Our lawyers are experienced in dealing with employment litigation where issues of diplomatic and/or state immunity arise. They can work with you to ensure that you make the right strategic decisions to achieve the best possible outcome in your proceedings.
Employment litigation can be challenging and complex in ordinary circumstances. However, if a respondent potentially benefits from either diplomatic and/or state immunity this will have a significant impact on any claim and on the way in which the parties participate in legal proceedings (if they decide to participate at all). It is, therefore, extremely important that both claimants and respondents are properly advised from the moment litigation becomes a possibility so that they make informed decisions about the claim and defence.
We bring our expertise of advising on immunity-related employment claims (having acted for clients before both the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal) to give tailored, strategic advice taking account of the unique issues which affect these types of matter and giving proper consideration to key points, including the following:
1. Diplomatic or state immunity or both?
A respondent may be immune to proceedings either on the basis of diplomatic or state immunity or both. Because the law works differently in each area, it is important to be clear which ground of immunity might be relevant.
2. The identity of the respondent
It will be critical for both parties to analyse the position of the respondent and whether they have diplomatic immunity and/or are part of a state to understand whether they might be immune from a claim.
With more complex corporate structures, this may not always be immediately obvious. For example, even if a respondent isn’t a state or emanation of a state, they may still be able to claim state immunity if the proceedings relate to anything they have done in the exercise of sovereign authority. This can be a particularly difficult question to answer where the respondent is performing both a sovereign and commercial function.