If such a situation was to be accepted, then other national representatives such as Saddam Hussein or Slobodan Milosevic would not be arrested in the United Kingdom as long as they were heads of state when such actions were done. However, the House of Lords in a decision made in 1998 decreed otherwise. They held that it was necessary that a former head of state should have immunity. They must also be prosecuted under international jurisdiction. However, an issue of bias was created here and a new panel had to be formed. This was because one of the judges who were in the previous panel had a conflict of interest being in the Amnesty International.
The Court recognized that it would be impossible for the Chilean court to have an effective and impartial criminal investigation of the crimes committed by the General. Allegations that were made by the French, Spanish and the Swiss Governments and their extradition requested would not be met fairly. However, since the action of the General was a criminal act against humanity, universal jurisdiction principles would be exercised. Also the panel decided in such contexts of crime against humanity, the person will not enjoy any immunity, under the international law, even if such a person had served as the head of his country in the past.
The state of Chile and the legislation it provided in order to grant immunity for its former head of state was also not recognized under the universal principles. In the context of crimes against humanity, not sovereign state would be given the right to enact legislation that helps the perpetrator of the crime, the international law in such a context becomes more of a foundation and not a limitation to action, “increasing acceptance that rules of international law are the foundation upon which the rights of states rest, and no longer merely limitations upon states’ rights which, in the absence of a rule of law to the contrary, are unlimited. Although there are extensive areas in which international law accords to states a large degree of freedom of action (for example, in matters of domestic jurisdiction), it is important that freedom is derived from a legal right and not from an assertion of unlimited will, and is subject ultimately to regulation within the legal framework of the international community”.