Diplomatic Immunity

This is a discussion on Diplomatic Immunity within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; In another thread (that was closed as I was typing up my response), a point was brought up about 3 college students in Miami being ...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: Diplomatic Immunity

  1. #1
    VIP Member
    Array OPFOR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Nomad
    Posts
    4,706

    Diplomatic Immunity

    In another thread (that was closed as I was typing up my response), a point was brought up about 3 college students in Miami being allowed to get away with some pretty uncivil behavior, and the police not wanting to get involved because they believed the students might have "Diplomatic Immunity." I work closely with this subject, and thought I might offer up some info not only to LEOs who may come in contact with protected persons (or those claiming to be protected), but also to anyone else who has seen Lethal Weapon 2 too many times and gone "What the heck is that all about?"

    Here's the post as I originally wrote it:

    Not to get too far off topic, but -
    ExSoldier said
    That was when he reitierated the DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY item....
    This is interesting to me, because it's highly unlikely that these students had diplomatic immunity. Only diplomats (and certain immediate family members) assigned to the Embassy of a foreign nation have immunity, and then only if they are of a certain “rank.”. As this was in Miami, where there is at best a Consulate, the odds are that these were the children of Consular employees. As such, they are afforded NO immunity or inviolability (protection from their persons/possessions/cars/houses being legally searched).

    In any case, they can still be arrested/detained if they are observed committing a crime. Once their Diplomatic status is verified (if they warrant it), they must be released, but they can be declared "Persona Non Grata" and must then leave the country or else face all the same criminal proceedings a non-diplomat would face.

    Here's a link to the regs regarding who is afforded what level of immunity: http://www.state.gov/m/ds/immunities/c9127.htm.

    Also, remember that the immunity is held by the foreign GOVERNMENT, not the individual. This means that the government of the foreign diplomat can take away that immunity at any time and allow the individual to be prosecuted, as was the case with the Georgian diplomat who killed a teenager while driving drunk in D.C. in 1997.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #2
    VIP Member
    Array srfl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    6,870
    Great post....thanks.
    USAF: Loving Our Obscene Amenities Since 1947

  4. #3
    Assistant Administrator
    Array P95Carry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    South West PA
    Posts
    25,482
    Valuable info thx - always somewhat of a grey area to me for ages.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  5. #4
    VIP Member
    Array OPFOR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Nomad
    Posts
    4,706
    No problem. It is a confusing - and often misrepresented - legal situation.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Posts
    2,753
    Thanks for sharing the info, OPFOR. Diplomatic immunity is often presented as the "boogey man" in popular culture, allowing foreigners with a criminal bent to run rampant while law enforcement can just stand by and watch. It helps to have a little perspective.
    Cheers,
    Rod
    "We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Kommie-fornia-stan
    Posts
    7,033
    Didn't think diplomatic immunity could stop bullets when defending myself (CCW relevance)...

  8. #7
    Lead Moderator
    Array rstickle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Laurel, MD
    Posts
    21,635
    Good info. I can remember in DC a lot of the city LEOs were hesitant to stop a car with Diplomatic plates.
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Franklin, VA
    Posts
    5,119
    Quote Originally Posted by rstickle View Post
    Good info. I can remember in DC a lot of the city LEOs were hesitant to stop a car with Diplomatic plates.

    I know I'm drifting way off topic here. In DC a few years ago. Got to observe a dignitary arriving at a restaurant. Protective detail I'm guessing was DSS (Diplomatic Security Service). All black suits. I bet they get headaches dealing with the public and high-class protectees at the same time!
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

  10. #9
    Lead Moderator
    Array rstickle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Laurel, MD
    Posts
    21,635
    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    I know I'm drifting way off topic here. In DC a few years ago. Got to observe a dignitary arriving at a restaurant. Protective detail I'm guessing was DSS (Diplomatic Security Service). All black suits. I bet they get headaches dealing with the public and high-class protectees at the same time!
    In DC you never know, it could have bee any one of a dozen or so organizations from the Secret Service to a federal LEO type detail protecting a Cabinet member.

    If it was a reeeaaaaaaallllllly long time ago I might have resembled that remark!

    And sometimes, if they were "off-the-record" stops they were some of the easier ones. Go figure!
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Franklin, VA
    Posts
    5,119
    I should ad that the principal car was flying a foreign flag.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

  12. #11
    VIP Member
    Array OPFOR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Nomad
    Posts
    4,706
    I should ad that the principal car was flying a foreign flag.
    Still not a certainty that the detail was DSS, but it does increase the chances. DSS protects foreign dignitaries below the head of state level who are determined to need protection - usually Foreign Ministers, Presidents-elect, and the like. They also protect the Royal Family, the Dali Lama, the President of the Palestinian Authority, and others...

    The Secret Service protects foreign heads of state, i.e. Presidents and Prime Ministers.

    The DoD will sometimes provide protection to high-level military dignitaries or Ministers of Defense.

    The US Capitol Police has their own protective unit, but most members of Congress don’t have a dedicated detail under normal circumstances. Same for the Supreme Court. Cabinet Heads often have a detail, but who provides it may vary – obviously, the Secretary of State is DSS, SecDef is DoD, the Adjutant General is FBI, et cetera.

    During the UN General Assembly each year in NYC, DSS has to call in extra bodies from US Marshals, DEA, and just about anyone else with protective duties to help out, simply because of the sheer number of protectees involved in UNGA.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    25,796
    Diplomatic immunity is a get-of-of-jail-free card for diplomats, and about as effective as the swearing-in oath they take for all the good it does to reduce crime. It's absolutely granted in order to afford foreign diplomats and staff some protection of their secrets from casual search and being divulged. But: do the crime ... do the time. IMO, nothing on this earth should get in the way of that.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  14. #13
    VIP Member
    Array OPFOR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Nomad
    Posts
    4,706
    Diplomatic Immunity exists for many more reasons than simply protecting secrets. First and foremost in the US’s view, it is to protect AMERICANS from illegal (under our system) search, detention, arrest, and prosecution. Because legal systems differ so much around the world, one set of standards had to be agreed on to cover everyone. The simplest and most certain system was this - immunity from everything. That way a US Diplomat doesn't get railroaded and imprisoned for something that a) they didn't do or b) that isn't illegal or worthy of prison time in the US.

    As I've stated, though, the sponsoring government can waive the immunity and allow the host government to prosecute, or can prosecute once the diplomat arrives back in their country. Parking tickets aside, Diplomatic Immunity is rarely invoked, and is often waived (or prosecuted back home) in the face of serious crimes. (Also note – diplomats can be issued parking tickets, they simply can’t be prosecuted for not paying them. In the face of the ongoing scandal in NYC with millions of dollars in UN diplomat parking tickets going unpaid, they came up with a plan to withhold US assistance to the offending country in the same amount as the fines owed. It seems to be having some success.)

    DI is an absolute necessity to allow for the free exchange of ideas between nations, and for the conduct of all diplomatic missions abroad. I hate to see a guilty foreign diplomat get away with something, but I’d hate even more to see an innocent American imprisoned (or worse) in a foreign country.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  15. #14
    Lead Moderator
    Array rstickle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Laurel, MD
    Posts
    21,635
    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    I should ad that the principal car was flying a foreign flag.
    That would have been a dead giveaway!
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

  16. #15
    Lead Moderator
    Array rstickle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Laurel, MD
    Posts
    21,635
    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    During the UN General Assembly each year in NYC, DSS has to call in extra bodies from US Marshals, DEA, and just about anyone else with protective duties to help out, simply because of the sheer number of protectees involved in UNGA.
    I got to work a couple of those in the 70's and 80's, and they were amazing in more ways than one, talk about a coordination nightmare!
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Interpol to operate in US with complete immunity
    By PointnClick in forum Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: January 2nd, 2010, 12:01 AM
  2. Why Does Interpol Need Immunity from American Law?
    By InspectorGadget in forum In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: December 28th, 2009, 09:17 PM
  3. Diplomatic Immunity... What a crock!
    By gddyup in forum Off Topic & Humor Discussion
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: July 7th, 2006, 10:42 PM

Search tags for this page

diplomatic immunity card

,

diplomatic imuunity homeland security

Click on a term to search for related topics.