Diplomatic Immunity

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 15th January 2019.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to make people with diplomatic immunity accountable if they are accused of committing serious crimes in the UK.

Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan Minister of State

The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR) requires persons enjoying diplomatic privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State. The VCDR also recognises that the purpose of privileges and immunities is not to benefit individuals but to ensure the efficient performance of the functions of diplomatic missions. The UK Government takes a firm line with diplomats or their family members who are alleged to have committed serious offences. The police and other law enforcement agencies pursue all allegations. In the most serious cases, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office asks for the diplomat or family member in question to be withdrawn from the UK unless he or she cooperates with any investigation under a waiver of immunity granted by their government or international organisation.

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