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State Immunity: Tahir Ashraf Appears In Supreme Court On Momentous State Immunity Case For Intervener 4A LAW

State Immunity Tahir Ashraf Supreme Court: Barrister Tahir Ashraf 5 Chancery Lane appears in the UK Supreme Court for the intervener 4A LAW in a case concerning state immunity under public law (public international law).

This is momentous case because it concerns public international law and international relations. This is because among the other legal questions the case concerns whether employees performing non-sovereign functions can bring challenges against their ‘state employers’ in the UK courts” – Tahir Ashraf

The following information has been taken from the UK Supreme court website:
Benkharbouche –v- Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs & Libya –v- Janah

From the Supreme Court website:

State Immunity Case “Benkharbouche (Respondent) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Appellant)

Case ID: UKSC 2015/0063

Case summary


Whether granting immunity from suit under the State Immunity Act 1978 engages, and breaches, the Respondents’ rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and EU Charter.


Ms Janah was employed as a member of the domestic staff at the Libyan Embassy in London. Ms Benkharbouche was employed in the Sudanese Embassy. Following dismissal from their employment, the claimants issued claims in the Employment Tribunal. Libya and Sudan claimed immunity from suit under the State Immunity Act 1978. The claimants responded that barring their claims would breach Article 6 and/or Article 14 of the ECHR and/or Article 47 of the EU Charter. The Court of Appeal accepted the claimants’ arguments, making a declaration of incompatibility pursuant to section 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and disapplying the State Immunity Act 1978 in respect of the elements of the claims within the scope of EU law. The Secretary of State was joined to proceedings at the Court of Appeal stage as entitled under section 5 Human Rights Act 1998.

Judgment appealed

[2015] EWCA Civ 33


  1. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
  2. [Libya]
  3. [Embassy of the Republic of Sudan]
  1. [Ms Fatima Ahmed Benkharbouche]
  2. Ms Minah Janah
  1. The AIRE Centre
  2. 4A LAW Public Interest Lawyers Ltd



Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption

Hearing start date

06 Jun 2017

Hearing finish date

08 Jun 2017

Tahir Ashraf can be seen on the Supreme Court video-link streaming service (and subsequent publication of video) from 2.00pm: https://www.supremecourt.uk/live/court-01.html

Tahir Ashraf can be seen at the UK Supreme Court on the following dates 6th – 8th Jun 2017.

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