Abstract immunity - Abstract The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations may have clearly spelt out the existing law with regard to diplomatic

Abstract immunity - Abstract The Vienna Convention on...

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AbstractThe Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations may have clearly spelt out the existing law with regard to diplomatic practices. However, upon a deeper probe into the concept of diplomatic immunity, one can conclude that the position is rather unsettled. Controversy essentially revolves around those areas where the abuse of diplomatic immunity has causeddirect and proportional harm to individual & collective human rights. Firstly, this paper seeksto precisely chart out notions of diplomatic immunity. In the second half, the author attempts to identify the areas of conflict between diplomatic immunities and human rights. Finally, an attempt is made to arrive at a problem-solving mechanism.I. IntroductionDiplomacy, as a method of communication between various parties, is believed to be one of the few human occupations without which mankind will never be able to live. Hence, rules regulating the conduct of diplomatic relations constitute one of the earliest expressions of international law. To a large extent, the variety of means adopted by States to conduct diplomacy with each other is governed by a special body of diplomatic law. Thus, the adoption of The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations in 1961 marked the codification and progressive development from ancient practices, customs and treaties governing diplomatic law.The Vienna Convention is plainly declaratory of existing rules and practices with respect to diplomatic immunities and privileges, which are reciprocally accorded by the States without discrimination. Special privileges for diplomatic personnel grew up partly as a consequence of sovereign immunity, independence and equality of states and partly as an essential requirement of the international system. The prime motive behind extending immunities andprivileges by States to their diplomatic representatives is to ensure independence in the performance of their official functions. Moreover, due to the reason that diplomatic personnel represent their States in negotiations and consultations with international organizations, it is more so an issue of practical convenience. The true meaning of the word ‘immunity’ in this context must be clearly understood. Immunity means immunity from the exercise of jurisdiction, not immunity from jurisdiction itself. Diplomats are not above the lawin force in the receiving State and the State is not precluded from enacting legislation applicable to all persons within its territorial jurisdiction.Immunities from jurisdiction are especially difficult to justify in light of the growing role and status of international human rights. This is because an obligation towards safeguarding the basic human rights of its citizens is also a sensitive issue which ought not to be tampered with. In the event of a greater degree of abuse of immunities taking place resulting in direct collision with human rights, a problem solving mechanism needs to be evolved. This
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