Claire Darwin successful in state immunity claim in Employment Tribunal


Re: Smith v Republic of South Africa 2200790/2017

The case concerned the status of staff who work in the administrative and technical service of a mission. Following Benkharbouche v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2017] UKSC 62, South Africa argued that section 16(1)(a) of the State Immunity Act 1978 was not contrary to Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms because South Africa had a claim to state immunity which was justified in international law. The ET considered the nature of the relationship between the parties and the functions which the claimant was employed to perform, and held that the claimant’s role fell within the sphere of sovereign or governmental activity.

Claire Darwin was involved in this case.