Case details

Libya (Appellant) v Janah (Respondent)

Case ID: UKSC 2015/0067

Case summary


Whether granting the appellants immunity from suit under the State Immunity Act 1978 engages, and breaches, the respondents' rights under the 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 appellants 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 art.6 and/or art.14 of the ECHR; the relevant sections of the State Immunity Act 1978 should be read down pursuant to s.3 of the Human Rights Act 1998, so that their claims could proceed; and art.47 of the EU Charter parallels art.6 ECHR such that the State Immunity Act should be disapplied from the elements of the claim that come within the scope of EU law. The Secretary of State was joined to proceedings at the Court of Appeal stage at his request.

Judgment appealed

[2015] EWCA Civ 33




  1. Minah Janah
  2. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
  1. The AIRE Centre
  2. 4A Public Interest Lawyers Ltd



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

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