What is State Immunity?A principle of international law which exempts a
State from prosecution or suit for the violation
of the domestic laws of another state.
State Immunity in Suit Filed by
• “The rule that a state may not be sued
without its consent is one of the
generally accepted principles of
International Law that we adopted as a
part of the law of the land ”
• One of the attributes of the state is the
right of equality.
• Akin to the right of equality of state is the
International Law principle “par in parem non
habet imperium” or an equal has no dominion
over an equal, which is the basis of the
doctrine of state immunity.
• Under the maxim of “par in parem non habet
imperium,” a State cannot assume jurisdiction
over a case lodged against another State
unless the latter gives consent to be sued.
State Immunity in a Suit Filed
by an Individual
• The Constitution expressly adheres to
the postulate of state immunity.
• The doctrine of non-suability of a State
is also a manifestation of republicanism.
Consent to be Sued
The Immunity of the State from Suit may
be waived expressly or Impliedly.
• The intent of the State in allowing itself to
be sued must be clear and without doubt.
• The consent of the State to be sued must
emanate from statutory authority.
• Waiver of the state immunity can only be
made by an act of legislative body.
• Commonwealth Act No. 327 requires
that all money claims against the
government must be filed with the
Commission on Audit, which must act
upon it within 60 days.
• Rejection of the claim will authorize the
claimant to elevate the matter to the
Supreme Court on certiorari, and in
effect sue the State thereby.
• A special law may be passed to enable a
person to sue government for an alleged quasi-
• Consent of the state to be sued is implied
when it enters into a business contract and
when it files a suit exposing it of being sued
through a counterclaim.
• The State by implication gives it its
consent to be sued by entering into a
• If the state filed a complaint, one of the
procedural remedies for the defendant is
to file a counter-claim.
Right of Just Compensation
• Even if the State does not give its
consent, express or implied, to be sued,
the government cannot invoke the
defense of non-suability of State to
perpetrate an injustice on a citizen whose
private property was taken for public use
without just compensation.
Suit against the Philippines
• It is very hard to determine if the suit filed
against the State. If the republic of the
Philippines is expressly included in the
complaint as defendant or respondent, it
is definitely a suit against the State.
Suit against Government
Agencies and Officials
• So as not to dismiss outright a case filed
against the State, the plaintiff or
petitioner usually will not mention in his
complaint or petition the Republic of the
Philippines as defendant or respondent.
Two Kinds :
Such as the DOJ, DOF, AFP, PNP,
NBI, BOC, are not created by law. Are
mere extensions of the personality of the
The properties, rights and obligations
of unincorporated agencies all belong to
Incorporated government agencies
being juridical persons have their own
personality, which is different and distinct
from that of the State.
• The mere invocation of official charter will
not suffice to insulate a public official
from suability and liability for an act
imputed to him as a personal tort
committed without or excess of his