The immunities of States and international organisations

This database contains the original national contributions bringing together information on The immunities of States and international organisations

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Member State
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Reply to Parliament
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Database of the CAHDI "The immunities of States and international organisations" - contribution of Finland - Reply to Parliament of 02/07/2001

Reply of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland to a written question of two members of the Parliament


Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland

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Date of the document


Points of law

The written question put forward by two members of the Parliament concerned employment security of the locally recruited employees (Finnish nationals) of the foreign embassies.

Specific provision(s) of the document

A written question put forward by two Members of Parliament concerned the employment security of local employees (Finnish nationals) working at foreign embassies in Helsinki.

In his reply, the Minister for Foreign Affairs referred to the International Law Commission's Draft Convention on the Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property under discussion at the Ad Hoc Committee of the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly. Finland has actively taken part in the work of the Ad Hoc Committee. The ILC draft states, as a rule, that immunity from jurisdiction does not apply, with certain exceptions, to a contract of employment between a State and an individual. In the work of the Committee, Finland has emphasized that the group of persons against whom an employer state can claim immunity should remain as limited as possible. The question concerns the right of an individual to have a case concerning his/her contract of employment heard in a local court and, therefore, it is also a matter of human rights.

In the reply, a tendency in international law to restrict the situations where a State may claim immunity before foreign courts, was recognised. The variety of national legislations has, however, delayed the finalisation of the Convention.

Reference was also made to Article 38 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, according to which other members of the staff of the mission and private servants who are nationals of or permanently resident in the receiving State shall enjoy privileges and immunities only to the extent admitted by the receiving State. Finland has not admitted privileges or immunities for the local employees of foreign embassies. Consequently, the foreign embassies are not exempted from their obligations under Finnish social security provisions. They are obliged to observe the peremptory provisions of the Finnish labour law in respect of their local employees.


KK 853/2001 VP

Additional information (explanations, notes, etc.)