Monday, March 19, 2007

Understanding the Concept of Diplomatic Immunity

When one country sends a diplomat to another, he or she is granted something called diplomatic immunity in the country. There are many misconceptions surrounding this, and it is not something that is widely understood by the public. So read on for a description of what exactly diplomatic immunity is, and what it does for the diplomats in question. You will learn something you didn’t know before, and probably end up being a more informed person. You may even get a chance to show off your knowledge when someone brings up the subject.

Even during times of war, it is very important that countries keep the lines of communication open so that they can continue to attempt to work towards a more peaceful state of existence. With diplomatic immunity, diplomats can continue their correspondences without interruption. It is definitely a good idea for diplomats to have this, but some don’t understand what exactly it is. Does it mean that a diplomat can get away with murder? Well, when you understand that the diplomat is able to be held accountable by his home country, you will begin to understand why it works.

Since the other country is not able to pass judgment on the diplomat in the event of a crime, it is up to his home country to decide whether to bring him back for trial. If a diplomat committed murder, this would certainly be the case. But if he got a ticket for jaywalking, this would be one of those things that probably would be ignored. Since he is in a foreign country that is unfamiliar to him, he cannot be expected to know the laws just like a local would. Therefore you can think of diplomatic immunity as giving the diplomat the benefit of the doubt. If it appears that his intentions were malicious after all, then he will probably end up seeing repercussions.

The policies on diplomatic immunity vary from country to country. For example, in some countries, diplomats are able to receive tickets for traffic or parking violations. In others, they aren’t. If you are interested in finding out the specific polices on every situation in every country, you can find huge books and lists dedicated to bringing all of the information together.

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