International law specifies that 'the jurisdiction of a state within
its territory is complete and absolute'. However, it is identified
that certain categories of persons and bodies acting in the public
interest are entitled to immunities and privileges from the exercise
of the State jurisdiction.
In April 1984 WPC Fletcher, a British policewoman was killed, as a
result of shots being fired from the Libyan Bureau. The incident
created great anger and it was asked by many as was whether the Libyan
diplomats were immune from being tried in the United Kingdom courts
and the abuse of such privilege granted to diplomatic persons. This
also prompted the British Foreign Secretary to review of the Vienna
Conventions, which grants such immunities.
As a result of this the Foreign Affairs Committee had compiled a
report, following this initial report, the United Kingdom Government
produced a White Paper. The main objective cited in the paper was
to reduce the abuse of the diplomatic immunity and the privileges that
came with it.
In response to the detailed recommendations made by the Foreign
Affairs Committee, the Government stressed that any attempts at trying
to make amendments to the Vienna Conventions was fraught with
difficulty, instead the need to apply the Convention in a firm manner
was more realistic. It was further stated that the new policies to
restrict the abuse of immunities would be more appropriate.
The Government's conclusions included, that it was ready to 'scan bags
and to record their weight and size where there are specific grounds
for doing so but as a matter o...
... middle of paper ...
... Dixen, M. Textbook on International Law, BlackdStone Press,
London, 1997, pg 121.
 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961. Hereafter referred
to as the Convention.
 The Abuse of Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities: Recent United
Kingdom Experience (1985) 79 AJL 641.
 CMD.9497,MISC.NO.5 (1985).
 Higgins, R. UK Foreign Affairs Committee Report on the Abuse of
Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges: government response and report
80 A.J.I.L (1986) pg 135.
 Para 53&56 of white Paper CMD.9497, MISC.NO.5 (1985).
 Para 67-71 of white Paper CMD.9497, MISC.NO.5 (1985).
 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961.
Hackworth, Digest of International Law, (1943), Vol.5, Pg 471-472.
 Article 15 of the Vienna Convention.
 Article 31(1) of the Vienna Convention.
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