Doctrine of sovereign immunity: evolution and evaluation

Nimisha Jha
High Court of Madhya Pradesh


The Doctrine of Sovereign Immunity says, “A king can do no wrong.” This principle has been widely followed around the world. The king is above Law. This principle came into being during the time and existence of Monarchy. Today, in this era of democracy where citizens make and break governments, it is assumed that this doctrine must have lost its sheen. But the sad state of affairs is that, even after proclaiming democracy, governments all around the world have chosen to hide behind this archaic principle. The Rule of Law says that no one is above the law. But yet, according to most of the constitutions of the world, governments cannot be held liable like a common man. The paper traces the journey of the India and UK with respect to the Doctrine of Sovereign Immunity especially with respect to the tortuous liability of the State. The focus is on drawing parallels with the help of case laws to define and describe the adherence and repeal of this doctrine.

Keywords: Sovereign Immunity, Tort, State, monarchy, doctrine, government, India, UK

Preferred Citation

Nimisha Jha, Doctrine of sovereign immunity, The Lex-Warrier: Online Law Journal (2018) 6, pp. 246 – 269, ISSN (O): 2319-8338

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