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Open Access Abuse of Diplomatic Privileges and the Balance between Immunities and the Duty to Respect the Local Laws and Regulations under the Vienna Conventions: The Recent Indian Experience

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Abuse of Diplomatic Privileges and the Balance between Immunities and the Duty to Respect the Local Laws and Regulations under the Vienna Conventions: The Recent Indian Experience

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The successful adoption of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is hailed as the ‘landmark of the highest significance in the codification of international law’. It represented the first significant codification of any international instrument since the United Nations was established. However, despite the codification of the above rules, which is largely based on the pre-existing customary international law, the scope of diplomatic protection was not free from issues and controversies. In recent times, unfortunately, there is a growing tendency amongst the diplomats to abuse their diplomatic status to commit acts prohibited by law and still claim immunity from legal process. The States-parties also aggravate this situation by selectively interpreting the rules in their favor, ignoring the fact that reciprocity is the basis for the successful functioning of the diplomatic protection. In this connection, this paper addresses the problem of abuse of immunities and privileges and its adverse implications on the balance between immunities and the duty to respect the local laws and regulations, especially with special reference to the recent Indian experience. It explores the two recent Indian diplomatic confrontations, namely, the arrest of Devyani Khobragade and the travel ban on Daniele Mancini. Based on the study, it highlights the need for a well-balanced and equitable enforcement of the Vienna Conventions in the interest of maintenance of cordial diplomatic relations in the international community.

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor, Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, West BengalIndia essares AT gmail.com

10.1163/23525207-12340027
/content/journals/10.1163/23525207-12340027
dcterms_title,pub_keyword,dcterms_description,pub_author
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The successful adoption of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is hailed as the ‘landmark of the highest significance in the codification of international law’. It represented the first significant codification of any international instrument since the United Nations was established. However, despite the codification of the above rules, which is largely based on the pre-existing customary international law, the scope of diplomatic protection was not free from issues and controversies. In recent times, unfortunately, there is a growing tendency amongst the diplomats to abuse their diplomatic status to commit acts prohibited by law and still claim immunity from legal process. The States-parties also aggravate this situation by selectively interpreting the rules in their favor, ignoring the fact that reciprocity is the basis for the successful functioning of the diplomatic protection. In this connection, this paper addresses the problem of abuse of immunities and privileges and its adverse implications on the balance between immunities and the duty to respect the local laws and regulations, especially with special reference to the recent Indian experience. It explores the two recent Indian diplomatic confrontations, namely, the arrest of Devyani Khobragade and the travel ban on Daniele Mancini. Based on the study, it highlights the need for a well-balanced and equitable enforcement of the Vienna Conventions in the interest of maintenance of cordial diplomatic relations in the international community.

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/content/journals/10.1163/23525207-12340027
2017-10-17
2017-11-20

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