*Harb v HRH Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Fahd Abdul Aziz

Constitutional law – Heads of foreign states. The case concerned the first judgment in the United Kingdom on whether personal immunity survived a sovereign following his death. The claimant widow of the deceased former King of Saudi Arabia brought a claim in the United Kingdom against his son, the defendant prince, for breach of contract. The prince applied for a declaration that the English court lacked jurisdiction, relying on his late father's alleged immunity as a sovereign head of state, under the State Immunity Act 1978. The Chancery Division, dismissing the application, held that a sovereign who had died in office did not remain the embodiment of the state once deceased. Accordingly, the Prince could not rely on a defence of state immunity to defeat the claimant's claim.

Category: