USA: Diplomatic Immunity

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Chris Matheson Chris Matheson Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many requests by the US Administration were (a) made to and (b) granted by HM Embassy Washington DC for diplomatic immunity to be waived for (i) motoring and (ii) other offences by UK personnel and their families covered by diplomatic immunity in each of the last five years for which information is available.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State

The diplomatic immunity of United Kingdom staff or their family members has been waived, in response to the below requests from the US Administration, over the last five years, in relation to motoring and other offences:

Year

Driving offences

Other offences

2019

2

2018

1

2017

2016

1

2015

1

Diplomatic immunity is governed by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations or the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and in agreement with the host nation in accordance with its laws and regulations.

All British diplomatic staff are expected to respect and comply with local laws. HMG's policy is that immunity should not be unreasonably maintained and may only be claimed in exceptional circumstances, such as to protect staff from hostile action from host authorities. We expect the highest standard of conduct from British civil servants, and their families, when serving overseas and staff are expected to answer to any criminal or civil charge brought against them.

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