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Diplomatic immunity - avoiding local laws.

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prasad1

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In light of the Diplomatic tussle going on between India and USA, we should look at a wider picture.

Diplomatic immunity is a principle of international law by which certain foreign government officials are not subject to the jurisdiction of local courts and other authorities. The concept of immunity began with ancient tribes. In order to exchange information, messengers were allowed to travel from tribe to tribe without fear of harm. They were protected even when they brought bad news. Today, immunity protects the channels of diplomatic communication by exempting diplomats from local jurisdiction so that they can perform their duties with freedom, independence, and security. Diplomatic immunity is not meant to benefit individuals personally; it is meant to ensure that foreign officials can do their jobs. Under the concept of reciprocity, diplomats assigned to any country in the world benefit equally from diplomatic immunity.
The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 codified most modern diplomatic and consular practices, including diplomatic immunity. More than 160 nations are parties to these treaties.


Norwegian tax authorities are trying to crack down on what they fear is widespread tax evasion among locally based employees of foreign embassies in Norway. More than 50 employees at the US Embassy in Oslo alone are now under suspicion of failing to declare their incomes, which the embassies themselves generally don’t report to local authorities either, despite official repeated requests that they do so.
Tax auditors chase embassy workers
 
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