State immunity of foreign states

THE DOCTRINE OF STATE IMMUNITY APPLIES TO FOREIGN STATES SUED IN THIS JURISDICTION. There should be no question by now that such complaint cannot prosper unless the government sought to be held ultimately liable has given its consent to be sued. So, the Supreme Court has ruled not only in Baer but in many other decisions where it was upheld that the doctrine of state immunity is applicable not only to our own government but also to foreign states sought to be subjected to the jurisdiction of our courts.

The practical justification for the doctrine, as Holmes put it, is that "there can be no legal right against the authority which makes the law on which the right depends." In the case of foreign states, the rule is derived from the principle of the sovereign equality of states which wisely admonishes that par in parem non habet imperium and that a contrary attitude would "unduly vex the peace of nations." Our adherence to this precept is formally expressed in Article II, Section 2, of our Constitution, where it is reiterated from our previous charters that the Philippines "adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land. Par in parem non habet imperium, meaning: an equal has no authority over an equal. (Sanders vs. Veridiano, G.R. No. L-46930, June 10, 1988)

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