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Immunity rules are part and parcel of the law of international organizations. It has long been accepted that international organizations and their staff need to enjoy immunity from the jurisdiction of national courts. However, it is the application of these rules in practice that increasingly causes controversy. Claims against international organizations are brought before national courts by those who allegedly suffer from their activities. These can be both natural and legal persons such as companies. National courts, in particular lower courts, have often been less willing to recognize the immunity of the organization concerned than the organization’s founding fathers. Likewise, public opinion and legal writings frequently criticize international organizations for invoking their immunity and for the lack of adequate means of redress for claimants.
It is against this background that an international conference was organized at Leiden University in June 2013. A number of highly qualified academics and practitioners gave presentations and prepared written contributions that are collected in this book. This book is published to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the International Organizations Law Review, in which these contributions have also been published (Vol. 10, issue 2, 2014).