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date: 29 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom undertook in Rahmatullah v. Ministry of Defence and Belhaj v. Straw to demarcate the relationship between the judiciary and the executive with respect to Crown and foreign act of state. This chapter aims to unpack Rahmatullah and Belhaj for the reader and further to use these decisions to enquire into the constitutional underpinnings of the British act of state doctrines—particularly as they pertain to the separation of powers. The chapter concludes that there exists a general uncertainty regarding the scope of the doctrines, and a lack of jurisprudential development with respect to their constitutional underpinnings. But it is undeniable that progress, however minor, has been made in these decisions. The scene has been set in Rahmatullah and Belhaj for further developments—even if litigants will still need to refer to the earlier case law in order to get the full picture.

Keywords: United Kingdom, act of state, Crown act of state, foreign act of state, separation of powers, justiciability

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