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B477 - Diplomatic Immunity Act 2012 (Second Reading)

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    B477 - Diplomatic Immunity Act 2012 (rehash of B292), TSR Government

    Diplomatic Immunity Act 2012

    A bill to repeal diplomatic immunity except in exceptional circumstances.

    BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-"

    1. Adjusting the terms of diplomatic immunity
    (1) The diplomatic immunity of foreign diplomats and of persons who currently hold it shall be revoked if they commit, are accused of, or charged with an indictable offense.

    2. Exceptions from the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations
    (1)The government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is committed to abide by the Vienna Convention with the following exceptions:
    (a) Contrary to Articles 22 and 30 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic relations, in the event of an indictable offense suspected to be committed by a member of a diplomatic mission, the host country is permitted to enter and search the premises of the diplomatic mission, such as an embassy or private residences of diplomats, as well as seize its documents, property or make arrests.
    (b) Contrary to Articles 29 and 32 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, in the case of an indictable offense suspected to be committed by a member of a diplomatic mission, criminal charges may be brought against the individual without the consent of the country sending the diplomatic mission.
    (c) The family members of diplomats enjoying similar protection are liable under the same conditions as set out in this section.

    3. Enforcement and Punishment
    (1) Any attempt to instill privileges of diplomatic immunity shall be regarded as an obstruction of justice and those involved shall be convicted accordingly.
    (2) In order to allow enforcement of section 2(2), both the Secretary Of State for the Home Office and Secretary Of State For Justice must provide written authorization in addition to a warrant from a County Court

    4. Exemption
    (1) Heads of state are exempt from this act.

    5. Commencement, short title and extent
    (1) This bill shall be known as "The Diplomatic Immunity Revocation Act 2010"
    (2) This Act shall come into force at the end of the period of two months beginning with the day on which it is passed
    (3) This Act extends to all of the United Kingdom

    NotesDiplomatic immunity has often meant that many foreign diplomats and other VIPs with this privilege escaped prosecution.

    What the diplomatic immunity is, its history and background:

    Diplomatic immunity was one of the reasons that the guilty person (or persons) involved in the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher were able to escape – a murder in which no culprit has been found so far despite the crime being committed over 26 years ago.

    Yet more accusations of foreign diplomats breaking the law have been made recently, still being able to escape without a punishment under the umbrella of the diplomatic immunity laws.


    Vienna Convention

    The Vienna Convention is explicit that “without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State”.

    Some countries have altered their specific adherence to the conventions statements so there is precedence for this to occur. Also, diplomats are not outside the jurisdiction of their native states that could, should they wish, prosecute them for their crimes, but choose not to, which should be changed. We should not have to rely on other states to provide a deterrence for their diplomats to harm our citizens while they stay here. Ultimately, the possibility of offenders' career prospects being damaged (which is often the worst they can expect) is simply not enough.

    B292 - http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=1348357

    Changes For Second Reading
    1. Amendments to Sections 1 and 2
    2. Formatting
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    No. Same opinions as last time.
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    Same as last time for me too.
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    No. By jove this is an interesting thread.
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    The purpose of the second reading is mainly to try find an alternative – diplomatically satisfying, yet reasonable. Are there any suggestions?

    I think there should be done something about it regardless of how difficult it is to deal with foreign relations. Tell me one good reason why should they be immune to our law. Incidents involving diplomatic personnel were clearly insufficient to get rid of the immunity so if one great country does not stand up and take the objections, we shall never have this repealed.
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    This is in cessation.
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Updated: August 2, 2012
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