Case details

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

Case ID: UKSC 2015/0063

Case summary

Issue

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.

Facts

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

Parties

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

Appeal

Justices

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

Hearing start date

06 Jun 2017

Hearing finish date

08 Jun 2017

Watch hearing
06 June 2017 Afternoon session
07 June 2017 Morning session Afternoon session
08 June 2017 Morning session