Immunities from Vienna convention on diplomatic relations: A Study

Stuti Dwivedi
Author:

Abstract

Diplomacy is a method of communication between two parties and this is the sole way through which international relations can be sustained. Therefore the laws relating to the mandate of diplomatic relations are considered as one of the preliminary manifestations of the international law. Diplomatic immunity is a principle of international law by which certain government officials are not subjected to the jurisdiction of local courts and other higher authorities. This indemnity is given for the purpose of ensuring that these officials undertake the task with the least governmental interference and the smooth functioning of the interstate activities take place. The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961  led to the codification of most of the modern diplomatic and consular practices, that are inclusive of diplomatic immunity provided to such diplomatic agents. The convention bestows immunity to people in conformity with their rank with respect to that very diplomatic mission and the eminent requirement of immunity required for the due performance of their duties. The diplomats are hence relieved from the civil, criminal, and administrative jurisdiction of the sending state. yet, the receiving state might waive such immunities under exceptional cases. Notwithstanding the above premises a diplomat’s immunity from the jurisdiction of the sending state does not exonerates him or her from the sovereignty of his or her native nation . In this project, the researcher aims to discuss the situations, which led to the creation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the laws that have evolved post the Convention. Also, this project shall highlight the immunities and privileges that diplomatic agents are subject to as a part of their job and their indemnity from civil and criminal jurisdiction of the host state. The violations or abuse of the diplomatic immunities form the later part of this project. Also, this project provides a critical analysis of Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961in the conclusion. It provides a holistic approach towards understanding of International law concerning Diplomatic Immunity.

key words: Concept of Immunities provided under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Provisions of the convention, Immunities provided to the property and the personal immunity to the diplomatic agents, Civil and Criminal immunities, Immunity to the mission.

Introduction

The concept of jurisdiction is centralised within the spheres of principles of state sovereignty, equality and non-interference. Major grounds for jurisdiction can be related as a requirement under the International Law to respect the territorial integrity and political independence of the states.

Although constituting a derogation from the host state jurisdiction in that particular state, its construed as a pertinent clause for the recognition of the foreign states as well as an aspect of legal equality in all the other states. The researcher throughout this project shall primarily focus on the immunities the international organisations and the officials of the state enjoy sans the interference from the other states. Diplomatic law is not a recent development rather it traces its roots from ancient law and in the present scenario it comprises a highly developed body of law from myriad sources which could include 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR), 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) and The UN Convention On Special Missions Of 1969. Apart from these primary international organisation there are a plethora of treaties that deal with the privileges and immunities of the representative of the states and the privileges and immunities of the officials employed by those organisations. Some of the leading examples are the 1946 Convention on The Privileges and Immunities of The United Nations And the 1947 Convention on Immunities and Privileges of Specialised Agencies. Another recent component of diplomatic law is the Convention on The Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Person including diplomatic agents.[1]

The field of diplomatic immunities is one of the most accepted and uncontroversial topics of international law as it is in the favour every state to ultimately preserve the essence of the relation between them though not every state act in due accordance with it, the International Court noted in the US Diplomatic and Consular Staff in Tehran case:[2]

“The rules of diplomatic law constitute a self- contained regime, which on one hand lays down receiving state obligations regarding facilities, privileges and immunities to be accorded to diplomatic missions and on the other hand foresee the possible abuse by the members of the mission”

Provisions Of The Convention

The treaty that came into force in 1964[3]emphasises on the functional necessity of diplomatic privileges and immunities for the efficient conduct of international relations[4] as well as pointing to the character of the diplomatic relations for the purpose of representing the state. It both codified the existing laws on the other hand establish the others.[5]The international court has recently emphasised that the convention continues to apply notwithstanding the existence of the state of armed conflicts between the concerned states[6].There is no right under the international law to democratic relations and they exist by the virtue of mutual consent (article 2 of the VCDR) [7]and this article also aims to establish that there can be no legal coercion upon states unless they don’t wish to enter into any diplomatic relation with any another state. The convention in article 4 clearly specifies that the sending state must ensure that the consent of the receiving state has been given for the purpose head of the mission and reasons for any kind of refusal or acceptance need not be specifically provided.[8]

Article 9 of the VCDR talks about how the receiving state may at any time declare any member of the diplomatic mission persona non grata without having to explain its decision thus obtaining the removal of any person.[9]The best example in this case could be the Ethiopian demand that Eritrea reduce its diplomatic staff at the commencement between the armed conflicts between the states [10]however the principle of consent as the basis of diplomatic relations may affect the other rules of international law. Major functions of diplomatic mission are enshrined in article 3[11]. Article 41(1)[12]of the VCDR also emphasises the duty of all persons enjoying privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving state and the duties of not to interfere in the internal affairs of the state. Article 13[13]of the VCDR provides that the head of the mission is deemed to have been taken up his functions in the receiving states upon the presence of the credentials. Article 14[14]divides the head of the missions in three classes’ viz. ambassadors or the nuncios accredited to the heads of the state; and charges d’affaires accredited to the minister of foreign matters. Article 20-28 are very crucial as they deal with the privileges and immunity of missions which must be granted by the sending states themselves. Thus under article 22[15]the premises of mission is inviolable and the agents of the receiving states are not entitled to enter without the consent of the head of the mission. Whereas Articles 29-39 deal with the immunities enjoyed by members of the mission. As well as jurisdictional immunities, it is rather inclusive of other privileges like the inviolability of private residence of an agent, immunity from taxes and customs and exemption from national service requirements in other domains. Thus the members of diplomatic mission enjoy a wide array of protection from the receiving state but subject to a condition that such rights and privileges are noyt granted for personal benefits of the concerned individual but to ensure that there is smooth and efficient performance of the concerned diplomatic mission.

The Inviolability Of The Mission

In order to facilitate the operation of normal diplomatic activities, article 22 of the convention specifically declares that the premises of the mission are inviolable and the agents of the receiving state are not to enter without the consent of the mission. And its an absolute rule.[16]

the receiving state is under special duty to protect the mission premises from any kind of harm or intrusion and also ensure that its dignity is not impaired under any circumstance. I Boos v. Barry the US Supreme Court made a special reference to Article 22 of the VCDR and opined that “ the need to protect diplomats is grounded in our nations is grounded in our Nations important interest in international relations… diplomatic personnel are essential to conduct the international affairs so crucial to the well-being of the nation.”[17]

In 1979 the US embassy in Tehran, Iran was taken over by hundreds of demonstrators. Achieves and documents were seized and fifty diplomatic and consular staff were held as hostages. In 1980 the international court declared that under the 1961 convention also taking into account the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963 Iran was placed under the most categorical obligations as a receiving state to take appropriate steps to ensure the protection of the United States Embassy and Consulates, their staff, their archives their means of communication and the free movement of the member of their staff.[18]

The court particularly emphasised in Iran’s conduct and the conflicts between its behaviour and obligations under ‘an entire corpus of International rules under which the diplomatic and the consular law is governed, the court is in a duty to affirm the nature of its character and its fundamental course of its behaviour”.[19] These are also obligations under the general international law.

In Congo v. Uganda the International Court held that the attacks on the Ugandan Embassy at Kinshasa, the capital of Congo and there were attacks on the people of the premise by the Congolese armed forces was in strict contravention with the provisions of article 22.[20]The court also laid emphasis upon the provisions of Vienna convention that mention about prohibiting any kind of infringements of the inviolability of the mission by the receiving state itself but also the receiving state is under the obligation to prevent others to do so.[21]

In Westminster City Council v. Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran[22] the major issue concerned with the payment of expenses that had arisen out of the repair and construction work of the damaged and abandoned Iranian Embassy in London in 1980, the council wanted to register a land charge but the question of immunity arose under article 22 of the VCDR. Although the court felt that procedurally it was impossible to proceed, reference was made to further substantive questions of law and it was clearly implied that these weren’t in the nature of diplomatic premises anymore in regard to those circumstances. But it must be duly taken care that the inviolability of diplomatic premises is not confused with extraterritoriality as such premises don’t constitute the part of the territory of the sending state.[23]

The International Court in the Asylum case between Colombia and Peru[24] emphasised that the decision to grant asylum involves serious derogation of immunities and sovereignty from the receiving state and constitutes the intervention in the matter which come under the exclusive competence between the states and such derogations of territories cannot be exercised unless the legal basis has been established in a particular case. Where treaties already exist regarding the grant of the Asylum there could be pertinent questions in context of the competence of the sending states and the receiving states then in those cases the diplomats of the state granting asylum or the sending state may determine upon their discretion that whether a refugee may meet any condition that may be further laid down for the grant of the asylum under the applicable treaty but this won’t bind the receiving state because ‘ the principle of international law don’t recognise any role of unilateral and definitive qualification by granting asylum, it maybe that in law the right of asylum will arise for urgent and compelling reasons of humanity’

Diplomatic Immunities To Property

Article 22 of the VCDR states that the premises to the mission are inviolable and together with their furnishings and other property and other means of transport are immune from search, requisition, attachment and execution. By article 23 of the VCDR a general exception from taxation in respect of the mission premises is made. International court in the Philippine Embassy Bank Account case explained that in regard to the customary and treaty law, “property used by the sending state for the performance of its diplomatic relations in any event enjoys immunity even if it does not fall within the material or spatial scope of article 22.”[25]

Also the House of the Lords in Alcom Ltd. V, Republic of Colombia[26] it was held that under the State Immunity Act 1978 ‘a current account at a commercial bank in the name of diplomatic mission would be immune unless the plaintiff could show that it’s been remarked by foreign state solely for the purpose of settlement of liabilities that incur in commercial transactions, this approach was based upon the obligation contained in article 25 of the VCDR, which further provided that the receiving state shall accord to full facilities for the purpose of the performance of the mission.’[27] The House of Lords opined that the negative formulation of this principal meant that the executive nor the legal branch of the government in the receiving state must act in a manner to not to annihilate the proposed mission from carrying out its functions.

Also its to be noted that article 24 of the VCLT that the archives and the documents are inviolable at any time and wherever they may be.[28] The question of scope of article 24 was vividly discussed in Shearson Lehman v. Maclaine Watson[29], which was concerned with the continuous intervention and obstruction by the International Tin Council case on the contentions that certain proposed documents related to the case to present as evidence were inadmissible. It was apparently held in Intro Properties (U.K) ltd v. Sauvel[30] by the Court of Appeal that the private residence of a diplomatic agent even if its used as an embassy for the social purposes it doesn’t qualifies to be a part of diplomatic mission and here in this case the proceedings didn’t concern the French Governments title to possession of the premises, but they were merely for the purpose of the damages for the breach of the covenant in lease.

But in major cases the protection is not confined to executive or judiciary action by the host state but would conceal the scenarios where supposedly where the documents were put in dissemination for the purpose of theft or any such improper means.[31]

Diplomatic Immunities To Person

The person of a diplomatic agent is inviolable under article 29 of the VCDR and he may not be detained and arrested[32] this principal is the fundamental rule of diplomatic law and the oldest established rule of the diplomatic law. The most classic case here was The Resolution of 53/97 of January 1999[33]where the United Nations General Assembly vehemently opposed to the acts of violence against the diplomatic and the consular agents whilst on mission while the Security Council issued the presidential ordinance castigating the homicide of the nine Iranian diplomats in Afghanistan. States acknowledged that the safeguarding of the diplomats is a mutual interest founded on the functional stipulation and reciprocity[34] the receiving state is under an imperative to take all imperative steps to prevent any attack on person, freedom or any dignity of the diplomatic agents.[35]

The VCDR recognizes various categories of staff members of the diplomatic missions, each enjoying immunity from jurisdiction to a different extent:

(a) Diplomatic agents (the Head of the Mission and other members of the diplomatic staff) and their families (provided that they are not nationals of the receiving State (Article 37(1)) enjoy immunities ratione personae, i.e. by the virtue  of their office. Thus they are granted personal inviolability, including freedom from arrest and detention (Article 29),19 and absolute immunity from criminal jurisdiction (Article 31). In Congo v. Uganda the international court held that the mistreatment of Congo forces within the Ugandan Embassy was a strict violation of article 29 of the VCDR.

Diplomatic Immunities From Civil Jurisdiction:

It has always been a matter of discussion whether there should be reasonable restrictions on the idea of diplomatic immunity but on the other hand it was a majority court practice to adhere to the line of absolute civil immunities mainly in the regard to commercial and professional activities, but it was not until the VCDR came into picture that brought about comprehensive prerequisites on the imposition of the diplomatic immunity.

A diplomatic agent is also immune from civil and administrative jurisdiction, except in three types of cases provided under article 31(1):

(i) a real action relating to immoveable property situated in the protectorate of the receiving State, unless he holds it on behalf of the sending State for the purposes of the mission;

(ii) an action relating to succession in which the diplomatic agent is involved as executor, administrator, heir, or legatee as a private person and not on behalf of the sending State;

(iii) an action relating to any professional or commercial activity exercised by the diplomatic agent in the receiving State outside his official functions[36]

Also a list of other articles in VCDR that provide immunity to the diplomatic agents are:

(b) Administrative and technical staff and their families, who are not nationals or permanent residents of the receiving State, enjoy similar personal inviolability and immunity from criminal jurisdiction to diplomatic agents. However they only enjoy immunity from civil jurisdiction in relation to acts performed in the course of their duties (Article 37(2)).

(c) Service staff, who are not nationals or permanent residents of the receiving State, enjoy immunity ratione materiae, in respect of acts performed in the course of their duties (Article 37(3)).

(d) Diplomatic agents representing the sending State but who are in fact nationals or permanent residents of the receiving State, also enjoy immunity ratione materiae in respect of their official acts (Article 38(1)).

(e) All members of diplomatic missions who enjoy immunities whilst in office enjoy a subsisting immunity materiae in respect of their official acts even after they have left office (Article 39(2). It might be noted that generally immunities under the VCDR operate only in respect of the jurisdiction of the receiving State. However the provisions of Article 40 can be distinguished in that third States must accord diplomatic agents (and their family members) inviolability and such immunities as may be required to ensure their transit or return whilst en route to and from post.

But the aforementioned exceptions are very important for three reasons firstly because if the receiving state isn’t bestowed with the jurisdiction of such cases these cases wouldn’t be scrutinised as the opportunity of examining them in courts will delve them into some other place, secondly the nature of such cases being private in character don’t have connection with the official duties of a diplomatic agent and lastly such cases are not in the nature of criminal or penal proceedings which hamper the official duties of an agent. However if there is any kind of objection from the agent with regards to the mission or any ministerial orders  or in cases where such agent refuses to compromise, then actions can be taken against such person and his/her immunity can be relinquished.

Generally the immunities and the privileges start from the moment when the person enters the domestic territory of the receiving state and on proceedings to take up his post. In Reg. v. Governor of Pentonville Prison, ex parte Teja,[37] Lord Parker noted that it was fundamental to the diplomatic agent who is claiming diplomatic immunities must have been accepted by the receiving country. This view was subsequently interpreted by the Court of Appeal in R. v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Bagga[38] in the lights of the facts of the former case it was held that if a person is already employed as a secretary at an embassy than a notification is enough to entitle him with those immunities. Immunities and privileges normally cease when a person leaves the country upon the expiry of the reasonable period to do so[39]

A very pertinent question that the VCDR has failed to answer is that whether the private residence of a diplomatic agent falls within the ambit of provided exceptions. On one hand, if it is ensured that the diplomatic agent enjoys complete independence from the receiving state and is able to exercise his official functions, then his or her private residence should fall within the purview of absolute immunity from civil jurisdiction.

Diplomatic Immunities From Criminal Jurisdiction

It can be ascertained that the diplomatic immunity from criminal jurisdiction is undoubtable and unqualified notwithstanding all of these there are exceptions in the cases of civil and criminal jurisdiction , it’s the widespread contention that as per the practical aspect of the International Law diplomatic agents may not be tried in criminal courts. Article 31¶ 1 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations states, “A diplomatic agent shall enjoy immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving state.” This immunity transgresses to the law with regards to regulations and the immunity extends to all sorts of petty offenses alongside indictable crimes like conspiring against the national security of the receiving state or any crime against humanity.

There are basically two kinds of immunities with respect to diplomatic immunity from criminal jurisdiction:

1) IMMUNITY RATIONE PERSONAE- which related to with the broad scope of conduct of the diplomatic agents.

2) IMMUNITY RATIONE MATERIAE- which is concerned with the ambit of those acts performed while discharging the functions by the diplomatic agents.

IMMUNITY RATIONE PERSONAE- this immunity deals with the act or the conduct of the state officials in lieu of discharge their functions. the limitation regarding the extent of this immunity remains beyond any comprehension by any lower authorities. The substantial question of law put forth as to whether immunity provided under Ratione Materiae covers crime under the international law.

This view was taken by the US department of the state with regards to the incident where the ambassador of Papua New Guinea was responsible for was responsible for an accident that led to physical injury of two people and damage to five cars, the ambassador was withdrawn from the US and the Papua New Guinea authorities assured that any criminal investigation of the incident or indictment of the former ambassador under the US domestic laws that be quashed. The US rejected the view that the international law precluded the prosecution of the former diplomat for non-official acts committed during his period of accreditation.[40]

In Propend Finance v. Sing[41]was of the view that the ambit of diplomatic missions is inclusive of the term police liaisons functions so that the immunity continues under article 39 (2) of the VCDR.

In the Former Syrian Ambassador to the GDR case the German federal constitutional court held that article 32(2) concealed the situation where the concerned ambassador was accused of Murder by allowing the explosives transported from his embassy to a regional terrorist group. He was held on the grounds that he at that time acted in his official capacity to promulgate the murder. The petitioners argued that the diplomatic immunity from criminal proceedings is devoid of any such exceptions particularly from such crimes and the last available resort was to declare him persona non grata[42]the court further opined that provisions of article 39(2) of the VCDR while binding upon the receiving states was not binding upon the third states, also the continuing immunity of the former ambassador to the German democratic republic was not binding upon the Federal Republic of Germany. However the courts judgement holds an orbiter dictum, which is implicit in on contradicting the exception in this regard.

The juridical repercussions of the diplomatic immunity from criminal jurisdiction is a procedural attribute and doesn’t encroach on the substantive liability therefore whenever there is a confirmation of diplomatic immunity the court must relinquish all the proceeding against the accused person. The diplomatic agent shielded from any sort of execution and can make a good benefit out of it and on the other hand interdict any sort of judgement or conviction against him. Nonetheless all sorts of proceedings against a diplomatic agent may be subjected to suspension during the period of entitlement of a diplomatic immunity but notwithstanding any of these aversions it must not be misunderstood that all forms of proceedings shall be deemed as null and void.

Remedies In Case Of Abuse

By article 32 of the VCLT the sending state may waive the immunity from jurisdiction of the diplomatic agents and other possessing immunity from the jurisdiction under the convention. Such waivers need to be express and waiver of immunity from jurisdiction with respect to civil and administrative proceedings is not to be taken from immunity in respect of the execution of the judgement for which a separate waiver is a prerequisite.

There could be abuse of diplomatic immunities in case of civil liabilities could in the form that allows the diplomats in the cases of personal injury, exclusion in cases of import duty in items of personal use and non-payment of other domestic civilian taxes. But cases where there is abuse of diplomatic immunity through criminal act either in the form of breach of laws by the diplomats and encouragement of any criminal activity or the crimes committed by the diplomats themselves.

Like the Britain Nigerian Kidnapping Incident[43]Where an incident occurred in Britain related to an ex-member of the former Nigerian government, Alhaji Umaru Dikko. Mr. Dikko was kidnapped from his residence in London on 5TH July 1984 was drugged and hidden in a diplomatic crate bound to Nigeria in the year 1984,even the accused was hidden in that crate, the British government wanted to take an action, the Nigerian government refused to cooperate. The British government couldn’t do anything except expelling the 2 diplomats involved with the incident of kidnapping.

When we look into The US India Incident[44] of 2013, when an Indian consular official Devyani Khobragade was alleged for the non-payment minimum wages and for fraudulently lying about the wages in the visa application of her domestic help and perjury, when through investigation begun against her in form of her detention strip search and imprisonment in the New York cell, India raised objection against this action and initiated a review of privileges provided to American consular officials, she was released later a bond of USD 250000 and left the US after getting full diplomatic immunity.

These cases are only a few ones where the diplomatic immunity provided to the agents by the International law was misused by the ones holding it, diplomatic immunity has been often one of the coveted topics of the international law, waivers have been provided in a plethora of cases but such waivers are comparatively rare and if in case the sending state refuses the receiving state must rely upon the remedy of withdrawal of its consent as such immunities adhere to the states concerned not just to individuals such waivers must be express and must be in respect of a particular member of the mission by declaring him persona non grata or in exceptionally abominable cases by annihilating the diplomatic relations.

Conclusion

The laws on diplomatic immunity oscillating over years making room for changes depending on the given facts and probable scenarios for the given case, now with the very inception of the VCDR has connected and brought out significance of immunities for the agents and the mission itself. Many states have adopted the specific domestic legislations that provide civil immunities and privileges to the envoys of the sending states and these immunities are diverse in nature and are subject to interpretation. There is a sort of disparity based on political environment and societal growth of that particular nation that leads to the differences in immunities provided by the receiving state.

Therefore the researcher after a brief study of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations was of the idea that regardless of the road block of time and space this convention still emerged as one of the founding stones upon which any of the present day diplomacy hinges upon. Although the VCDR, 1961 has some flaws it’s still the most pertinent treaties and its effect has been felt across the 188 states that signatory to the convention. The VCDR has been strongly believes that the diplomatic immunity is the road to good bilateral relations and peaceful dialogues between the member states. The VCDR has some of the most important provisions such as safety and security of their diplomats and their family members and promoting stable relations between states these key provisions build a strong core for a diplomacy.

The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961acts as a shield to prevent emerging global threats like refuge crises, drug smuggling, terrorism all these threats asks for the concerted efforts and cooperation by the states and it is beyond any reasonable doubt that the convention is a forbearer of the hall mark that instigates promotion of peace, cooperation and stability among the nations. The flaws that we can see throughout this piece of legislation is temporal and it’s imperative among the nations that despite all these loopholes the countries can domesticate their own diplomatic laws that are suitable for their societal setup.

Thus, in this project the researcher has tried her best to answer all the research questions that were put forward in the beginning of this project all the objectives have been met and the researcher has tried her best provide a comprehensive detail of all the nuances that were innately attached to the topic.

bibliography

BOOKS REFERRED

malcolm n. shaw, international law (6th ed., Cambridge University Press 2008).

Malcolm D. Evans, International Law (5thed., Oxford University Press 2018).

WEB SOURCES

Vienna convention on diplomatic relations 1961, united nations treaty series, vol. 500 p.95, https://legal.un.org/ilc/texts/instruments/english/conventions/9_1_1961.pdf.

[1] Convention on The Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Person including diplomatic agents, Dec. 14, 1973, UNGA.189.

[2] US Diplomatic and Consular Staff in Tehran (U.S.A v. Iran.), 1980 I.C.J. 504 (Nov. 29).

[3] The importance of the convention was stressed in the Iranian hostagescase, supra note 2 at 556, quite a few of its provisions are incorporated into English law by Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964.

[4] 767 Third Avenue Associates v. Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zaire to the United Nations , 99 ILR 382, 510 U.S. 819 (1993). (U.S).

[5] SHAW, supra note 2, at 24.

[6] Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Uganda, (2005) ICJ Rep. 168 (Dec. 19).

[7] Article 2 of the VCDR states that-The establishment of diplomatic relations between States, and of permanent diplomatic missions, takes place by mutual consent.

[8] Article 4 of the VCDR states that- 1.The sending State must make certain that the agrément of the receiving State has been given for the person it proposes to accredit as head of the mission to that State.

2.The receiving State is not obliged to give reasons to the sending State for a refusal of agrément.

[9] Article 9 of the VCDR states that-The receiving State may at any time and without having to explain its decision, notify the sending State that the head of the mission or any member of the diplomatic staff of the mission is persona non grata or that any other member of the staff of the mission is not acceptable. Refer- Vienna convention on diplomatic relations 1961, united nations treaty series, vol. 500 p.95,( May 19, 2021) https://legal.un.org/ilc/texts/instruments/english/conventions/9_1_1961.pdf.

[10] Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, (2005) 183 ¶44, Partial Award, (Dec. 19).

[11] Article 3 of the VCDR states- The functions of a diplomatic mission consist, inter alia, in:

(a) Representing the sending State in the receiving State;

(b) Protecting in the receiving State the interests of the sending State and of its nationals, within the

limits permitted by international law;

(c) Negotiating with the Government of the receiving State.

[12] Article 41 (1) of the VCDR states 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. They also have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State.

[13] Article 13 of the VCDR states that-The head of the mission is considered as having taken up his functions in the receiving State either when he has presented his credentials or when he has notified his arrival and a true copy of his credentials has been presented to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the receiving State, or such other ministry as may be agreed, in accordance with the practice prevailing in the receiving State which shall be applied in a uniform manner.

[14] Article 14 of the VCDR states that- Heads of mission are divided into three classes, namely:

(a) That of ambassadors or nuncios accredited to Heads of State, and other heads of mission of

equivalent rank;

(b) That of envoys, ministers and internuncios accredited to Heads of State;

(c) That of chargés d’affaires accredited to Ministers for Foreign Affairs.

2. Except as concerns precedence and etiquette, there shall be no differentiation between heads of mission by reason of their class.

[15] Article 22 of the VCDR states that-The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.

2. The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity.

3.The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.

[16] Third Avenue Associates v. Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zaire to the United Nations 988 F.2nd(1993); 99 ILR, P. 194.

[17]Boos v. Barry, 485 U.S 312 (1988); 121 ILR,p. 551.

[18] U.S v. Iran, supra note 2 at 556¶32. Here in this case the court emphasised that such obligations concerning the inviolability of the members of the diplomatic mission and of the premises, property or archives of the mission are to be continued despite the cases of armed conflicts and non-ensuring these protection shall lead to the breach of any sort of diplomatic relations between the states.

[19] U.S.A v. Iran, supra note 2 at 568. The court specifically laid emphasis on articles 22, 25, 26 and 27 and the analogous provisions in the 1963 VCCR.

[20] Congo v. Uganda, ICJ Reports 2005¶52, 168-196 (Dec.19).

[21] U.S v. Iran, supra note 2 at 129,¶ 342.

[22] Westminster City Council v. Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran (1986) 3 All ER 284.

[23] Persinger v. Islamic Republic of Iran 729 F. 2d 835 (1984), see also Swiss Federal Prosecutor v. Kruszyk 102 ILR 126.

[24] The International Court in the Asylum case between Colombia and Peru (Colombia v. Peru), (1950) I.C.J. 6, 266 (Nov. 20).

[25]Philippine Embassy Bank Account case, (1977) 65 ILR 146, (Dec. 13).

[26] Alcom Ltd. v. Republic of Colombia ,(1984) 2 ALL ER 6 (Apr. 12).

[27] supra, note 29.

[28] This goes beyond the practice of previous customary laws, eg. Rose v. R (1947) 3 DLR 618 (Nov. 20).

[29] Shearson Lehman v. Maclaine Watson (1988) 1 WLR 16 (June. 8).

[30] Intro Properties (U.K) ltd v. Sauvel (1983) QB 1019. (Mar. 29).

[31] Fayed v. Al- Tajir (1987) 2 All ER 396.

[32] US v. Noriega, 117 F. 3d 1206; 99 ILR, pp. 145.

[33] G.A. Res. 53/97, ¶ 12, U.N. Doc. A/RES/53/97 (Jan. 20, 1999).

[34] Boos v. Barry 99 L Ed 2d 333, 346 (1988).

[35] Harb v. King Fahd (2005) EWCA Civ 632 ¶ 40, the court of appeal held that article 29 was not breached by the court hearing an issue related to sovereign immunity in an open court where it wished to challenge the application for maintenance to be heard in private.

[36] This includes civil proceedings concerning private matters, example the Australian case of De Andrade v De Andrade (1984) EWFC 76 (June. 18). in which the immunity of a diplomat was upheld in relation to divorce and custody proceedings.

[37] In Reg. v. Governor of Pentonville Prison, ex parte Teja (1971) 2QB 274.

[38] R. v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Bagga (1991) 1QB 485.

[39] Shaw v. Shaw (1979) 3 All ER 631 (Dec. 19).

[40] US v. Guinand (1988) 688 F. Supp 774 (July. 11).

[41] Propend Finance v. Sing (1998) 111 ILR 665.

[42] Former Syrian Ambassador to the GDR case, (1997)115 ILR 596. German Federation Council ct. (June. 10).

[43] Britain Nigerian Kidnapping Incident (R. v. Barak and ors.)(1984) 7 Cr. App R (S) 404. (Dec. 2).

[44] The US India Incident (United States v. Khobragade) 15 F. Supp. 3d 383 (S.D.N.Y 2014) (Mar. 12).