Consular Relations Act 1968

Publication Date:January 01, 1968


Consular Relations Act 1968

1968 CHAPTER 18

An Act to give effect to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations; to enable effect to be given to other agreements concerning consular relations and to make further provision with respect to consular relations between the United Kingdom and other countries and matters arising in connection therewith; to restrict the jurisdiction of courts with respect to certain matters concerning or arising on board certain ships or aircraft; to enable diplomatic agents and consular officers to administer oaths and do notarial acts in certain cases; and for purposes connected with those matters.

[10th April 1968]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Application of Vienna Convention.

1 Application of Vienna Convention.

(1) Subject to sections 2 and 3(2) of this Act, the provisions set out in Schedule 1 to this Act (being Articles or parts of Articles of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations signed in 1963) shall have the force of law in the United Kingdom and shall for that purpose be construed in accordance with subsections (2) to (11) of this section.

(2) In those provisions—

‘authorities of the receiving State’ shall be construed as including any constable and any person exercising a power of entry to any premises under any enactment (including any enactment of the Parliament of Northern Ireland)

‘grave crime’ shall be construed as meaning any offence punishable (on a first conviction) with imprisonment for a term that may extend to five years or with a more severe sentence

‘Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ shall be construed as meaning the Department of the Secretary of State concerned

‘national of the receiving State’ shall be construed as meaning a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies a person who is a British subject by virtue of section 2, 13 or 16 of the British Nationality Act 1948 or the British Nationality Act 1965 , or a British protected person within the meaning of the said Act of 1948.

(3) The reference in paragraph 2 of Article 17 to any privileges and immunities accorded by customary international law or by international agreements shall be construed as a reference to any privileges and immunities conferred under the International Organisations (Immunities and Privileges) Act 1950 .

(4) The references in Article 44 to matters connected with the exercise of the functions of members of a consular post shall be construed as references to matters connected with the exercise of consular functions by consular officers or consular employees.

(5) For the purposes of Article 45 and that Article as applied by Article 58 a waiver shall be deemed to have been expressed by a State if it has been expressed by the head, or any person for the time being performing the functions of head, of the diplomatic mission of that State or, if there is no such mission, of the consular post concerned.

(6) The exemption granted by Article 48 with respect to any services shall be deemed to except those services from any class of employment which is insurable employment, or in respect of which contributions are required to be paid, under the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Acts 1965 to 1967, the National Insurance Acts 1965 to 1967, any enactment for the time being in force amending any of those Acts, or any enactment of the Parliament of Northern Ireland corresponding to any of those Acts or to any enactment amending it, but not so as to render any person liable to any contribution which he would not be required to pay if those services were not so excepted.

(7) Article 48 shall not affect any agreement made between the United Kingdom and any other State before the commencement of this Act and shall not be taken to prevent the making of any such agreement after the commencement of this Act.

(8) Articles 50, 51, 52, 54, 62 and 67 shall be construed as granting any privilege or immunity which they require to be granted.

(9) The reference in Article 57 to the privileges and immunities provided in Chapter II shall be construed as referring to those provided in Section II of that Chapter.

(10) The reference in Article 70 to the rules of international law concerning diplomatic relations shall be construed as a reference to the provisions of the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964 .

(11) The references in Article 71 to additional privileges and immunities that may be granted by the receiving State or to privileges and immunities so far as these are granted by the receiving State shall be construed as referring to such privileges and immunities as may be specified by Her Majesty by Order in Council.

S-2 Restriction of privileges and immunities.

2 Restriction of privileges and immunities.

2. If it appears to Her Majesty that the privileges and immunities accorded to a consular post of the United Kingdom in a territory of any State, or to persons connected with such a consular post, are less than those conferred by this Act on a consular post of that State or on persons connected with such a consular post, Her Majesty may by Order in Council withdraw such of the privileges and immunities so conferred from all or any of the consular posts of that State or from such persons connected therewith as appears to Her Majesty to be proper.

S-3 Agreements providing for additional or reduced privileges and immunities.

3 Agreements providing for additional or reduced privileges and immunities.

(1) Where any agreement made, whether before or after the passing of this Act, between the United Kingdom and any other State provides for according to consular posts and persons connected with them privileges and immunities not accorded to them by the other provisions of this Act, Her Majesty may by Order in Council exercise, with respect to the consular posts of that State and persons connected with them, the powers specified in Schedule 2 to this Act so far as may be necessary to give effect to that agreement.

(2) Where any agreement made, whether before or after the passing of this Act, between the United Kingdom and any other State provides for according to consular posts and persons connected with them some but not all of the privileges and immunities accorded to them by the other provisions of this Act, Her Majesty may by Order in Council provide for excluding, with respect to consular posts of that State and persons connected with them, any of those privileges and immunities which are not provided for by the agreement.

S-4 Civil jurisdiction concerning service on board ship or aircraft.

4 Civil jurisdiction concerning service on board ship or aircraft.

4. Her Majesty may by Order in Council make provision for excluding or limiting the jurisdiction of any court in the United Kingdom to entertain proceedings relating to the remuneration or any contract of service of the master or commander or a member of the crew of any ship or aircraft belonging to a State specified in the Order, except where a consular officer of that State has been notified of the intention to invoke the jurisdiction of that court and has not objected within such time as may be specified by or under the Order.

S-5 Jurisdiction over offences committed on board ship.

5 Jurisdiction over offences committed on board ship.

(1) Her Majesty may by Order in Council make provision for securing that, where an offence is alleged to have been committed on board any ship by the master or a member of the crew and the ship belongs to a State specified in the Order, proceedings for the offence instituted otherwise than at the request or with the consent of a consular officer of that State are not entertained by any court in the United Kingdom, unless—

(a ) the offence is alleged to have been committed by or against a person who is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies or is otherwise comprised in the definition of ‘national of the receiving State’ in section 1(2) of this Act, or against a person other than the master or a member of the crew; or

(b ) the offence is one involving the tranquillity or safety of a port, or the law relating to safety of life at sea, public health, oil pollution, wireless telegraphy, immigration or customs or is of any other description specified in the Order; or

(c ) the offence is one comprised in the definition of ‘grave crime’ in section 1(2) of this Act.

(2) For the purposes of this section, an offence which affects the property of any person shall be deemed to have been committed against him.

(3) For the purposes of this section, any document purporting to be signed by or on behalf of a consular officer and stating that he has requested or consented to the institution of any proceedings shall be sufficient proof of that fact unless the contrary is shown.

S-6 Detention on board ship for disciplinary offences.

6 Detention on board ship for disciplinary offences.

6. Her Majesty may by Order in Council designate any State for the purposes of this...

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