Vienna Convention of 1961 on Diplomatic Relations

Vienna Convention of 1961 on Diplomatic Relations


an international convention codifying the norms of international law with respect to diplomatic representations. It was signed on Apr. 18, 1961. By Jan. 1, 1970, 105 states, including the USSR, the Byelorussian SSR and the Ukrainian SSR, were parties to the convention. The convention regulates the procedure for establishing diplomatic relations and diplomatic missions, defines their functions, such as representation of the mission’s state in the state to which it is accredited and defense of the interests of its state and its citizens; and establishes the procedure for appointing and recalling the head of a diplomatic mission and its personnel. The convention establishes three classes of heads of diplomatic missions: ambassador, minister, and chargé d’affaires.

The convention distinguishes between the privileges and immunities of the diplomatic mission as a whole and the personal privileges and immunities of the diplomatic and technical personnel of the mission. Among the most important privileges and immunities is the inviolability of the premises: the premises of a mission can be entered by the authorities of the state to which a mission is accredited only with the consent of the head of the mission; the mission premises must be protected by the authorities by all appropriate measures from any transgressions or damages and from any violation of the tranquillity of the mission; and the premises enjoy immunity from search, requisition, arrest, and other similar actions. The freedom of the diplomatic mission’s contact with its state and the inviolability of the diplomatic mail are also ensured.

The personnel of a diplomatic mission and the members of their families enjoy the right of inviolability of their person and home and immunity from the jurisdiction of the state they are accredited to. The servicing personnel of a mission enjoy immunity with respect to actions committed in the line of official duty and are relieved from income taxes.

Two optional protocols are attached to the convention: on mandatory jurisdiction of an international court and on the nonapplication of the laws of citizenship of the state of stay to the staff members of a diplomatic mission.

The USSR, in ratifying the convention on Feb. 11, 1964, made several reservations: in the event of a disagreement about the size of the staff of a diplomatic mission, the question should be decided through an accord between the accrediting state and the state the mission is being accredited to; also, the USSR made a reservation with respect to articles of the convention which establish a restriction for a number of states which are prospective parties to the convention. The convention entered into force for the USSR on Apr. 24, 1964.


Vedomosti Verkhovnogo Soveta SSSR, April 29, 1964, no. 18, article 221.


References in periodicals archive ?
The establishment of diplomatic relations is part of the willingness of the two countries to promote cooperation bonds in the political, economic, and cultural spheres that are included in the Vienna Convention of 1961 on diplomatic relations and fundamental principles and norms of the Charter of the United Nations and of international law.
"Iran reiterates its commitment to compliance with the relevant international law and documents, especially Vienna Convention of 1963 on Consular Relations and Vienna Convention of 1961 on Diplomatic Relations and it will do its best to arrest all the perpetrators of the incident and prosecute them," Khoshrou said in the letter earlier this month.
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu expressed deep concern over previous day's attack on the British embassy, and urged Iranian executives to take every security measure in compliance with Vienna Convention of 1961 on diplomatic relations. The Vienna Convention provides a complete framework for the establishment, maintenance and termination of diplomatic relations on a basis of consent between independent sovereign States.
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