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Encyclopedia > Diplomatic immunity

Diplomatic immunity is a form of legal immunity and a policy held between governments, which ensures that diplomats are given safe passage and are considered not susceptible to lawsuit or prosecution under the host country's laws (although they can be expelled). It was agreed as international law in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), though the concept and custom have a much longer history. Many principles of diplomatic immunity are now considered to be customary law. Immunity, also known as transactional immunity, confers a status on a person or body that places them beyond the law and makes that person or body free from otherwise legal obligations such as, for example, liability for torts or damages or prosecution under criminal law for criminal acts. ... This page is about negotiations; for the board game, see Diplomacy (game). ... It has been suggested that civil trial be merged into this article or section. ... Criminal law (also known as penal law) is the body of law that regulates governmental sanctions (such as imprisonment and/or fines) as retaliation for crimes against the social order. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is an international treaty on diplomatic intercourse and the privileges and immunities of a diplomatic mission. ... In law, custom, or customary law consists of established patterns of behaviour that can be objectively verified within a particular social setting. ...


Diplomatic immunity as an institution developed to allow for the maintenance of government relations, including during periods of difficulties and even armed conflict. When receiving diplomats - formally, representatives of the sovereign (head of state) - the receiving head of state grants certain privileges and immunities to ensure that they may effectively carry out their duties, on the understanding that these will be provided on a reciprocal basis. As one article put it: "So why do we agree to a system in which we're dependent on a foreign country's whim before we can prosecute a criminal inside our own borders? The practical answer is: because we depend on other countries to honor our own diplomats' immunity just as scrupulously as we honor theirs."[1] For other uses of War, see War (disambiguation). ... For the comedy film of the same name, see Head of State (film). ...


Originally, these privileges and immunities were granted on a bilateral, ad hoc basis, which led to misunderstandings and conflict, pressure on weaker states, and an inability for other states to judge which party was at fault. Various international agreements known as the Vienna Conventions codified the rules and agreements, providing standards and privileges to all states. Bilateralism is a term referring to trade or political relations between two states. ... Ad hoc is a Latin phrase which means for this [purpose]. It generally signifies a solution that has been tailored to a specific purpose, such as a tailor-made suit, a handcrafted network protocol, and specific-purpose equation and things like that. ... Vienna can refer to: Geography Vienna - the capital and a federal state of Austria The River Vienna- a small river meeting the Danube at Vienna. ...


It is possible for the official's home country to waive immunity; this tends to only happen when the individual has committed a serious crime, unconnected with their diplomatic role (as opposed to, say, allegations of spying), or has witnessed such a crime. Alternatively, the home country may prosecute the individual. Many countries refuse to waive immunity as a matter of course; individuals have no authority to waive their own immunity (except perhaps in cases of defection). Spy and Secret agent redirect here. ... In politics, a defector is a person who gives up allegiance to one state or political entity in exchange for allegiance to another. ...

Contents

History

The sanctity of diplomats has been observed for centuries. Most likely, the immunity of diplomatic staff rises from the immunity of the messengers sent on the battlefield.[citation needed]


Ancient times

Before the evolution of the international justice, many wars were considered rebellions or unlawful by one or more combatant sides. In such cases, the servants of the "criminal" sovereign were often considered accomplices and their persons violated. In other circumstances, harbingers of inconsiderable demands were killed as a declaration of war. Herodotus records that when heralds of the Persian king Darius the Great demanded "earth and water" (i.e. symbols of submission) of various Greek cities, the Athenians threw them into a pit and the Spartans threw them down a well (suggesting they would find both earth and water at the bottom) (Hdt. 7.133). Herodotus of Halicarnassus (Greek: Hērodotos Halikarnāsseus) was a Greek historian from Ionia who lived in the 5th century BC (ca. ... Persia redirects here. ... Seal of Darius I, showing the king hunting on his chariot, and the symbol of Ahuramazda Darius the Great (Pers. ... This article is about the capital of Greece. ... For modern day Sparta, see Sparti (municipality). ...


A Roman envoy was urinated on as he was leaving the city of Carthage.[citation needed] The oath of the envoy: "This stain will be washed away with blood!" was fulfilled by the Second Punic War. The arrest and ill-treatment of the envoy of Raja Raja Chola by the Chera King led to the Kandalur War.[citation needed] Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... Roman Carthage with former military harbor Carthage (Greek: , Latin: , from the Phoenician meaning new town; Arabic: ) refers both to an ancient city in Tunisia and to the civilization that developed within the citys sphere of influence. ... Combatants Roman Republic Carthage Commanders Publius Cornelius Scipio†, Tiberius Sempronius Longus Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, Gaius Flaminius†, Fabius Maximus, Claudius Marcellus†, Lucius Aemilius Paullus†, Gaius Terentius Varro, Marcus Livius Salinator, Gaius Claudius Nero, Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus†, Masinissa, Minucius†, Servilius Geminus† Hannibal Barca, Hasdrubal Barca†, Mago Barca†, Hasdrubal Gisco†, Syphax... A statue of Rajaraja Chola I at Thanjavur Rajaraja Chola I is considered the greatest of all Cholas. ... The very first military achievement of Raja Raja Chola’s reign was the campaign in the Kerala country c 994 C.E.. Rajaraja’s early inscriptions use the descriptive ‘Kandalur salai kalamarutta’ (காந்தளுர் சாலைக் களமறுத்த). In this campaign Rajara is said to have destroyed a fleet in the port of Kandalur, which appears...


As diplomats by definition enter the country under safe-conduct, violating them is normally viewed as a great breach of honour, although there have been a number of cases where diplomats have been killed. Genghis Khan and the Mongols were well-known for strongly insisting on the rights of diplomats, and they would often take horrific vengeance against any state that violated these rights. Safe conduct signifies the security given by authority of a government to a stranger for his quietly coming into and passing out of the territories over which the government has jurisdiction or control. ... This article is about the person. ... For other uses, see Mongols (disambiguation). ...


In 1538, King Francis I of France threatened Edmund Bonner - Henry VIII's Ambassador to the French court and later Bishop - with a hundred strokes of the halberd as punishment for Bonner's "insolent behaviour". Though in the event the punishment was not actually inflicted, the incident clearly indicates that European monarchs at the time did not consider foreign ambassadors to be immune from punishment. Events Treaty of Nagyvarad. ... Francis I of France (French: François Ier) (September 12, 1494 – March 31, 1547), called the Father and Restorer of Letters (le Père et Restaurateur des Lettres), was crowned King of France in 1515 in the cathedral at Reims and reigned until 1547. ... Edmund Bonner (c. ... Henry VIII (28 June 1491 – 28 January 1547) was King of England and Lord of Ireland (later King of Ireland) from 22 April 1509 until his death. ... This article or section cites very few or no references or sources. ...


The beginnings of modern immunity

The British Parliament first guaranteed diplomatic immunity to foreign ambassadors in 1709, after Count Andrey Matveyev, a Russian resident in London, had been subjected by British bailiffs to verbal and physical abuse. The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative institution in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories (it alone has parliamentary sovereignty). ... Count Andrey A. Matveyev. ... Bailiff (from Late Latin bajulivus, adjectival form of bajulus) is a governor or custodian (cf. ...


Modern diplomatic immunity evolved parallel to the development of modern diplomacy. In the seventeenth century European diplomats realized that protection from prosecution was essential to doing their jobs and a set of rules evolved guaranteeing the rights of diplomats. These were still confined to Western Europe, and were closely tied to the prerogatives of nobility[citation needed]. Thus an emissary to the Ottoman Empire could expect to be arrested and imprisoned upon the outbreak of hostilities between their state and the empire. The French Revolution also disrupted this system as the revolutionary state and Napoleon imprisoned a number of diplomats accused of working against France. More recently, the Iran hostage crisis is universally considered a violation of diplomatic immunity (although the hostage takers did not officially represent the state, host countries have an obligation to protect diplomatic property and personnel). On the other hand, in the Second World War, diplomatic immunity was upheld and the embassies evacuated through neutral countries. Ottoman redirects here. ... The French Revolution (1789–1815) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on... For other uses, see Napoleon (disambiguation). ... Iranian militants escort a blindfolded U.S. hostage to the media. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


For the upper class of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, diplomatic immunity was an easy concept to understand[citation needed]. The first "embassies" were not permanent establishments, but actual visits by high-ranking representatives of the sovereign (often their close relatives), or even the sovereign in person. As various permanent representations evolved, usually on a treaty basis between two powers, these also were frequently staffed by relatives of the sovereign or high-ranking nobles.


Warfare was not between individuals but between their sovereigns, and the officers and officials of European governments and armies often changed employers. Truces and ceasefires were commonplace, along with fraternization between officers of enemy armies during them. When prisoners, the officers usually gave their parole and were only restricted to a city away from the theatre of war. Almost always[citation needed], they were given leave to carry their personal sidearms. Even during French revolutionary wars, British scientists visited the French Academy. In such an atmosphere, it was easy to accept that some persons were immune to the laws. After all, they were still bound by strict requirements of honour and customs. The Académie française (French Academy) is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. ...


In the nineteenth century the Congress of Vienna system reasserted the rights of diplomats, and they have been largely respected since then as the European model has spread throughout the world. Nowadays diplomatic immunity, as well as diplomatic relations as a whole, are governed internationally by Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations which has been ratified by almost every country in the world. The Congress of Vienna was a conference between ambassadors, from the major powers in Europe that was chaired by the Austrian statesman Klemens Wenzel von Metternich and held in Vienna, Austria, from November 1, 1814, to June 8, 1815. ... The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is an international treaty on diplomatic intercourse and the privileges and immunities of a diplomatic mission. ...


In modern times, diplomatic immunity continues to provide a means, albeit imperfect, to safeguard diplomatic personnel from any animosity that might arise between nations.


Abuse

A double parked car with diplomatic tags in San Francisco, California.
A double parked car with diplomatic tags in San Francisco, California.

The Vienna Convention is explicit that "without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State." Nevertheless, in some occasions, diplomatic immunity leads to some unfortunate results; protected diplomats have violated laws (including those which would be violations at home as well) of the host country and that country has been essentially limited to informing the diplomat's nation that the diplomat is no longer welcome (persona non grata). Diplomatic agents are not, however, exempt from the jurisdiction of their home state, and hence prosecution may be undertaken by the sending state; for minor violations of the law, the sending state may impose administrative procedures specific to the foreign service or diplomatic mission. Download high resolution version (1910x1098, 294 KB)Double parked car with diplomatic tags. ... Download high resolution version (1910x1098, 294 KB)Double parked car with diplomatic tags. ... Look up Persona non grata in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Violation of the law by diplomats has included espionage, smuggling, child custody law violations, rape, and even murder: Spy and Secret agent redirect here. ... Child custody and guardianship are legal terms which are sometimes used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a parent and his or her child, such as the right of the parent to make decisions for the child, and the parents duty to care for the child. ...

  • In London in 1984, policewoman Yvonne Fletcher was killed on the street by a person shooting from inside the Libyan embassy. The incident caused a breakdown in diplomatic relations until Libya admitted "general responsibility" in 1999.

This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... WPC Yvonne Fletcher Woman Police Constable (WPC) Yvonne Joyce Fletcher (1959–17 April 1984) was a British police officer who was shot and killed in Londons St Jamess Square during a protest outside the Libyan embassy. ... This page is about negotiations; for the board game, see Diplomacy (game). ...

Espionage

The espionage conducted by embassies is actually accepted as more of a custom than an abuse of diplomatic immunity, as it is continuously carried out by all major world powers.[citation needed] A typical position for an intelligence officer is as second press attaché[citation needed], visa attaché or other position with no clear responsibilities. In the United States, it is a policy of the Foreign Service not to confirm or deny the existence of intelligence personnel in US embassies.[citation needed] An attaché is a person who is assigned to the staff of a diplomatic mission and often has special responsibilities or expertise. ... The United States Foreign Service represents the United States to the world. ...


Car crime

A particular problem is the immunity of diplomatic vehicles to ordinary traffic regulations such as prohibitions on double parking. Occasionally, such problems may take a most serious turn, when disregard for traffic rules leads to bodily harm or death. Nighttime traffic captured by a camera over several seconds. ... The car on the right is double parked. ...


Injury and death

  • The deputy ambassador of the Republic of Georgia to the United States, Gueorgui Makharadze, caused an accident in January 1997 that injured four people and killed a sixteen-year-old girl. He was found to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.15, but was released from custody because he was a diplomat. The U.S. government asked the Georgian government to waive his immunity, which they did and Makharadze was tried and convicted of manslaughter by the U.S. and sentenced to seven to twenty-one years in prison.[2]
  • An American marine serving his embassy in Bucharest, Romania collided with a taxi and killed the popular Romanian musician Teo Peter on December 3, 2004.[3] Christopher Van Goethem, allegedly drunk, did not obey a traffic signal to stop, which resulted in the collision of his Ford Expedition with the taxi the rock star was travelling in. Van Goethem's blood alcohol content was estimated at 0.09 from a breathalyser test, but he refused to give a blood sample for further testing and left for Germany before charges could be filed in Romania. [citation needed] The Romanian government requested the American government lift his immunity, which it has refused to do. [citation needed] The marine was later cleared by a Court Martial of both manslaughter and adultery while convicted for obstruction of justice and making false statements.[4]
  • A Russian diplomat accredited to Ottawa, Canada drove his car into two pedestrians on a quiet residential street in January 2001, killing one and seriously injuring the other. Andrei Knyazev had previously been stopped by Ottawa police on two separate occasions on suspicion of impaired driving. The Canadian government requested that Russia waive the diplomat's immunity, although this request was refused. Knyazev was subsequently prosecuted in Russia for involuntary manslaughter, and sentenced to four years in prison. His appeal of the sentence was denied and he served time in a penal colony.[5][6][7]
  • An American diplomat stationed in Vladivostok, Russia was involved in a car accident on October 27, 1998, that left a young man, Alexander Kashin, crippled. Consul General Douglas Kent was not prosecuted in a U.S. court. Under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963, diplomatic immunity does not apply to civil actions relating to vehicular accidents. However, on 10 August 2006, a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that since he was using his own vehicle for consular purposes, Kent may not be sued civilly.[8][9]

Georgia (Georgian: საქართველო Sakartvelo), known from 1991 to 1995 as the Republic of Georgia, is a country to the east of the Black Sea in the southern Caucasus. ... In January of 1997, Gueorgui Makharadze, the deputy ambassador of the Republic of Georgia in Washington caused an accident that injured four people and killed a sixteen-year-old girl. ... British Royal Marines in a Rigid Raider assault watercraft Marines (from the English adjective marine, meaning of the sea, from Latin language mare, meaning sea, via French adjective marin(e), of the sea) are, in principle, seaborne land soldiers that are part of a navy. ... Bucharest (population 2. ... is the 337th day of the year (338th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A breathalyzer (or breathalyser) is a device containing a spectrophotometer that is used by police forces to detect the amount of alcohol in ones breath during traffic stops. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the act of adultery. ... This article is about the capital city of Canada. ... Driving under the influence, drink driving, drunk driving, or drinking and driving is the act of operating a motor vehicle after having consumed alcohol (ethanol) or other drugs, to the degree that mental and motor skills are impaired. ... System of government Canada is a constitutional monarchy as a Commonwealth Realm (see Monarchy in Canada) with a federal system of parliamentary government, and strong democratic traditions. ... Murder is both a legal and a moral term, that are not always coincident. ... A penis colony is a colony used to detain prisoners and generally use them for penal labor in an economically underdeveloped part of the states (usually colonial) territories, and on a far larger scale than a prison farm. ... Vladivostok (Russian: ) is the administrative center of Primorsky Krai, Russia, situated close to the Russo-Sino border and North Korea. ... is the 300th day of the year (301st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 222nd day of the year (223rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

United Nations parking violations

In New York City, the home of the United Nations Headquarters (and hence thousands of diplomats), protests against parking violations by diplomatic vehicles have a certain quixotic quality[citation needed]. Nonetheless, the City regularly protests to the Department of State about non-payment of parking tickets due to diplomatic status. Diplomatic missions have their own regulations, but many require their staff to pay any fines due for parking violations. A 2006 study by two economists found that there was a significant correlation between home-country corruption (as measured by Transparency International) and unpaid parking fines; nonetheless, approximately 30 countries (or 20%) had fewer than one unpaid fine per diplomat over a five year period, and 20 had none at all. Six countries had in excess of 100 violations per diplomat.[10] Midtown Manhattan, looking north from the Empire State Building, 2005 New York City (officially named the City of New York) is the most populous city in the state of New York and the entire United States. ... UN and U.N. redirect here. ... Parking ticket from Arlington County, Virginia Placement of parking citation from Huntington Beach, California A parking violation, parking citation, notice of illegal parking or parking ticket (depending on the jurisdiction) is a notice of monetary penalty issued for parking a motor vehicle in a restricted place or for parking in... Quixotism (IPA: [ˈkwɪksəˌtɪzm]) is the description of a person or an act that is caught up in the romance of noble deeds and the pursuit of unreachable goals. ... Department of State redirects here. ... Transparency International (TI) is an international organisation addressing corruption, including, but not limited to, political corruption. ...


Other car crime

In France, between November 2003 and 2004, there were 2,590 cases of diplomatic cars caught speeding by automatic radars[citation needed]; the People's Republic of China alone had 155 violations. In comparison, there were 4,400 speeding violations by French official vehicles, such as police cars, an obviously much greater population than the Diplomatic Corps.[11] The diplomatic corps, or in French (formerly the lingua franca of diplomacy; hence the term is still used e. ...


Financial abuse

Bad debts

Historically the problem of large debts run up by diplomats has also caused many problems.[citation needed] Some financial institutions will not extend credit to diplomats because they have no legal means of ensuring the money is repaid.[citation needed]


Smuggling

Diplomats are exempt from import duty and tariffs for items for their personal use. In some countries, this has led to charges that diplomatic agents are profiting personally from resale of "tax free" goods. The receiving state may choose to impose restrictions on what may reasonably constitute personal use (for example, only a certain quantity of cigarettes per day). When enacted, such restrictions are generally quite generous (so as to avoid tit-for-tat responses). An import duty is a tariff paid at a border or port of entry to the relevant government to allow a good to pass into that governments territory. ... A tariff is a tax placed on imported and/or exported goods, sometimes called a customs duty. ...


Tax avoidance or evasion

Diplomats are not necessarily exempt from paying government-imposed fees when they are "charges levied for specific services rendered." In certain cases, such as London's congestion charge (a daily tax on all cars entering central London), the nature of the fee may lead to disputes, but there is an obligation for the receiving state not to "discriminate as between states"; in other words, any such fees should be payable by all accredited diplomats equally. This may allow the diplomatic corps to negotiate as a group with the authorities of the receiving country. In January 2006, it was reported that the United States owed several million pounds in unpaid congestion charge fees. It was also reported that diplomatic immunity had been used to avoid paying millions of pounds in traffic fines, as well as dodging around GBP1 million in local rates, although some embassies have agreed to settle their bills.[12] Road pricing is a generic term for charging for the use of roads using direct methods, charging the users of a specific section of the road network for its use. ... Central London is a much-used but unofficial and vaguely defined term for the most inner part of London, the capital of England. ... The diplomatic corps, or in French (formerly the lingua franca of diplomacy; hence the term is still used e. ... GBP may be: short for Game Boy Player the ISO currency code for the British Pound Sterling. ... Rates are a type of taxation system in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, such as New Zealand, historically used to fund local government. ...


In fiction and reality

In fiction, diplomatic immunity is sometimes portrayed negatively with criminals with diplomatic papers brazenly committing the most violent crimes and arrogantly waving their immunity about when the heroes try to stop them. An example of this can be seen in the movie Lethal Weapon II; noteworthy is that the official in the film headed a consulate, and would not have benefited from diplomatic immunity, but the more limited consular immunity. In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, on the other hand, a relatively unskilled hacker is unable to escape Section 9, (a very well trained section of the police force) and resorts to telling them that he is the son of a Canadian ambassador. In fact, Section 9 was well aware of this fact, and thus delayed action until Canada had agreed to allow him to be brought to justice. Lethal Weapon 2 is the second movie in the Lethal Weapon series, released in 1989. ... Consular immunity privileges are described in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 (VCCR). ... Batou and a Tachikoma Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is also titled Kōkaku Kidōtai: Stand Alone Complex (ManMachine Interface: STAND ALONE COMPLEX) in Japan, and is often refered to by its acronym GitS:SAC. GitS:SAC is a Japanese anime TV series set in...


In reality, most diplomats are representatives of nations with a tradition of professional civil service, and are expected to obey regulations governing their behaviour and they suffer strict internal consequences (disciplinary action) if they flout local laws[citation needed]. Diplomats who disobey minor regulations or break major laws, or disappear with bad debts are likely a minority[citation needed], and problem cases may have a correlation with nations with a history of corruption and little tradition of professional civil service. In many nations a professional diplomat's career may be compromised if he or she (or even members of his or her family) disobeys the local authorities or causes serious embarrassment, and such cases are, at any rate, a violation of the spirit of the Vienna Conventions. The Roman civil service in action. ...


The issue of parking tickets (see above) in New York was brought up in fourth season of the fictional tv drama The West Wing in the episode Arctic Radar. The president Josiah Bartlet shouts down the phone at who he believes to be the UN Secretary General advising there are big signs telling diplomats that they cannot park and that they should be towed to Queens before hanging up. It transpires however that he was most likely talking to a secretary. This article is about a TV show. ... Arctic Radar is episode 75 of The West Wing. ... For the signatory of the Declaration of Independence, see Josiah Bartlett. ... The United Nations Secretary-General is the head of the Secretariat, one of the principal divisions of the United Nations. ... For other uses, see Queens (disambiguation) and Queen. ...


Exceptions to the Vienna Convention

Some countries have made reservations to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, but they are minor. Most important are the reservation by most Arab nations concerning the immunity of diplomatic bags and non-recognition of Israel. A number of countries limit the diplomatic immunity of persons who are citizens of the receiving country. As nations keep faith to their treaties with differing zeal, other rules may also apply, though in most cases this summary is a reasonably accurate approximation.[13] It is important to note that the Convention does not cover the personnel of international organizations, whose privileges are decided upon on a case-by-case basis, usually in the treaties founding such organizations. The United Nations system (including its agencies, which comprise the most recognizable international bodies such as the World Bank and many others) has a relatively standardized form of limited immunities for staff traveling on U.N. laissez-passers; diplomatic immunity is often granted to the highest-ranking officials of these agencies. Consular officials (that do not have concurrent diplomatic accreditation) formally have a more limited form of immunity, generally limited to their official duties. Diplomatic technical and administrative staff also have more limited immunity under the Vienna Convention; for this reason, some countries may accredit technical and administrative staff as attaches. The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is an international treaty on diplomatic intercourse and the privileges and immunities of a diplomatic mission. ... // Diplomacy A diplomatic bag is a shipping container having diplomatic immunity from search or seizure. ... UN and U.N. redirect here. ... The World Bank logo The World Bank (the Bank) is a part of the World Bank Group (WBG), is a bank that makes loans to developing countries for development programs with the stated goal of reducing poverty. ... A laissez-passer is a travel document issued by a national government or an international treaty organization. ... ...


Other categories of government officials that may travel frequently to other countries may not have diplomatic passports or diplomatic immunity, such as members of the military, high-ranking government officials, ministers, and others. Many countries provide non-diplomatic official passports to such personnel, and there may be different classes of such travel documents such as official passports, service passports, and others. De facto recognition of some form of immunity may be conveyed by states accepting officials traveling on such documents, or there may exist bilateral agreements to govern such cases (as in, for example, the case of military personnel conducting or observing exercises on the territory of the receiving country). De facto is a Latin expression that means in fact or in practice. It is commonly used as opposed to de jure (meaning by law) when referring to matters of law or governance or technique (such as standards), that are found in the common experience as created or developed without...


Formally, diplomatic immunity may be limited to officials accredited to a host country, or traveling to or from their host country. In practice, many countries may effectively recognize diplomatic immunity for those traveling on diplomatic passports, with admittance to the country constituting acceptance of the diplomatic status.

Image File history File links Gnome-globe. ...

Diplomatic immunity in the United States

The following chart outlines the immunities afforded to foreign diplomatic personnel residing in the United States.[14] In general, these rules follow the Vienna Convention, which the U.S. ratified.

Category May be arrested or detained Residence may be entered subject to ordinary procedures May be issued traffic ticket May be subpoenaed as witness May be prosecuted Official family member
Diplomatic Diplomatic agent No[15] No Yes [Citation needed] No No Same as sponsor
Member of administrative and technical staff No[15] No Yes No No Same as sponsor
Service staff Yes[16] Yes Yes Yes No, for official acts. Otherwise, yes[16] No[16]
Consular Career Consular Officers Yes, if for a felony and pursuant to a warrant.[16] Yes[17] Yes No, for official acts. Testimony may not be compelled in any case. No, for official acts. Otherwise, yes[18] No[16]
Honorary consular officers Yes Yes Yes No, for official acts. Yes, in all other cases No, for official acts. Otherwise, yes No
Consular employees Yes[16] Yes Yes No, for official acts. Yes, in all other cases No, for official acts. Otherwise, yes[16] No[16]
International organization Diplomatic - level staff of missions to international organizations No[15] No Yes No No Same as sponsor
International Organization Staff[18] Yes[18] Yes[18] Yes No, for official acts. Yes, in all other cases No, for official acts. Otherwise, yes[18] No[16]
Support staff of missions to international organizations Yes Yes Yes No, for official acts. Yes, in all other cases No, for official acts. Otherwise, yes No

Notes

  1. ^ What's the story on diplomatic immunity?. The Straight Dope (1 November 2005). Retrieved on 2007-03-28.
  2. ^ "Georgian diplomat convicted in fatal crash goes home", CNN, 30 June 2000. Retrieved on 2007-03-28. 
  3. ^ "People in the News, May 2005", Vivid - Romania through international eyes. 
  4. ^ http://useu.usmission.gov/Article.asp?ID=5077D987-925A-4039-BA70-98E67450E7C6
  5. ^ "Drunk driving diplomat's appeal rejected", CBC News, 30 April 2002. Retrieved on 2007-03-28. 
  6. ^ Susan, Catto. "Convicted", The New York Times, 20 April 2002. Retrieved on 2007-03-28. 
  7. ^ "Russian diplomat faces jail term for deadly auto accident.", Jamestown Foundation Monitor, 22 March 2002. Retrieved on 2007-03-28. 
  8. ^ "Immunity shelters former US Consul from Russian invalid", Vladivostok News, 17 August 2006. 
  9. ^ "Russia student in diplomatic controversy", New Mexico daily Lobo, From AP, 16 September 2002. 
  10. ^ Fisman, Ray & Miguel, Edward (28 April 2006), Cultures of Corruption: Evidence from Diplomatic Parking ickets, USC FBE APPLIED ECONOMICS WORKSHOP, <http://www.usc.edu/schools/business/FBE/seminars/papers/AE_4-28-06_FISMAN-parking.pdf>
  11. ^ Le Canard Enchaîné, March 16, 2005
  12. ^ "Embassy to pay congestion charge", BBC News, 6 April 2006. Retrieved on 2007-03-28. 
  13. ^ Finlex Database on Finnish treaty relations: SopS 3/1970. Includes the list of reservations to the Vienna conventions in English.
  14. ^ Legal Aspects of Diplomatic Immunity and Privileges. United States Department of State. Retrieved on 2007-03-28.
  15. ^ a b c Reasonable constraints, however, may be applied in emergency circumstances involving self-defense, public safety, or the prevention of serious criminal acts.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i This table presents general rules. Particularly in the cases indicated, the employees of certain foreign countries may enjoy higher levels of privileges and immunities on the basis of special bilateral agreements.
  17. ^ Note that consular residences are sometimes located within the official consular premises. In such cases, only the official office space is protected from police entry.
  18. ^ a b c d e A small number of senior officers are entitled to be treated identically to "diplomatic agents".

is the 305th day of the year (306th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 87th day of the year (88th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Cable News Network, commonly known as CNN, is a major cable television network founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. ... is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full 2000 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 87th day of the year (88th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 120th day of the year (121st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 87th day of the year (88th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The New York Times is a daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed internationally. ... is the 110th day of the year (111th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 87th day of the year (88th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 81st day of the year (82nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 87th day of the year (88th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 229th day of the year (230th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 259th day of the year (260th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... is the 118th day of the year (119th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Le Canard enchaîné is a satirical newspaper published weekly in France, founded in 1915, featuring investigative journalism and leaks from sources inside the French government, the French political world and the French business world, as well as a large number of jokes and humorous cartoons. ... is the 75th day of the year (76th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 96th day of the year (97th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 87th day of the year (88th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Department of State redirects here. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 87th day of the year (88th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also

Vienna Convention on Consular Relations The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) was completed in 1963 as a multilateral treaty to codify consular practices that developed through customary international law and numerous bilateral treaties. ... Consular immunity privileges are described in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 (VCCR). ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
The Washington Diplomat (1921 words)
Diplomatic immunity is an ancient concept that is facing a raft of contemporary challenges.
The very idea of diplomatic immunity is being questioned by segments of the public as they read sensationalóand often sensationalizedóaccounts of diplomats brazenly ignoring the laws of their host nations and appearing to be unaccountable for their actions.
Diplomatic immunity is also being challenged, or at least c omplicated, by expansive interpretations of international law in which courts in some nations are willing to consider suits against diplomats and political leaders.
Diplomatic immunity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1915 words)
It is possible for the official's home country to waive immunity; this tends to only happen when the individual has committed a serious crime, unconnected with their diplomatic role (as opposed to, say, allegations of spying), or has witnessed such a crime.
As diplomats by definition enter the country under safe-conduct, violating them is normally viewed as a great breach of honour, although there have been a number of cases where diplomats have been killed.
Violations of diplomatic immunity have included espionage in a large number of cases, smuggling of small high value items in a surely much larger number of instances, some troubling child custody law violations, rape and even murder in a few cases.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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