HL Deb 30 June 1998 vol 591 cc64-5WA
Lord Marlesford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether all persons listed in the London Diplomatic List enjoy (a) diplomatic immunity and (b) diplomatic privileges of a fiscal nature.[HL2345]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

Yes. The London Diplomatic List gives details of all category A and category B diplomatic agents accredited to diplomatic missions in the United Kingdom. Category A diplomatic agents are heads of mission of the sending state and category B diplomatic agents are senior members of their support staff. Diplomatic agents enjoy immunity from civil and administrative jurisdiction of the receiving state under Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Category A and category B diplomatic agents are entitled to immunity in this respect as a result of this provision.

Under Article 34 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, diplomatic agents are exempt from all dues and taxes, personal or real, national, regional or municipal, with certain exceptions which are set out in the convention.

The London Diplomatic List also incorporates a directory of international organisations and honorary consuls. Staff of international organisations benefit from privileges and immunities negotiated individually under the auspices of the International Organisations Act 1968. Honorary consuls benefit from limited diplomatic immunity when on official duty. They do not enjoy privileges of a fiscal nature.