diplomatic immunity

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diplomatic immunity

the immunity from local jurisdiction and exemption from taxation in the country to which they are accredited afforded to diplomats

Immunity, Diplomatic


the total body of rights and privileges granted to the diplomatic representatives of foreign states and their employees. The norms of international law regulating questions of diplomatic immunity were codified in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 (the USSR is a party). In the USSR, questions of diplomatic immunity are regulated by the Statute on Diplomatic and Consular Delegations of Foreign States on the Territory of the USSR of May 23, 1966.

Diplomatic immunity includes the privileges and immunities of diplomatic representatives and the personal privileges and immunities of the heads and personnel of diplomatic delegations. The diplomatic immunity of a delegation includes the inviolability of premises and archives, freedom of communications with the delegation’s own government, the right to display the flag and national emblem of the state represented on the building of the diplomatic delegation, freedom from taxes and duties, and customs privileges. Inviolability of the premises of a delegation (the building and portions of buildings used for the purposes of the delegation) means that the authorities of the state of residence have the right to enter these premises only with the consent of the head of the delegation. The state of residence is obliged to take all necessary measures to protect the premises of the delegation from all incursions and damage and to prevent all disruptions of the tranquillity of the delegation. The premises of the delegation, articles of furniture, and other property of the delegation enjoy immunity from search, requisition, seizure, and executive actions.

In contemporary international law, it is universally recognized that inviolability of diplomatic premises does not give the right to grant asylum to individuals sought by the authorities of the country of residence. An important element of diplomatic immunity is the right of free communication with the delegation’s own government.

Personal privileges and immunities include the personal immunity and inviolability of the homes of diplomats, immunity from jurisdiction, customs privileges, and freedom from taxes and obligations. A diplomatic employee may not be arrested or detained. The authorities of the state of residence must take all reasonable measures to prevent any encroachment upon the person, freedom, and dignity of a diplomat. The diplomat enjoys immunity from jurisdiction: he cannot be made answerable criminally, administratively, or civilly (with certain exceptions) in the state of residence; he is not obligated to testify in court as a witness. Diplomats enjoy fiscal immunity: they are released from the payment of taxes and duties of every kind. Customs duties are not levied on the articles of personal consumption of a diplomat and his family, and the personal baggage of a diplomat is not subject to customs inspection.

Trade delegations and their employees also enjoy diplomatic immunity.


References in periodicals archive ?
(77.) See Picard, supra note 73 (reporting incident of abuse of diplomatic privilege).
WILSON, DIPLOMATIC PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES 4 (1967)) (presenting the first ground upon which the personal representation theory is rejected).
It is apparent that the occasional abuse of diplomatic privileges, such as parking illegally, is the price the international community pays for an evolving diplomatic system designed to facilitate communication among nations and peoples.
Pakistan termed the intervention a complete violation of the Vienna Convention of the Consular Relations, 1963 and its embassy in Kabul had asked the Afghan authorities to honour the diplomatic privileges enjoyed by the consulate under international treaties.
"European countries must specify more Iranian institutions involved in illegal activities to impose sanctions against them and isolate Tehran diplomatically as long as it continues to utilise its diplomatic privileges and diplomatic missions abroad to kill people living in foreign countries," the report said.
Clarifying the situation during his press briefing, FO spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal pointed out that diplomats hailing from all countries enjoy diplomatic privileges alike and are provided every possible support as per international laws and norms as well as reciprocity.
The Iranian practice of blackmail to obtain diplomatic privileges reflects the behavior of the Iranian government and its non-respect for international covenants, conventions and laws and its lack of seriousness in revealing the identity of the perpetrators involved in this act, which is a clear and explicit violation of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of Diplomatic Missions, he was quoted by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Iranian authorities have also resorted to blackmail in order to gain diplomatic privileges inside the Kingdom in spite of severing the diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The Iranian authorities have also resorted to blackmail in order to gain diplomatic privileges inside Saudi Arabia in spite of severing the diplomatic ties between the two countries, the source added.
"Iranian authorities have also resorted to blackmail in order to gain diplomatic privileges inside the Kingdom amid state of severance of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran." The press release said.