The King Can Do No Wrong

1803 Words8 Pages
SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY: THE KING CAN DO NO WRONG 1 Sovereign Immunity: The King Can Do No Wrong Octavia Melvin Dr. Timothy Bagwell American Public University THE KING CAN DO NO WRONG: SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY 2 Abstract This paper is on the doctrine of sovereign immunity—simply put, the doctrine that the “king can do no wrong” or in our case the “government” rather than king. In this paper, is explained what sovereign immunity means and how it works in practice. Discuss whether the immunity doctrines are obsolete and why. Suggest some possible alternatives to existing immunity doctrines. THE KING CAN DO NO WRONG: SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY 3 The King Can Do No Wrong: Sovereign Immunity The definition of “Sovereign Immunity” is: legal protection that prevents a sovereign state or person from being sued without consent (West’s encyclopedia of American Law, 2008). Sovereign immunity is a judicial doctrine that prevents the government or its political subdivisions, departments, and agencies from being sued without permission. The doctrine stems from the ancient English principle that the monarch can do no wrong (2008). Under the feudal system no lord could be called to answer before a vassal, and given that the king was the highest lord in the realm, it was not possible to order him to answer to any tribunal. Of course, we have no king and the government is not the sovereign. Even so, using the concept in much to loose a sense, that doctrine remains and the government is treated as sovereign (Cooper, 2007). Literature Review In a summary article reviewing the contemporary practices of sovereign immunity, it was found that sovereign immunity practices on the National level are so diverse that formulating rules of universal application is a very difficult task. That
Open Document