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Diplomatic Immunity: Serious Offences

House of Lords written question – answered on 20th July 2011.

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Photo of Lord Corbett of Castle Vale Lord Corbett of Castle Vale Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether it is the practice to rescind the credentials of those diplomatic staff and their named relatives who claim immunity to avoid arrest and charge on suspected criminal offences.

Photo of Lord Howell of Guildford Lord Howell of Guildford Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (International Energy Policy)

Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961, diplomats are expected to obey the law of the receiving state. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) takes all allegations of illegal activity seriously. When advised of an alleged offence by the police, the FCO always raises the issue with the mission concerned, seeks waivers when requested by police, and for the most serious offences seeks the immediate withdrawal of the diplomat.

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