Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relation 1961

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Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relation 1961

Unread postby Admin » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:10 am

Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relation 1961
The main feature of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961 are as under:-
The Vienna Convention provides a complete framework for the establishment, maintenance and termination of diplomatic relations on a basis of consent between independent sovereign States. It specifies the functions of diplomatic missions, the formal rules regulating appointments, declarations of persona non grata of a diplomat who has in some way given offence, and precedence among heads of mission. It sets out the special rules – privileges and immunities – which enable diplomatic missions to act without fear of coercion or harassment through enforcement of local laws and to communicate securely with their sending Governments. It makes provision for withdrawal of a mission – which may take place on grounds of economy or physical security – and for breach of diplomatic relations which may occur in response to abuse of immunity or severe deterioration in relations between sending and receiving States. In either of these cases – or where permanent missions have not been established – a framework is provided for the interests of each sending State to be protected in the receiving State by a third State.
Article 22 confirms the inviolability of mission premises – barring any right of entry by law enforcement officers of the receiving State and imposing on the receiving State a special duty to protect the premises against intrusion, damage, disturbance of the peace or infringement of dignity. Even in response to abuse of this inviolability or emergency, the premises may not be entered without the consent of the head of mission. Article 24 ensures the inviolability of mission archives and documents – even outside mission premises – so that the receiving State may not seize or inspect them or permit their use in legal proceedings.

Article 27 guarantees free communication between a mission and its sending State by all appropriate means, and ensures that the diplomatic bag carrying such communications may not be opened or detained even on suspicion of abuse. Given the purposes of diplomatic missions, secure communication for information and instructions is probably the most essential of all immunities.

Article 29 provides inviolability for the person of diplomats and article 31 establishes their immunity from civil and criminal jurisdiction – with precise exceptions to immunity from civil jurisdiction where previous State practice had varied. Immunity from jurisdiction – like other immunities and privileges – may be waived by the sending State, and article 32 specifies the rules on waiver. Article 34 sets out the tax exemption accorded to diplomats along with detailed exceptions in respect of matters unrelated to their official duties or to ordinary life in the receiving State. Article 36 provides for exemption from customs duties on diplomatic imports throughout a diplomat’s posting.
Articles 37 sets out a complex code for the treatment of families and junior staff – where as pointed out above previous practice was varied and negotiation of a compromise difficult. Article 38 bars from all privileges and immunities, except for immunity for their official acts, nationals and permanent residents of the receiving State. These two provisions in many States drastically reduced the numbers of those persons more likely to bring into disrepute the system of privileges and immunities and were fully in accordance with the basic justification applied throughout the Convention of limiting immunities to what is essential to ensure the efficient performance of the functions of diplomatic missions as representing States.
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