Immunity vs. Impunity in International Law: A Human Rights Approach

4 Baku St. U. L.Rev. 35 (2018)
Article language: English.


The concept of immunity does not imply protection for States, Heads of State, and diplomatic agents by any means; at its core, immunity is designed to facilitate the smooth functioning of relations among States, State organs, and their representatives. Although the international community has tended to abolish impunity in cases involving the violation of human rights, this movement is not yet fully fledged and the abolition of impunity is far from assured. Be that as it may, equating immunity with impunity in cases of fundamental human rights violations presents a major handicap against the establishment of justice and the promotion of human rights. This article aimed to develop the distinction between immunity and impunity in terms of the adverse impact of impunity in respect of fundamental human rights. Further, it aimed to demonstrate that tolerating impunity threatens the future and development of human rights; consequently, it argued that the contradiction between immunity and human rights cannot be resolved unless impunity and immunity are clearly differentiated.

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