HC Deb 06 August 1976 vol 916 cc1077-8W
Mrs. Wise

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) whether there are any offences for which diplomatic immunity cannot be claimed;

(2 whether diplomatic immunity has ever been claimed in connection with offences against the animal quarantine laws;

(3) if he will list in theOfficial Report the categories of offences for which diplo-last two years;

(4 which categories of person can claim diplomatic immunity from prosecution.

Mr. Rowlands

Diplomatic immunity is accorded by the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964, copies of which are in the Library of the House. The Act lists categories of persons having varying degrees of immunity, and provides, for example, that diplomatic agents and members of the administrative and technical staffs of diplomatic missions have full immunity from criminal jurisdiction.

The categories of offences therefore where, but for diplomatic immunity, criminal proceedings would be brought are potentially as varied as the criminal law. But in each actual case representations are made to the head of mission concerned and we know that this frequently has serious results for the accused person.

In the only recent case involving an alleged breach of the animal quarantine regulations by a person enjoying diplomatic immunity, the matter was dealt with firmly by the head of mission concerned and the person in question was transferred from this country. The animal was quarantined.

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