Diplomatic duplicity: abuse of privileges and immunities by diplomatics in receiving states
Musyoki, Ruth M
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Diplomatic immunity is one of the oldest elements of foreign relations, dating back as far as Ancient Greece and Rome. Today, it is a principle that has been codified into the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations regulating past customs and practices. This Convention has been influenced by past practices and by three theories during different eras namely exterritoriality, personal representation and functional necessity. The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations further provides certain immunities and privileges to different levels of diplomatic officials, their staff and families Each category recerves privileges and immunities, for example immunities enjoyed by the diplomatic mISSIOn include mission correspondence and bags. Diplomatic officials enjoy personal inviolability, immunity from jurisdiction and inviolability of diplomats' residence and property. Although the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations provides remedies against diplomats, staff and families who abuse their position, it gives the impression that it is not enough. The issues examined in this study include the issues that surround the abuse of diplomatic immunities and privileges, the fact that so many diplomatic cases go unpunished under the cover of diplomatic immunities. According to the modem rational actor theory which is used as the theoretical framework in this study, the actor pursues goals which reflect the actor's perceived self interest. The behavior results from conscious choice where, the individual is the basic unit of analysis. The methodology used will be interviews, questionnaires, trusted net sources, case studies, journals and scholarly books by trusted opinion writers and columnists with vast knowledge on the topic. The key question answered in the study is that diplomatic immunity is necessary for the efficient functioning of foreign relations between states. However, limiting measures should be put in place to curb the numerous cases of abuse that continue to soar up. This could be done through some of the measures that have been previously recommended such as amendment of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, use of the functional necessity theory, bilateral treaties, formation of a Permanent International Diplomatic Criminal Court. Other solutions would be limitation of the criminal immunity of diplomats, their staff and families.