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Immunities: Immunities enjoyed by state officials - Essay Example

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Immunities Enjoyed by State Officials from International Criminal Prosecution I. Introduction Statutes on immunity are important in international law. States can invoke the statutes to prevent that arrest of their personnel and the statutes can be instruments for peace to keep negotiations ongoing among countries…
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Download file to see previous pages In addition, the work also examines the implications of the UK State Immunity Act of 1978. II. International Statutes on Immunity and UK’s State Immunity Act of 1978 Some of the more important international statutes on immunity are the 1948 Conventions for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the 1961 United Nations Vienna Convention. In the UK, the State Immunity Act of 1978 is an important statute on immunity of state officials from prosecution. 1. 1948 Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide Article 4 of the 1948 Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide states that persons committing genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, directing and inciting the public to commit genocide, attempting to commit genocide, and have involve themselves in genocide shall be punished, “whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials, or private officials.” It follows from the 1948 UN Convention that state officials are subject to prosecution for genocide. However, the 1948 UN Convention does not say if countries can unilaterally arrest state officials for alleged involvement in genocide. Section 9 of the 1948 Convention prescribed that issues involving the responsibility of a State for genocide should be submitted to the International Court of Justice. 2. The 1961 United Nations Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations The 1961 United Nations Vienna Convention agreed on several points on immunity. First, under article 29, diplomatic agents are considered not liable to any form of arrest or detention and receiving states are even required to treat them with respect and prevent attacks on their persons. Second, under article 31, private residences, including papers and correspondences of diplomatic agents, are required to be protected by receiving states. Third, under article 31, diplomatic agent enjoys immunity from criminal, civil, and administrative jurisdiction except in relation to “private immovable property” in the receiving state. Fourth, under article 32, immunity of diplomatic agents may be waived by the sending state. Fifth, under article 35, diplomatic agents are exempt from all personal services in favour of the receiving states. Fifth, under article 37, members of the technical and administrative staff of a mission, together with their families, enjoy privileges and immunities enjoyed by diplomatic officials but the immunity do not extend to acts outside of their official duties. Sixth, under article 39 point 2, persons enjoying immunities shall enjoy the immunities even when their functions have ended until the moment that they have left the country within a reasonable expiration period even in an armed conflict. Seventh, under article 39 point 3, members of the family of members of a diplomatic mission shall enjoy immunity until they have left the country or until a reasonable expiration period even when the member of the diplomatic mission has died. Eight, under article 40, third States are required to provide to official communication and correspondence the same protection provided by receiving states, including messages in code or cipher. Ninth, under article 41 point 2, members of missions enjoying privileges and immunities shall have the duty to respect the laws and regulations of receiving states and are required not to interfere in the internal affairs ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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