Diplomatic Immunity in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Ms C Reyes and Ms T Suryadi v Mr J Al-Malki and Mrs Al-Malki Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1st Intervener) Kalayaan (2nd Intervener) 4A Law (3rd Intervener)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 05 February 2015

    The central point is that restrictions on the right of access to court which reflect generally recognised rules of public international law cannot in principle be regarded as disproportionate. The court added that this is so even if international practice as to the meaning or scope of an international obligation is inconsistent, provided that the interpretation applied by the state in question is reasonable and falls within currently accepted international standards.

  • Empson v Smith
    • Court of Appeal
    • 26 May 1965

    If MR. Smith had applied before the passing of the Diplomatic Privileges Act, 1964, to have Mrs. Empson's actiondismissed there would have been no answer to his put he delayed until November, 1964. By that date his right to Immunity from civil suit had been curtailed by that Act which applies to the United Kingdom the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961, contained in the Schedule to the Act.

  • Al-Malki and Another v Reyes
    • Supreme Court
    • 18 October 2017

    The text was the result of an intensive process of research, consultation and deliberation extending from 1954 to 1961. Draft articles were submitted to the governments of every member state of the United Nations, and were subject to detailed review and comment. Eighty one states participated in the final conference at Vienna in March and April 1961 which preceded the adoption of the final text.

    The principle of construction according to the ordinary meaning of terms is mandatory ("shall"), but that is not to say that a treaty is to be interpreted in a spirit of pedantic literalism. The language must, as the rule itself insists, be read in its context and in the light of its object and purpose. However, the function of context and purpose in the process of interpretation is to enable the instrument to be read as the parties would have read it.

  • R v Bow Street Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrate, ex parte Pinochet Ugarte (No. 3)
    • House of Lords
    • 24 March 1999

    From this it emerged that the original section 20(1)(a) read "a sovereign or other head of state who is in the United Kingdom at the invitation or with the consent of the Government of the United Kingdom."

  • Fawaz Al Attiya v Hamad Bin-Jassim Bin-Jaber Al Thani (Defendant/Applicant)
    • Queen's Bench Division
    • 15 February 2016

    Leaving the control mechanism for termination of an appointment in the hands of the FCO, if it considers appropriate, avoids the risk of inconsistency and leaves the exercise of the prerogative untrammelled by a rival judicial enquiry. If private commercial activity by a member of the diplomatic staff of a mission has been taking place in breach of Article 42, that may be the subject of waiver by the receiving state.

  • Khurts Bat v The Investigating Judge of the German Federal Court The Government of Mongolia (1st Interested Party) The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (2nd Interested Party)
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 29 September 2011

    It seems to me that the analogy with the inviolability and immunity of accredited members of permanent missions and the importance of consent illuminate resolution of the issue as to whether the FCO letter dated 12 January 2011 is conclusive. The acceptance of accreditation to a permanent diplomatic mission is a matter within the discretion of the Executive, or, more accurately, the Royal Prerogative. As Vallat points out in International Law and the Practitioner, the list is not exhaustive.

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Legislation
  • Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1964
    ......excepted. . (5) Articles 35, 36 and 40 shall be construed as granting. any privilege or immunity which they require to be granted. . (6) The references in Articles 37 and 38 to the extent to. which any privileges and immunities are admitted by ......
  • Consular Relations Act 1968
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1968
    ...... or arising on board certain ships or aircraft; to enable diplomatic agents and consular officers to administer oaths and do notarial acts in ...as granting any privilege or immunity which they require to. be granted. . (9) The reference in Article 57 to ......
  • State Immunity Act 1978
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1978
    ......the same legal relationship or facts as the claim. . (7) The head of a State's diplomatic mission in the United. Kingdom, or the person for the time being performing his. functions, shall be deemed to have authority to submit on behalf. of ......
  • International Criminal Court Act 2001
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2001
    ...... . S-23 . Provisions as to state or diplomatic immunity. 23 Provisions as to state or diplomatic immunity. . 23 ......
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Books & Journal Articles
  • Euro-centric diplomacy: Challenging but manageable1
    • Nbr. 18-2, June 2012
    • European Journal of International Relations
    Drawing on the work of cultural anthropologists Clifford Geertz and Marshall Sahlins, I suggest a layered conceptualization of diplomacy as consisting of myths, sociabilities and practices which al...
    ...... As do all known diplomatic systems, European diplomacy has its roots in the social systems of ... Three mini-case studies (of diplomatic immunity, permanent representation and the institution of dean of the corps ......
  • NOTES OF CASES
    • Nbr. 5-1, July 1941
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... MODERN LAW REVIEW July, 1941 NOTES OF CASES Diplomatic Immunity Since the Diplomatic Privileges Act, 1708, English ......
  • Court of Criminal Appeal
    • Nbr. 5-2, April 1941
    • Journal of Criminal Law, The
    ......The appeal was accordingly dismissed. DIPLOMATIC PRIVILEGE AND THE CRIMINAL LAW R. v. Kent This was an appeal against ... arguments in respect of the relation of diplomatic immunity to the criminal law, a subject upon which there is very little ......
  • Book Reviews : Leadership, by James MacGregor Burns. Harper & Row. £6.95
    • Nbr. 6-4, October 1979
    • International Relations
    ......Satow’s Guide to Diplomatic Practice, 5th edition, Edited by Lord Gore- Booth. Longman ... customs as between sovereign states, that of diplomatic immunity. This area is examined in some detail in Chapters 23 and 24. ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
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