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Book III Privileges and Immunities, 14 Privileges and Immunities of Diplomatic Agents

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: 02 June 2023

Consular relations — Diplomatic missions — Diplomatic relations — Immunity from jurisdiction, agents of international organizations — Immunity from jurisdiction, diplomats — Immunity from jurisdiction, state officials — Diplomatic protection

This chapter explores the immunities accorded to a diplomatic agent personally, as distinct from those dealt with in the previous chapter. These include personal inviolability and immunity from criminal, civil, and administrative jurisdiction. Unless entitled to some specific exemption by international agreement or by national law, a diplomatic agent is otherwise legally bound by the laws and regulations of the receiving State. Diplomatic agents are not exempt from the obligation to obey the local criminal law, or from the duty to pay debts, or to seek local planning permission before rebuilding their residences, or from local regulations regarding the maintenance and insurance of vehicles when driving. But if they break any of these laws, immunity means that they cannot be arrested or detained by the executive authorities of the receiving State and cannot be subjected to criminal trial or sued in civil proceedings before the judicial authorities of that State.

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