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41 Can. Y.B. Int'l L. 343 (2003)
Bouzari v. Iran: Testing the Limits of State Immunity in Canadian Courts

handle is hein.journals/cybil41 and id is 353 raw text is: Bouzari v. Iran: Testing the Limits of
State Immunity in Canadian Courts
INTRODUCTION
S tate immunity is a doctrine of international law aimed at regulat-
ing the adjudicative and enforcementjurisdiction of municipal
courts in proceedings involving foreign states or their representa-
tives. Grounded in the principle of sovereign equality, the doctrine
generally operates to limit the ability of national courts to sit in
judgment of foreign government actions. Though once supposed
to be absolute, state immunity is now widely accepted as being
restrictive, or relative, and only applicable to sovereign or pub-
lic acts of state. Legal scholars and judges have spent the last
century delineating a workable scope for the restrictive doctrine of
state immunity, attempting to reconcile its rationale and purposes
with the imperatives of a changing international legal order. In
particular, the growing salience of human rights, the notion of
peremptory norms, and the development of international criminal
law since the Second World War has intensified the debate regard-
ing the proper extent of state immunity in a world where the indi-
vidual occupies an increasingly important role.
Over the last twenty years, the rise of transnational human
rights litigation in the United States has resulted in the further re-
evaluation of the doctrine of state immunity as individuals bring
civil claims in domestic courts against foreign states and their offi-
cials for human rights violations committed abroad.' Internation-
ally, the last five years have been particularly eventful with important
The author gratefully acknowledgesJames Crawford, Philip Allott, Christine Gray,
Mark Power, Don McRae, and Yves LeBouthillier for their careful reading of, and
incisive comments on, earlier drafts of this case comment.
I Filirtigav. Pefia-Irala, 63o F.2d 876 (C.A. 2nd Cir. 198o).

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