Diplomatic Immunity 19 replies

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Snake Morrison

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21st November 2004

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#1 11 years ago

This is something I didn't know much about until just recently. Apparently the phenomenon known as "diplomatic immunity" has been causing a lot of trouble in the United States (as well as other countries, I'm sure, but the United States is the side I heard this from). Diplomatic immunity is the right or privilege of ambassadors to the United States to not be prosecuted or imprisoned for crimes they commit in the United States. The reason the right was instated in the first place was to prevent diplomats from being imprisoned for political reasons, which is a legitimate cause. The problem, of course, is that this system is easily abused, and many diplomats have been able to practically get away with murder without spending a day in jail.

Here are some links explaining diplomatic immunity and its repercussions in the United States:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomatic_immunity Does a good job of explaining what it is and how it is abused.

http://ask.yahoo.com/20020116.html Just a "What is diplomatic immunity" link.

http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm/dyn/aid/1843/context/cover/ Here's an article displaying one of the more severe cases of abuse, where the immunity was used as a cover for slavery.

So what do you guys think? It's obviously a problem; how should we deal with this?




AlDaja

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5th September 2006

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#2 11 years ago

¢Tis true I’m afraid, but I’ll not get myself worked up over it…Lethal Weapon I pretty much summed up what we “humble” Americans think about this asinine law in that scene when the South African diplomat who had committed atrocities states: “diplomatic immunity”, and Danny Glover’s character rolls his head and place a bullet in his head.




Relander

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8th April 2005

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#3 11 years ago

Diplomatic immunity should be limited so that we would get wrongdoers into justice. There are many cases where diplomatic immunity has been used insolently:

* Time and again, many diplomats haven't paid rents for landlords, maltreated embassy's servants, practice prostitution etc. but due to diplomatic immunity, nothing can be done except send an appeal to host country or for the UN. Some credit card companies will not extend credit to diplomats because they have no legal means of ensuring the money is repaid. Every year the City of New York protests for the Department of State about non-payment of parking tickets by diplomats which are very usual.

* In France, between November 2003 and 2004, there were 2,590 cases of diplomatic cars caught speeding by automatic radars; the People's Republic of China alone had 155 violations. No speeding tickets were issued, no payments were collected.

* In 2004, Hannibal Ghaddafi, the son of Libyan president, got caught by the French police from drunken speeding at Champ-Élysée. Diplomatic immunity saved him.

* In 1996, the Ambassador of Zaire (today the Democratic Republic of Congo) for France, Ramazani Baya drove 120 km/h at 40 km/h area and two children were killed in a drive-over. Due to diplomatic immunity, all he got was a recall to home. It was not until heavy political pressure by president Chirac's and French government's that president Mobutu Sese Seko gave up and sent his diplomat to face the trial in France (the diplomat got 2 years conditional imprisonment and 56 000 French franc fines). Today Ramazani Baya is the foreign minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

* In 2004 French businessman Pierre Falcone had been hunted for years from gun smuggling and slave trade but then Angola nominated him as its representative for UNESCO without any actual mission. UNESCO or Falcone's home country, France can't do anything about the fact. In theory, if some country wants to make a mass-murderer or a terrorist as their diplomatic representative, then they make and face the consequences.

These are just couple of examples about the abuse of diplomatic immunity. The abuses mentioned in first point are frequent and conducted by diplomats around the world, not just from Africa or Asia. Something needs to be done.




Admiral Donutz VIP Member

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9th December 2003

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#4 11 years ago

Relander basically posted my views. :)

Diplomatic immunity is great to protect diplomats when their are doing their job. However any abuse can't be tolerated. The law should be written in such a way so that it is clear what falls under immunity and what not. Covering every possible scenario might be impossible though so in certain cases an objective (international for extreme cases) court should decide wether to apply immunity or not.




Snake Morrison

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21st November 2004

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#5 11 years ago

What court is going to try them, though? A court in the country where the diplomat is located could use political bias to convict a foreigner, while the home country is likely to have political bias in the opposite direction.




Admiral Donutz VIP Member

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#6 11 years ago

The International Court of Justice in The Hague (Den Haag), The Netherlands?




SilentHitz

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24th June 2005

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#7 11 years ago
AlDaja;3386603¢Tis true I’m afraid, but I’ll not get myself worked up over it…Lethal Weapon I pretty much summed up what we “humble” Americans think about this asinine law in that scene when the South African diplomat who had committed atrocities states: “diplomatic immunity”, and Danny Glover’s character rolls his head and place a bullet in his head.

That pretty much sums up my feelings about the subject. " Your diplomatic immunity, has been revoked!":smokin:




emonkies

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17th July 2003

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#8 11 years ago

I would agree, the Hague would be a good place to try them.

As a former Marine I am offended that the US Marine that killed the Romanian rock star was sent home, tried in a court martial, and cleared.

I guess the only consoling fact is that his Military career was pretty much over after that.

Odd that I can find very little on the subject or what became of the Marine after the incident.




AlDaja

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#9 11 years ago

SAVE A TREE!!! Eat A Beaver...:beer: off topic, sorry...but SilentHitz this is funny:lol: :lol: :lol:




Snake Morrison

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21st November 2004

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#10 11 years ago

Anlushac11 As a former Marine I am offended that the US Marine that killed the Romanian rock star was sent home, tried in a court martial, and cleared.

I guess the only consoling fact is that his Military career was pretty much over after that.

Odd that I can find very little on the subject or what became of the Marine after the incident.

Obviously the killing is still wrong either way, but is the military granted diplomatic immunity just like any other ambassador to a country? Or are the rules different for them?




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