Diplomatic Immunity--An Unemotional Primer and Contextual Reminder

Given the morphing of the recent thread originally regarding the diplomatic immunity issue involved in a fatal car-motorcycle crash to somewhat of a general bash America fest (where the usual sweeping and shouty generalizations are made and repeated about how "bad" America and all 300+ million Americans are and even expanding for example to take an ad hominem swipe--by a Mod no less-- at an American ARRSE poster saying he wants kids to die rather than give up his guns etc. etc.), I thought it might be helpful to post in an unemotional way the basics on the law regarding diplomatic immunity.

Perhaps, though I will not hold my breath, it can assist some ARRSERs who take the time from frothing and keyboard mashing to actually see what the laws on the subject actually are---regardless how any of us may "feel" about them.

Also, for the record and to hopefully avoid any crayoning here about the other thread, I unreservedly condemn the actions of the American woman and think she should be returned to the UK to allow the justice system to run its course.

Here is a primer by the UK Crown Prosecution Service for your edification:


Also here is an older article (excuse the DM offering but perhaps the photo of the Russian girl will soothe ruffled feathers at the source and I of course welcome anyone who can find a better source for the events described or that refutes the facts asserted in the article) about a British diplomat having a car accident involving a russian pedestrian where diplomatic immunity was apparently asserted.

And here is a thread in ARRSE about it. Even discounting for the fact KGB_Resident posted it and its relative brevity, it is telling (and may I say, "ironic"), especially in the context of the recent hyperbolic thread about the American woman and diplomatic immunity, that no ARRSER appears to post outrage that the UK apparently did not waive diplomatic immunity of its man in Moscow.


 

LJONESY

On ROPS
On ROPs
The home team is always right JJ, which is a universial truth no matter whom one is dealing with.
 
The home team is always right JJ, which is a universial truth no matter whom one is dealing with.
Understood. As I have said before, I readily admit being a tilter of windmills for a long time.
 

Nemesis44UK

LE
Book Reviewer
The home team is always right JJ, which is a universial truth no matter whom one is dealing with.
Whilst I don't condone the frothing and overgeneralisation that all 300 million Americans are evil because - duh - obviously they're not. Your early posts on the matter seemed to contain an unhealthy dose of victim blaming, which may have caused umbrage.

I think it's a little unfair to have made your comment about the home team always being right.

Edited for clarification.
 
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As i understand it the idea is that D I was to prevent and protect from hostile SIS, not to prevent the rule of law in a long standing friendly nation.
 

LJONESY

On ROPS
On ROPs
Whilst I don't condone the frothing and overgeneralisation that all 300 million Americans are evil because - duh - obviously they're not. Your early posts on the matter seemed to contain an unhealthy dose of victim blaming, which may have caused umbrage.

I think it's a little unfair to have made your comment about the home team always being right.

Edited for clarification.
My point was quite simply that the American was getting all the blame, without all the details from the crash being made public. That the biker might have also played a role in his own demise, and that in many the hard part can be determining who was the most at fault.

But if you don't believe in natural bias, I am sorry. Everybody is guilty of it and that is a fact one has to take into consideration when dealing with things foreign.
 

Nemesis44UK

LE
Book Reviewer
Given the morphing of the recent thread originally regarding the diplomatic immunity issue involved in a fatal car-motorcycle crash to somewhat of a general bash America fest (where the usual sweeping and shouty generalizations are made and repeated about how "bad" America and all 300+ million Americans are and even expanding for example to take an ad hominem swipe--by a Mod no less-- at an American ARRSE poster saying he wants kids to die rather than give up his guns etc. etc.), I thought it might be helpful to post in an unemotional way the basics on the law regarding diplomatic immunity.

Perhaps, though I will not hold my breath, it can assist some ARRSERs who take the time from frothing and keyboard mashing to actually see what the laws on the subject actually are---regardless how any of us may "feel" about them.

Also, for the record and to hopefully avoid any crayoning here about the other thread, I unreservedly condemn the actions of the American woman and think she should be returned to the UK to allow the justice system to run its course.

Here is a primer by the UK Crown Prosecution Service for your edification:


Also here is an older article (excuse the DM offering but perhaps the photo of the Russian girl will soothe ruffled feathers at the source and I of course welcome anyone who can find a better source for the events described or that refutes the facts asserted in the article) about a British diplomat having a car accident involving a russian pedestrian where diplomatic immunity was apparently asserted.

And here is a thread in ARRSE about it. Even discounting for the fact KGB_Resident posted it and its relative brevity, it is telling (and may I say, "ironic"), especially in the context of the recent hyperbolic thread about the American woman and diplomatic immunity, that no ARRSER appears to post outrage that the UK apparently did not waive diplomatic immunity of its man in Moscow.


With respect, @LJONESY commenting on the deceased lad as Fender Ketchup was pretty bad form, as was the victim blaming.

However, if the reports are accurate and she is a spook, I would posit that she's subject to different laws than us commoners and all the outrage in the world isn't going to bring results. I suspect that after a while, a State Department representative may get in touch with the family and bring the matter to a quiet close.
 
I think the key point is that only a short while ago a UK diplomat's immunity was waived so they could be prosecuted in the US, while apparently this will not be reciprocated.
 

Oyibo

LE
Snipped

And here is a thread in ARRSE about it. Even discounting for the fact KGB_Resident posted it and its relative brevity, it is telling (and may I say, "ironic"), especially in the context of the recent hyperbolic thread about the American woman and diplomatic immunity, that no ARRSER appears to post outrage that the UK apparently did not waive diplomatic immunity of its man in Moscow.
I think it rather unfair to compare (imperfect) British justice with that of Russia.

Interesting link to the CPS though - especially the procedural guidance. It would appear that every procedure has been followed.

As an aside, I think very few on this forum are anti-US. Some posts may appear so, but I believe they are intended more as debate of a subject rather than arguments against a country and a nationality as a whole.
 

LJONESY

On ROPS
On ROPs
With respect, @LJONESY commenting on the deceased lad as Fender Ketchup was pretty bad form, as was the victim blaming.

However, if the reports are accurate and she is a spook, I would posit that she's subject to different laws than us commoners and all the outrage in the world isn't going to bring results. I suspect that after a while, a State Department representative may get in touch with the family and bring the matter to a quiet close.
Which is no more out of line then things like "Happy Sky Scraper day"... Home team bias. When it is your own getting the bad news it is a terrible thing. When it is other's , the graveyard humour flows like wine.
 
I ref
As i understand it the idea is that D I was to prevent and protect from hostile SIS, not to prevent the rule of law in a long standing friendly nation.
I refer merely to the linked information at the CPS. I heartily recommend all reading the thread to go there rather than "here" on ARRSE for the whys, wherefores, chapter and verse of the doctrine. Doing the latter has obviously ended quite badly and has made the "truth" even more obscured in rhetoric, much of it wholly irrelevant to diplomatic immunity.
 

endure

GCM
My point was quite simply that the American was getting all the blame, without all the details from the crash being made public. That the biker might have also played a role in his own demise, and that in many the hard part can be determining who was the most at fault.

But if you don't believe in natural bias, I am sorry. Everybody is guilty of it and that is a fact one has to take into consideration when dealing with things foreign.

"Police say the 42-year-old had driven 400 yards down the wrong side of the road after pulling out of the base before she smashed into Harry, who was on a motorcycle. "

According to more than one news report she pulled out of the gate and drove on the wrong side of the road for quite a distance.

One example:

 

Nemesis44UK

LE
Book Reviewer
My point was quite simply that the American was getting all the blame, without all the details from the crash being made public. That the biker might have also played a role in his own demise, and that in many the hard part can be determining who was the most at fault.

But if you don't believe in natural bias, I am sorry. Everybody is guilty of it and that is a fact one has to take into consideration when dealing with things foreign.
I do believe in natural bias, as you are biased with the American lady. I hope that a coroner's inquest will be public and the facts of the case are released and the truth will out.

Of the few facts released thus far, the American lady was on the wrong side of the road. Therefore, by the limited amount of data available, people are drawing an assumption that she was in the wrong. Occam's razor and all that.

It could be that the lad was doing wheelies whilst drunk and the American lady swerved out of his way. Who knows for sure at this stage?
 

Nemesis44UK

LE
Book Reviewer
Which is no more out of line then things like "Happy Sky Scraper day"... Home team bias. When it is your own getting the bad news it is a terrible thing. When it is other's , the graveyard humour flows like wine.
Touche.

Having said that, we are all different and I wouldn't have started the Skyscraper thread. On the other hand, there were plenty of Grenfell jokes going around, but importantly, lots of sympathy and revulsion about what had happened as well.
 

LJONESY

On ROPS
On ROPs
I do believe in natural bias, as you are biased with the American lady. I hope that a coroner's inquest will be public and the facts of the case are released and the truth will out.

Of the few facts released thus far, the American lady was on the wrong side of the road. Therefore, by the limited amount of data available, people are drawing an assumption that she was in the wrong. Occam's razor and all that.

It could be that the lad was doing wheelies whilst drunk and the American lady swerved out of his way. Who knows for sure at this stage?
I am not biased toward the broad, she screwed up. But 400 yards is not the same thing as driving down the road drunk for 5 miles, and failing to maintain her lane. She was driving straight up American after being in country for three weeks. I would not trust myself to drive on your roads, so I would find alternate transportation. Because when you are tired you revert to years of experience and muscle memory. We have foreigners here that drive on the wrong side of the road from time to time, or screw up 4 way stops.
 
I think it rather unfair to compare (imperfect) British justice with that of Russia.

Interesting link to the CPS though - especially the procedural guidance. It would appear that every procedure has been followed.

As an aside, I think very few on this forum are anti-US. Some posts may appear so, but I believe they are intended more as debate of a subject rather than arguments against a country and a nationality as a whole.
My dear fellow, I just read a post from an obviously learned ARRSER on another current thread making a direct and coequal comparison to the US and Russian legal systems. Would not the same apply to the UK in this context? Somewhat tangentially I would also add that the "vigilante" tone and language of some of the posts in the other thread could even cause one who didn't know better, to wonder if there is that much difference between the UK and some "lesser" nation in terms the way justice is or should be carried out. What am I to believe? (Tongue firmly in cheek).

Further, I was not making a direct comparison regarding the UK and Russia. Indeed, the title, thrust and first primary link of this thread have to do with the doctrine of diplomatic immunity, not the moral/legal relativity between nation states.

The reference to the Russian case was secondary and only to make the point of perspective.

As to your last and appreciated conciliatory comments, I think the number and apparent venomous content and tone of posts of "many" other ARRSERs give me pause in accepting your characterization.

I must say, having been away for a while, the difference is stark to me from my previous experience where jibes about America/Americans were frequent but in apparent good fun and the occasional substantive criticism was usually well-intended and appropriately constrained in terms of generalizing and nastiness.

Upon my return, however, the difference is the viciousness in tone and sweeping over-generalizations of the America/American slagging as well as the context of many of these posts that is clearly not to engender or further rational discussion but to "score points" or inflict damage in the nature of snarky ad hominems and inflammatory accusations.
 
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WALT

War Hero
Poor old Jonesy. You lashed out at some of the main things that the Brits take to heart. We love to champion the underdog, and you don't get much more underdog than dead. It is irrelevant how he was driving as if she wasn't on the wrong side of the road (apparently) he would not have been killed.
He, sadly, can no longer defend himself, so unsubstantiated criticism is unthinkable of to a native Brit.
She however is quite capable of defending herself. If she hadn't absconded, despite saying she wouldn't.
The whole episode appears to us as "bad form."
Trying to defend anything here is really flogging a dead horse.
This is why you've outraged a large section of Arrse. Take it on the chin and move on. It'll blow over in a while.
 
As the OP, may I politely ask that all posts try to focus on the primary subject matter of the thread, which is diplomatic immunity as outlined and explained in the CPS link. If the additional links are causing too much distraction in this regard or morphing the thread into a rehash of the American woman incident, kindly ignore them.
 

Nemesis44UK

LE
Book Reviewer
I am not biased toward the broad, she screwed up. But 400 yards is not the same thing as driving down the road drunk for 5 miles, and failing to maintain her lane. She was driving straight up American after being in country for three weeks. I would not trust myself to drive on your roads, so I would find alternate transportation. Because when you are tired you revert to years of experience and muscle memory. We have foreigners here that drive on the wrong side of the road from time to time, or screw up 4 way stops.
In Germany, I've slipped into default mode and done the same. As many people have said though, if she'd had an accident and coughed to it, people wouldn't be so incensed. It isn't a: "We hate America" thing. It's the fact that she left the country under immunity to avoid the consequences.

As I've stated before, she actually may've had no choice in the matter; she might've been recalled by her employers not wanting her to get bogged down in a trial and red tape etc., regardless of her actual feelings about it.
 

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