Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What is Vienna Convention on Diplomatic 

Relations ?

The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 is an international treaty, accepted by 189 states till date, that defines a guideline for diplomatic relations between numerous independent countries. It specifies the privileges of a diplomatic mission that enable the diplomats to perform their diplomatic functions without the fear of any legal trouble or harassment from the host country. This forms the legal basis for the diplomatic immunity. The articles of the Vienna Convention are considered as a cornerstone for modern international relations.
According to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 (VCDR), diplomatic immunity is granted to only certain individuals depending on their rank and the amount of immunity they require to carry out their official duties without legal harassment from the host nation. Diplomatic immunity allows foreign representatives to work in host countries without fully understanding the customs of that country. However, diplomats are expected to respect and follow the laws and regulations of their host countries. 

Article 31 of the Convention exempts diplomatic agents from the civil and criminal jurisdictions of host states, except for cases in which a diplomatic agent 

(1) is involved in a dispute over personal real property, .
(2) has an action involving private estate matters or 
(3) is in a dispute arising from commercial or professional business outside the scope of official functions. 

What is Vienna Convention on Consular 

Relations ?

The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 (VCCR) is an international treaty that defines the guidelines for consular relations between the independent countries. A consul normally operates out of an embassy in a different country, and performs two functions: 

(1) protecting the interests of the country and the countrymen of the consul, and 
(2) furthering the commercial and economic relations between the two countries.

 While a consul is not a diplomat, they work out of the same premises, and under this treaty they are afforded most of the same privileges, including a variation of diplomatic immunity called consular immunity. This treaty has been accepted by 176 countries.

Consular immunity offers protections similar to the diplomatic immunity, but these protections are not as extensive, given the functional differences between consular and diplomatic officers. For example, consular officers are not given absolute immunity from a host country’s criminal jurisdiction (they may be tried for certain local crimes upon action by a local court) and are immune from local jurisdiction only in cases directly relating to their consular functions.


Some terms related to Diplomacy !!!

Used in diplomacy to mean the giving of refuge in two senses: first, within the extraterritorial grounds of an embassy (not generally done in American embassies); and second, when one states allows someone to live within its borders, out of reach of the authority of a second state from which the person seeks protection.

An official who has been named to be an ambassador, but who has not yet taken his oath of office.

A term often used to denote the wife of an ambassador, and misused to denote a woman chief of mission. The latter is an ambassador, not an ambassadress.

International agreements originally thought to be for lesser subjects than covered by treaties , but now really treaties by a different name.

Bout de Papier
A very informal means of conveying written information; more informal than an aide mémoire or a memorandum.

An office established by one state in an important city of another state for the purpose of supporting and protecting its citizens traveling or residing there. In addition, these offices are charges with performing other important administrative duties such as issuing visas (where this is required) to host country nationals wishing to travel to the country the consulate represents. All consulates, whether located in the capital city or in other communities, are administratively under the ambassador and the embassy. In addition to carrying out their consular duties, they often serve as branch offices for the embassy, supporting, for example, the latter’s political and economic responsibilities. Consulates are expected to play a particularly significant role in connection with the promotion of their own country’s exports and other commercial activities. Officers performing consular duties are known as consuls or, if more junior, vice consuls. The chief of the consulate is known as the consul.

Consular Agent 
An official doing consular work for a nation in a locality where it does not maintain a regular consulate. This official is usually a national of his host state, and his work is usually part-time.

A treaty to which the Pope is a party.

Diplomatic Illness 
The practice of feigning illness to avoid participation in a diplomatic event of one kind or another and at the same time to avoid giving formal offense. "Diplomatic deafness" is a somewhat related concept whereby older diplomats allegedly turn this infirmity to advantage by not hearing what they prefer not to hear.

The residence of an ambassador. In recent years, also inaccurately used to denote the building which contains the offices of the ambassador and other key members of his staff. The proper term for the latter, as noted above, is the "chancery". As also noted above, confusion is nowadays avoided through the practice of using the two terms "embassy residence" and "embassy office".

Nowadays used to refer to any senior diplomat. Earlier it had a specific hierarchical connotation, being used to designate diplomatic agents of less than the highest rank.

Ex Gracia 
Something which is done as a gesture of good will and not on the basis of an accepted legal obligation.

Good Offices 
An effort by a third state, or by an individual or an international body, designed to stimulate the processes of settlement in a dispute between two other states.

High Commission
A diplomatic mission of one Commonwealth country in another. For example, Canada has a High Commission in Canberra, Australia.

High Commissioner
The chief of a high commission. Similar to what an ambassador is to an embassy.

Letters of Recall 
Also presented by a new ambassador, along with his letter of credence, to the chief of state of his host country during his credentials-presentation ceremony. It is the official document which formally recalls his predecessor.

A generic term for embassy. Mission also describes the entirety of official representation in a given foreign country which functions under the supervision of the Ambassador, including civilian and military personnel.

The establishment of improved relations.

Vice Consul
A junior ranking consular officer.

Written authority to enter a country for either temporary or permanent residence, depending on its wording.

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