Pre-literate societies regarded envoys as sacred. This sacrosanctity may stem
in part from early man's attitude toward strangers and the traditional code of
hospitality. Across the ancient world the immunity accorded to diplomats
In ancient Greece only heralds enjoyed such status. In ancient Greece only
heralds enjoyed such status. In Ancient Rome, their Sacred status was based on
fetial law. In other cultures, a deep- rooted Pragmatism dictated that envoys be
well treated. In the middle ages principals looked to custom, law, religion and
the threat of reciprocal action to safeguard their emissaries.
The early modern period witnessed the establishment of resident embassies and
occasioned a new debate over the immunities of diplomats. In theory (according
to some, such as Gentili and Hotman) ambassadors were not immune, but in
practice they were. Although the idea of extraterritoriality predated Grotius,
he coined the term when he noted that ambassadors should be treated as quasi
extra territorium (as if outside the territory).
Some theorists such as Vattel, based their defense of immunity on the law of
nature but they were increasingly being challenged and undermined by the
positivists school, who based international law on the implicit or explicit
consent of states.In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as resident
embassies, and with them international law expanded across the globe, the number
of envoys and their entourages increased exponentially and occasioned new
debates over the immunity of envoys.
Practice varied widely among states. Generally , however the functionalist view
of the Italian and Belgian schools, which strove to limit privileges, prevailed.
Emergence of Important Conventions:
The Vienna convention of 1961 succeeded in part because it defined what had
become customary practice and because a generally functionalist view prevailed
among the receiving states. It prevailed as well because it avoided
controversial issues such as asylum and only dealt with permanent envoys and
their staffs. The Vienna convention of 1975 failed because no consensus existed
between the receiving states ( generally wealthy and western ) and the sending
states on the status of the personal of IGOs.
Diplomatic immunity is a kind of legal immunity and a policy held between
governments that ensure that diplomats are given safe passage and are considered
not susceptible to lawsuit or prosecution under the host country's laws, but
they can still be expelled.Diplomatic immunity finds its origin from as
international law in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic relations (1961),though
the concept and custom have a much longer history. Diplomatic immunity as an
institution developed to allow for the maintenance of government relations,
including during periods of difficulties and even armed conflict.
Diplomatic Asylum is not established in any International law. It derives its
existence from Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which
states: Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries
asylum from persecution.
The European Convention on Human rights and the International Covenant on civil
and political rights also enshrine this law. The International Court of Justice
has emphasized that in the absence of treaty or customary rules to the Contrary
,a decision by a mission to great asylum involves a derogation from the
sovereignty of the receiving state.
The Organization of American states agreed a convention in 1954.In a broad
sense, according to the UN, it is protection which is granted by a country
outside its own borders, and particularly through its diplomatic missions.
Case of Julian Assange:
Julian Assange, founder of whistle blowing
website wikileaks, is facing extradition from the U.K to Sweden over rape and
sexual assault allegations. Recently, he had spent a night in the Ecuadorian
embassy in London after claiming diplomatic asylum .The Government authorities
said that by spending the night at the embassy he has breached his bail
conditions and faces arrest, but Ecuadorian authorities said they were
studying and analyzing his request.
As per Customs, local police and security forces are not permitted to enter an
embassy unless they have the express permission of the ambassador- even though
the embassy remains the territory of the host nation. This rule was set not in
1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations when it codified a custom in
place for centuries by establishing the ‘ rule of inviolability'. Thus, by being
at the embassy, Assange was on diplomatic territory and beyond the reach of
police. Assange fears if he is sent to Sweden it any then lead to him being sent
to the U.S to face charges over wiki leaks, for which he could face the death
Concept Of Public Diplomacy
In contrast to traditional diplomacy, which involves interactions between
governments, nowadays State's diplomatic efforts are targeted at people as well.
This form of diplomacy which targets the masses is commonly referred to as
Public diplomacy. Public diplomacy is defined as:
an international actors attempt to manage the international environment
through engagement with a foreign public.
The goals of Public diplomacy are:
to inform ,engage and influence global audiences to reach out beyond foreign
governments. Public diplomacy manifests itself in a broad range of programs that
employ people to people contacts, print, broadcast and electronic media and
other means. One important and central aspect of new Public diplomacy is
cultural diplomacy i.e; the use of a country's culture to reach out to foreign
audiences and to project a positive image in the international arena.
To summarize, Public policy can be simply defined as a form of convincing
communication with foreign publics in the context of fulfilling the goals of the
foreign politics. Basically , we are talking about convincing communication,
with which governments are trying through information and persuasion to
influence the opinions and positions of the public abroad or rather in foreign
countries, in order to create a proper pressure on the policy makers and with
this influencing the decisions and activities of their governments in accordance
with their goals and interests.
Public diplomacy is the opposite of secret diplomacy
Public diplomacy is essentially propaganda
Public diplomacy contains relations with domestic as well as with international
Public diplomacy is Public lobbying
Public diplomacy is enactment of events for the media
Public diplomacy is promotion and branding states abroad
Public diplomacy is in function of foreign cultural policy
A modern diplomat can be anyone that identifies himself herself with the
values of a certain country within the international community and the
humanitarian models of solving the open dilemmas of globalization.
Concept Of Economic Diplomacy
Economic diplomacy is a form of diplomacy . Economic diplomacy is the use of the
full spectrum economic tools of a state to achieve its national interests. The
scope of economic diplomacy can encompass the all of the main international
economic activities of a state including but not limited to policy decisions
designed to influence exports, imports ,investments, lending, aid ,free trade
Economic diplomacy is concerned with economic policy issues e.g: Work of
delegations at standard setting organizations such as World Trade Organization
(WTO) Economic diplomats also monitor and report on economic policies in
foreign countries and give the home government advice on how to best influence
them. Economic diplomacy employs economic resources, either as rewards or
sanctions , in pursuit of a particular foreign policy objective. This is
sometimes called economic statecraft
Economic diplomacy is traditionally defined as the decision-making, policy
making and advocating for the sending state's business interests. Economic
diplomacy requires application of technical expertise that analyze the effects
of a country's (receiving state) economic situation on its political climate and
on the sending state's economic interests.
- Commercial diplomacy and NGO's – The use of Political influence and
relationships to promote and/or influence international trade and
Investment, to improve on functioning of markets and/or to address market
failures and to reduce costs and risks of cross border transactions
(including Property rights).
- Structural Policies and Bilateral trade and investment agreements - The
use of economic assets and relationships to increase the cost of conflict
and to strengthen the mutual benefits of cooperation and politically stable
relationships i.e ; to increase economic security.
- International Organizations - Ways to consolidate the right political
climate and international political economic environment to facilitate and
institute these objectives.
These are the important aspects with regard to diplomatic immunity and the
major differences and similarities between public diplomacy and economic