Dodgy diplomats: how envoys misuse their immunity | US information

A heinous crime is dedicated, witnesses and proof abounds. As quickly because the cuffs come out, the villain flashes his embassy ID and utters two phrases: “Diplomatic immunity.” Realizing their suspect can’t be arrested, the cops can solely grimace. Justice is mocked and the diplomat walks.

This acquainted state of affairs has been a Hollywood staple for many years. IMDb lists 50 titles on its Most Standard Diplomatic Immunity Film and TV Reveals web page, from Deadly Weapon 2 (1989) to NCIS: New Orleans (2018).

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Current headlines, although, are a stark reminder that diplomatic immunity is greater than only a hack plot system: A Teen’s Loss of life Has Put Diplomatic Immunity Below a Highlight (Time), British Fury as an American Cites Diplomatic Immunity (the Economist). Don’t Abuse Diplomatic Immunity (Toledo Blade). That’s how the media coated the story of Harry Dunn, a British teenager who died in August after his motorbike was struck by a Volvo SUV touring on the incorrect aspect of the street in Northamptonshire, England.

The motive force, Anne Sacoolas, claimed diplomatic immunity and fled the UK on a personal jet. The UK overseas secretary later admitted within the Home of Commons that native police had no authority to detain Sacoolas. Public outrage and op-ed vitriol ensued.

Because the spouse of a US intelligence agent who was working in Northamptonshire on the time of the accident, Sacoolas was resistant to prosecution. As said within the Vienna Conference on Diplomatic Relations, overseas envoys like Jonathan Sacoolas “shall not be liable to any type of arrest and detention”. The envoy’s members of the family are additionally shielded from all legal and civil prosecution whereas they’re in-country.

Negotiations between American and British officers are ongoing. Dunn’s mother and father need Sacoolas extradited…

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