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Book III Privileges and Immunities, 13 Privileges and Immunities of Diplomatic Missions

Joanne Foakes, Eileen Denza

From: Satow's Diplomatic Practice (7th Edition)

Edited By: Sir Ivor Roberts

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 28 May 2023

Consular relations — Consulates — Diplomatic missions — Diplomatic relations — Diplomatic privileges — Immunity from jurisdiction, diplomats — Immunity from jurisdiction, state officials — Diplomatic protection

This chapter provides an overview of diplomatic privileges and immunities. Two fundamental rules of diplomatic law—that the person of the ambassador is inviolable and that a special protection must be given to the messages which are sent to and received from the ambassador’s sovereign—have been recognized from time immemorial among civilized States. The law of nations—now known as public international law—required States which accepted foreign diplomats to guarantee rights necessary to enable them to exercise their functions, including independence from local jurisdiction. It was important that ambassadors should not be afraid of traps or distracted by legal trickery. As such, the chapter discusses several areas where these privileges and immunities occur: the premises of the mission, the diplomatic asylum, the exemption of mission premises from taxation, the inviolability of mission archives, freedom of communications, the diplomatic bag, and freedom of movement.

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