State Immunity Act

Several supporters raised their voices for the speedy enactment of the Torture (Damages) Bill, a Private Members’ Bill sponsored by the Lord Archer of Sandwell QC in British parliament. The Bill would facilitate torture survivors to make a claim for financial compensation in British courts, and was activated by the failed efforts of Suleiman Al-Adsani, dual British/Kuwaiti citizen who was tortured in Kuwait and other four British citizens namely Sandy Mitchell, Ron Jones, Les Walker and Bill Sampson who were tortured in Saudi Arabia and subsequently failed to seek justice for torture in UK courts.

Even after the lapse of two decades after the Convention against Torture came into effect, justice for torture remains a deceptive prospect, though torture is being acknowledged as one of the most horrible crimes. Torture is a premeditated act perpetrated by state officials, intending to harm and humiliate the innocents. Due to the devastating effect torture has on the human qualities, the aftermaths can be life-long, especially if the victim is prohibited from seeking and achieving a redressal. Hence, this is why this proposed Bill is so significant; it is about facilitating torture survivors to extend some form help.

It offers them an occasion to dispute their case and optimistically obtain a public support and compensation for torture. According to Suleiman Al-Adsani who cites state immunity as the number one blockade in any international case that involves torture. Ron Jones claims that his main anxiety now is that the British Government has extended nothing productive to facilitate him to get compensation. In fact, U. K stepped in his case in the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords to make certain that torture could not be excused form the State Immunity Act.

What Les Walker says that he looks for the Bill to be passed as no one should undergo the type of treatment which was made to him. According to Patson Muzuwa who was tortured in Zimbabwe claims that proposed Bill will make people accountable. It is the way forward to defend people in future from mistreatment in their own countries.


Aldana-Pindell, ‘Raquel. In Vindication of Justifiable Victims’ Rights to Truth and Justice for State-Sponsored Crimes. ’ (2002) 35. 5 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 1399.

Bindman, Geoffrey, ‘Saudi Torture: A Whitehall Cover-Up; It Is Not Just in Arms Deals That Britain Twists the Law to Please the Saudis. The Human Rights Lawyer Geoffrey Bindman Tells another Shocking Story’, New Statesman 15 Jan. 2007, 14. Davidson, Caroline,’Tort Au Canadien: A Proposal for Canadian Tort Legislation on Gross Violations of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. ’ (2005) 38. 5 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 1403. Rod Morgan, Preventing Torture: A Study of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1998). Peters, Edward, Torture (1996).