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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Immunity, Diplomatic

Rosanne van Alebeek

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 01 December 2023

Diplomatic immunity — Immunity from jurisdiction, diplomats — Immunity from jurisdiction, agents of states — States, agents — Diplomatic relations

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 The inviolability of diplomatic agents is one of the oldest rules of international law. Already thousands of years ago, in the practice of, for example, the Greek and the Romans, a diplomatic agent—then called a messenger or herald—was not to be maltreated or subjected to any form of arrest or detention. The immunity from the jurisdiction of the courts of the foreign State in which the agent performs his or her functions is of a more recent date, and can be traced back to the 16th century (Immunities). As far as criminal jurisdiction is concerned, the immunity...
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