|Immunity should only go so far |
Letter from Terence Lim Eu Seng
05:55 AM May 18, 2010
I refer to the commentary "The principle of diplomatic immunity is sound" (May 14).
I do not dispute the necessity of diplomatic immunity per se but it should not cover universally and obviously heinous crimes. Ambiguous legal practices or local laws in different countries may of course contribute to fear of imprisonment or retribution.
However, it would be ludicrous to suggest that diplomats need immunity from even atrocities such as rape or causing death in order to do their job well.
The rules should be amended to push diplomats to also fulfil their duty of reciprocating respect, rather than just letting immunity take precedence unconditionally.
I believe that in making this comment, Mr Terrence Lim omits the vital fact that the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Article 31.4 states: "The immunity of a diplomatic agent from the jurisdiction of the receiving State does not exempt him from the jurisdiction of the sending State."
The fault with Mr Lim's article thus lies in his severely lacking, if not misleading definition of 'diplomatic-immunity'.
The omission of this vital fact thus throws Mr Lim's entire argument off kilter since the existing clause within the agreement does indeed provide for the prosecution of crimes, committed under the 'guise' of 'diplomatic-duty', so effectively there should not be any 'immunity'.
The VCDR, as I understand, was written in the spirit of improving relations between Sovereigns. Why else would there be clauses defending the privileges regarding the acceptance and rejection of diplomats by the receiving state, not to mention emphasis upon the mutuality of diplomatic relations?
In all fairness, adherence to the original terms of the VCDR (just 16 pages long (normal font size) as the internet version may be), requires a high degree of mutual commitment for adherence- and thus is perhaps ill suited for all and sundry.
WHY ELSE would the persecution for crimes committed within the territory of the 'receiving state' be persecuted by the 'sending state', but for the presence of a deep sense of trust and cooperation that exists, with certainty that justice would eventually be served.
Singapore and Romania are poor examples in this regard, where despite after almost 43 years of mutual relations, there is yet nothing much to show for in this regard as the contracting state(s)'s infantile interpretations of the VCDR deliver embarrassing public results, and that with the flip-flop involvement of the 'Interpol' no less.
Unless prepared for the high and lofty points of agreements contained within the VCDR, young and 'less developed' states are perhaps best suited to mutually accept 'abridged' versions of the VCDR- e.g. excluding certain unfulfillable articles earlier on, with a view to further additions later on as the relationship improves.
What's left for now remains the judicious adherence to the mutual terms of lofty VCDR agreement between the contracting sovereigns themselves- that would ultimately "push diplomats to also fulfil their duty of reciprocating respect".
Your assumptions are in keeping with the typical misguided citizenry.
In the spirit of public edification and thus active participation in the process of establishing good relations, may I invite your interest with an involved perusal of the 'original-version' of the VCDR 1961, 16pages, normal font (cover-page, preamble inclusive) at: http://untreaty.un.org/ilc/texts/ins...s/9_1_1961.pdf
In the hope for better International Relations,
With Love and God bless,
- - - - - -
- 11May2010: 'The book of law should be read in spirit, from front to back and not vice versa'
- 'TODAYonline'-May 14, 2010: 'The principle of diplomatic immunity is sound'
- 18April2010: 'Ionescu Interpol Notice withdrawn?'
- "România and Singapore established on 30 May 1967, diplomatic relations..": [Bucharestherald.ro: 8April2010]: 'International search warrant for Romanian diplomat Silviu Ionescu'
18May2010: Ex-envoy (Doctor of Dispicable Crimes) Ionescu not protected by immunity, with discrete mention at:
08May2010: Romanian Embassy Diplomatic Car Hit & Run
08May2010: Nothing diplomatic about this immunity
18May2010: Romanian diplomat Ionescu was the driver in fatal hit-and-run; with discrete mention at:
07May2010: Possible consequences on Singapore-Romania relations: analysts
18May2010:Romanian diplomat's car in hit-and-run: cover up?
18May2010: ROMANIA Tells Singapore Garment To "** **** ********". And They Are Correct!
09May2010: Romania jailed Dracula Ionescu for 29 days! 3 Cheeers for Mr George Yeo & GMS
5May2010: Interpol Red Notice of arrest against Silviu Ionescu suspen
18May2010: Ionescu to appeal to Romanian High Court to cancel arrest warrant
15May2010:A grave injustice
My Car forum:
18May2010: Silviu Ionescu continues to enjoy diplomatic immunity
15May2010:Ionescu: The book of law should be read in spirit, from front to back and not vice versa.