organs, its relations with its member States and its employment relations. The abstention of national courts on these issues might best be considered as a requirement deriving from the international status of organisations, and, therefore, of more general application as a requirement of customary international law.