Also found in: Wikipedia.
the totality of legal norms regulating the method of appointing and recalling diplomatic representatives and of fixing diplomatic ranks, functions, and legal status. The section of international law dealing with diplomatic privileges and immunities is also often called diplomatic law.
For a long time, diplomatic law was based mainly on custom. The basic rules established by the protocols of the Congress of Vienna of 1814–15 and the Aachen Congress of 1818 later became generally recognized norms of international law. There are regional agreements dealing with problems of diplomatic law, for instance, the Havana Convention of 1928 on diplomatic officials, which was signed by 14 Latin-American states. Questions of diplomatic law are often touched on in bilateral treaties.
The codification of the norms of diplomatic law and the progressive development of those norms have become especially important in view of the changes in international relations and diplomatic practices after the October Revolution of 1917, when states with two different social systems existed side by side. The Soviet state influenced the norms of diplomatic law not only through the general direction of its policy but also by advancing concrete principles for regulating the work of diplomatic missions. The basic international document on problems of diplomatic law is the Vienna Convention of 1961 on Diplomatic Relations.