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Part I General Framework, 5 The Immunity of Visiting Forces and their Headquarters

Dieter Fleck

From: The Handbook of the Law of Visiting Forces (2nd Edition)

Edited By: Dieter Fleck

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 30 March 2023

Diplomatic immunity — Immunity from jurisdiction, international organizations — Customary international law — Host state law

This chapter discusses the principle of immunity. Immunity comprises an exemption from criminal, civil, and administrative jurisdiction of the Receiving State. For any foreign visiting force immunity is an essential prerequisite for the successful performance of its mission in the receiving state. This principle was first developed for warships visiting foreign harbours where they were not only treated with courtesy, but also held exempt from the Host State’s authority. Immunity of foreign Visiting Forces and their military headquarters in the Receiving State is furthermore an element of State immunity. This immunity is rooted in customary international law and exists even in the absence of a status-of-forces agreement (SOFA). Headquarters established by international organizations and their forces deployed in the Receiving State share the immunity of their organization.

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