Past eventResearch Event

Foreign Affairs in National Courts: The Role of the Executive Certificate

23 September 2015 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Chatham House, London


Shaheed Fatima, Barrister, Blackstone Chambers
Joanne Foakes, Associate Fellow, International Law Programme, Chatham House
Chanaka Wickremasinghe, Legal Counsellor, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Chair: Elizabeth Wilmshurst, Distinguished Fellow, International Law Programme, Chatham House



National courts are often faced with questions of international law. These can be particularly challenging when they relate to sensitive foreign relations issues such as whether or not a state or government has been recognised or whether a person has been received on a special mission. In the UK and other common law countries, the courts have developed a practice of accepting statements by the executive branch as conclusive evidence on certain matters in international affairs. 

However, what are the proper limits of the certification power? Is current practice effective in maintaining a proper balance between the rights of litigants to have their claims decided and the interests of states in securing court decisions that do not harm the peaceful conduct of international relations? 

This meeting will coincide with the publication of a briefing paper on the role of the executive certificate and will be followed by a drinks reception. 
Registrations for this event are now closed.