§ 55. Sir Hugh Fraser
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will now institute a review of the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964 in order to make proposals for the remedying of abuses.
No. The Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964 was enacted to give effect in this country to the provisions of the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations, a multilateral international agreement which the United Kingdom had already signed and has since ratified. We could not significantly amend the Diplomatic Privileges Act without being in breach of our international obligations under the Vienna convention. Moreover the convention provides safeguards for the position of British diplomats serving overseas.
Only a very small minority of the 6,000 or so diplomats in London abuse their privileges or immunity. We keep such abuses under review and make representations to heads of mission whenever we consider it necessary.