§ Mr. Adley
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will review the arrangements for diplomatic immunity, particularly as they relate to the illegal importation of animals into the United Kingdom in contravention of the Rabies Act.
§ Mr. Rowlands
The immunities enjoyed by diplomatic agents in this country are provided by Parliament in the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964, which gives effect to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961. This Act gives full immunity from criminal jurisdiction which of course includes the Rabies Regulations, and there is no basis on which the United Kingdom unilaterally could make an exception.
However, where, but for immunity, a diplomatic agent would have been prosecuted for any serious offence, including a breach of the Rabies Regulations, the matter is taken up firmly with the head of mission concerned.