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36 Va. J. Int'l L. 53 (1995-1996)
Jurisdictional Immunity of International Organizations: Human Rights and Functional Necessity Concerns

handle is hein.journals/vajint36 and id is 65 raw text is: Jurisdictional Immunity of International
Organizations: Human Rights and
Functional Necessity Concerns
MICHAEL SINGER*
INTRODUCTION
The law of jurisdictional immunity of states in the municipal
courts of other states is now fairly well understood.' The rapid
modem movement from absolute to restrictive sovereign immunity
of states began with the 1950 decision of the Supreme Court of
Austria in Dralle v. Republic of Czechoslovakia.2 The Dralle court
found that the recent expansion of state commercial activities had
spurred the development and growing acceptance of the restrictive
doctrine. This expansion in state commercial activity had effec-
tively rendered the classic doctrine of immunity meaningless.
Although states had enlarged their activities on a grand scale by
1950, international organizations had not. The United Nations was
* Executive Director, the International Rule of Law Institute, and Visiting Professor,
The George Washington University Law School. M.A., Cambridge University;, Ph.D.,
King's College, London; J.D., Stanford University.
The author owes a special debt of gratitude to Courtney W. Howland and Louis B. Sohn,
who read drafts of this Article. Their extensive, profound and invaluable comments are
reflected at many points throughout the text and have substantially influenced the overall
structure. The author also wishes to thank his colleages on the George Washington
University Law School Faculty who participated in the Work in Progress Series for their
insightful comments.
1. See Ian Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law 322-45 (4th ed. 1990); Ian
Sinclair, The Law of Sovereign Immunity. Recent Developments, 167 Recueil des cours de
l'Acaddmie de droit international [R.C.A.D.I.] 113, 197-218 (1980, II); Sompong
Sucharitkul, Immunities of Foreign States Before National Authorities, 149 R.C.A.D.I. 87
(1976, ).
2. 356 OJZ341 (May 1950), excerpts translated and reprinted in 17 I.L.R. 155 (1950). A
few other states had adopted the restrictive doctrine of state immunity long before this.
The Dralle court surveys the earlier decisions. Id. at 158-61.

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