B856 - Diplomatic Immunity (Revocation) Bill 2015 Watch

This discussion is closed.
Birchington
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#1
B856 - Diplomatic Immunity (Revocation) Bill 2015, TSR Conservative and Unionist Party
A

B I L L

TO

Revoke the diplomatic immunity, excluding heads of states.

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 Revocation of the diplomatic immunity
The diplomatic immunity protecting members of foreign diplomatic missions or any other persons under the same protection is to be revoked if they—
(a) commit, are accused of, or are charged with an indictable offence, or
(b) use their current status to aid such persons in order to avoid prosecution.

2 Exceptions from the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is committed to abide by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations with the following exceptions—
(a) Contrary to Articles 22 and 30, in the event of an indictable offense suspected to have been 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 their documents, property, or make arrests.
(b) Contrary to Articles 29 and 32, in the case of an indictable offense suspected to have been 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 defined in this section.

3 Enforcement
(1) Any attempt to bypass or otherwise obstruct the revocation of the diplomatic immunity is to be regarded as perverting the course of justice and prosecuted.
(2) Search warrants covering the premises of diplomatic missions must be approved by the Secretary of State for Justice.

4 Exemption
Heads of state are exempt from this Act.

5 Short title and extent
(1) This Act may be cited as the Diplomatic Immunity Act 2015.
(2) This Act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.

Notes
Spoiler:
Show
Diplomatic immunity has been used to allow foreign diplomats and other VIPs enjoying this privilege escape prosecution.

For example, it was one of the reasons allowing the person (or persons) involved in the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher 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 but they were all able to escape without a punishment under the protection of the diplomatic immunity.

Source 1 (Guardian)
Source 2 (Independent)

The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations explicitly states 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” – this basic principle is being violated without any serious sanctions and the receiving countries basically can't do anything about it.

The perpetrators can be punished by their sending countries but they often choose not to. We should not have to rely on other states to provide deterrence for their diplomats to prevent them from harming our citizens or disrespecting the laws of this country during their stay. The possibility of having their career prospects damaged (which is often the worst they can expect) is simply not enough.

Note that this is an amended version of B477 which had passed but was then repealed during the next term.
0
TheDefiniteArticle
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#2
Report 3 years ago
#2
How is the grant of diplomatic immunity currently defined?
0
cranbrook_aspie
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#3
Report 3 years ago
#3
Aye, if you commit a crime in this country you should be tried for it.
0
Saracen's Fez
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#4
Report 3 years ago
#4
Aye, and make sure they pay the Congestion Charge at the same time.
1
Aph
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#5
Report 3 years ago
#5
This would've stopped the leaks of American and British spying secrets so no. If a suspected criminal has been granted asylum by another country we should let that have that person. Also this could lead to poorer realations.

I agree for murder, rape or GBH ect. But not larsony which didn't involve weapons.
0
Jammy Duel
  • Political Ambassador
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#6
Report 3 years ago
#6
(Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
How is the grant of diplomatic immunity currently defined?
http://legal.un.org/ilc/texts/instru...s/9_1_1961.pdf

Although this is a basic overview of the key elements:
  • Article 9. The host nation at any time and for any reason can declare a particular member of the diplomatic staff to be persona non grata. The sending state must recall this person within a reasonable period of time, or otherwise this person may lose their diplomatic immunity.
  • Article 22. The premises of a diplomatic mission, such as an embassy, are inviolate and must not be entered by the host country except by permission of the head of the mission. Furthermore, the host country must protect the mission from intrusion or damage. The host country must never search the premises, nor seize its documents or property. Article 30 extends this provision to the private residence of the diplomats.
  • Article 27. The host country must permit and protect free communication between the diplomats of the mission and their home country. A diplomatic bag must never be opened even on suspicion of abuse. A diplomatic courier must never be arrested or detained.
  • Article 29. Diplomats must not be liable to any form of arrest or detention. They are immune from civil or criminal prosecution, though the sending country may waive this right under Article 32. Under Article 34, they are exempt from most taxes, and under Article 36 they are exempt from most customs duties.
  • Article 31.1c Actions not covered by diplomatic immunity: professional activity outside diplomat's official functions.
  • Article 37. The family members of a diplomat that are living in the host country enjoy most of the same protections as the diplomats themselves.
1
DarrenBCFC
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#7
Report 3 years ago
#7
(Original post by Aph)
This would've stopped the leaks of American and British spying secrets so no. If a suspected criminal has been granted asylum by another country we should let that have that person. Also this could lead to poorer realations.

I agree for murder, rape or GBH ect. But not larsony which didn't involve weapons.
Stick them in the slammer for theft or swearing they are offences just the same
0
JoeL1994
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#8
Report 3 years ago
#8
A very good bill!
0
Wellzi
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#9
Report 3 years ago
#9
I would say aye, but you have incorrectly spelled 'offence' as 'offense', and I have OCD when it comes to grammar. Can this be cleared up please?
0
Jammy Duel
  • Political Ambassador
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#10
Report 3 years ago
#10
I would say I am fearful of the diplomatic implications of this and as such will at least abstain and might even go so far as to be one of those bills where I have to vote against the party (I have thought a bit more about it since voting internally)
0
Aph
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#11
Report 3 years ago
#11
(Original post by DarrenBCFC)
Stick them in the slammer for theft or swearing they are offences just the same
Minor offences aren't worth causing a diplomatic incident over
0
localblackguy
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#12
Report 3 years ago
#12
Abstain as I do feel that it should be limited to the more serious crimes.
0
Actaeon
Badges: 11
#13
Report 3 years ago
#13
Nay, I wouldn't support the unilateral breaking of any international convention or treaty by Britain. It would damage our reputation on the world stage, and opens up the possibility that any country could easily break international agreements as and when it suits them, destroying their efficacy. This is the sort of issue that needs to discussed by all signatories to the treaty at the UN, and isn't something any single government should act in complete isolation on.

Moreover, if other countries were to follow our lead, it would endanger British nationals working in embassies abroad. If a government were to want rid of a particular diplomat, they could legally find or plant false charges, arrest them, and then either imprison or execute them. It also means none of our embassies could hold any important or sensitive information, given all their documents and property could be seized without warning at any time.
2
Krollo
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#14
Report 3 years ago
#14
I appreciate that this will be excellent from the perspective of our isles. However, I'm a little concerned about the risks posed to our diplomats if other nations retaliate. I'm somewhere between aye and abstain... I shall have to decide later.

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
Rakas21
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#15
Report 3 years ago
#15
Aye.
0
United1892
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#16
Report 3 years ago
#16
Aye, but I dont think heads of state should be exempt.
0
Aph
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#17
Report 3 years ago
#17
(Original post by United1892)
Aye, but I dont think heads of state should be exempt.
Could you imagine us trying to arrest Barack Obama?
0
United1892
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#18
Report 3 years ago
#18
(Original post by Aph)
Could you imagine us trying to arrest Barack Obama?
If he committed a crime then he should be. Nobody should be above the law.
0
Aph
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#19
Report 3 years ago
#19
(Original post by United1892)
If he committed a crime then he should be. Nobody should be above the law.
But what you don't understand is that this gives the police the power to search him if he is just suspected. Also you have to be pragmatic here. Is it really worth causing war over something like larsony? Your heart says no one should be above the law and that is a noble position, but is war and hardship of people worth it? There are just too many issues with this bill and it might be the emotionally correct thing to do but you have to be pragmatic and untilitarian here. It isn't worth it.
0
United1892
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#20
Report 3 years ago
#20
(Original post by Aph)
But what you don't understand is that this gives the police the power to search him if he is just suspected. Also you have to be pragmatic here. Is it really worth causing war over something like larsony? Your heart says no one should be above the law and that is a noble position, but is war and hardship of people worth it? There are just too many issues with this bill and it might be the emotionally correct thing to do but you have to be pragmatic and untilitarian here. It isn't worth it.
Maybe a limit on the crimes which it is for is neccesary but if he's murdered someone he should be arrested.
0
X
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Are you tempted to change your firm university choice on A-level results day?

Yes, I'll try and go to a uni higher up the league tables (147)
17.65%
Yes, there is a uni that I prefer and I'll fit in better (74)
8.88%
No I am happy with my course choice (491)
58.94%
I'm using Clearing when I have my exam results (121)
14.53%

Watched Threads

View All