Home Diplomatic Immunity An Exam Question on Diplomatic and Consular Law

An Exam Question on Diplomatic and Consular Law

Published on October 7, 2018        Author: 
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Kemal, a journalist and a national of the state of Azovia, is living in the state of Tiberia. One day he goes to the Azovian consulate in Kostantiniyye, a major Tiberian city, in order to obtain a divorce certificate, which he needs to marry his current fiancee. Kemal never emerges from the consulate. A few days later, Tiberian authorities publicly claim that Kemal was murdered by Azovian agents while he was in the consulate. The Azovian government denies these allegations. Assuming that the facts asserted by Tiberia are true, answer the following questions (in doing so, bear in mind that Azovia and Tiberia are both parties to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations; Tiberia is additionally a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Azovia is not):

(1) Is Azovia responsible for an internationally wrongful act or acts, and if so, which one?

(2) If Tiberia had obtained reliable intelligence that Kemal was about to be murdered in the Azovian consulate in Kostantiniyye, would it have been (i) obliged to or (ii) permitted under international law to forcibly enter the premises of the consulate in order to save Kemal’s life?

(3) Would your answer to question (2) be any different if Kemal was murdered/about to be murdered in the Azovian embassy to Tiberia, rather than in its consulate?

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2 Responses

  1. Luis Jardon

    1) Yes. Azovia would had breached Art 41 of VCDR which elevates breaches of domestic law to international wrongful acts. (Eg. Comitting murder would entail to not respecting the laws and regulations of the receiving State).

    2) There would not be an obligation to enter ther premises, but one of preventing the crime. However, consular premises’ inviolability is functional under Article 31 VCCR. Thus Tiberian authorithies could have entered arguing the murder was or could have been committed in a section of the consular post not “used exclusively for the purpose of the work of the consular post.”

    3) Yes. Unlike consular premises, Art 22 of the VCDR provides for the absolute inviolability of diplomatic premises.

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