Absolute immunity

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Absolute immunity is a form of legal immunity for government officials that confers total immunity from criminal prosecution and lawsuits so long as they are acting within the scope of their duties.[1] Absolute immunity contrasts with qualified immunity, which only applies if specified conditions are met.

In common law jurisdictions, absolute civil immunity applies in the following circumstances:

  • lawmakers engaged in the legislative process;[2]
  • judges acting in their judicial capacity;[3]
  • government prosecutors while making charging decisions (although prosecutors are only entitled to qualified immunity if they are acting outside of their function as a prosecutor);[4]
  • witnesses while testifying in court (although the witness may be prosecuted for perjury if the testimony is deliberately false);[5]
  • lawyers in certain circumstances related to fraud[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Absolute Immunity. Louisiana State University Medical and Public Health Law Site.
  2. ^ Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 US 409, 418 1976
  3. ^ Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 US 409, 418 1976
  4. ^ Buckley v. Fitzsimmons, 509 US 259 1993
  5. ^ Rehberg v. Paulk, 132 S.Ct. 1497 2012
  6. ^ "Connecticut Court Rules That Lawyers Can't Be Sued for Fraud". Insurancejournal.com