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Posted by on Apr 23, 2014 in Vienna Convention on Consular Relations |

Critical Analysis of Vienna Convention on Consular Relations

Criticism of Vienna Convention

  • These international conventions are always undermined by powerful countries such as USA, China etc. In case of violation of this convention, the last resort is International Court of Justice (ICJ) and USA has not accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of ICJ in violation of this convention. It means that violation of the Vienna Convention does not harm USA as there is no legal right available against the violation of convention.
  • Article 36 of Vienna Convention states that a nation arresting or detaining a foreign national must notify the detained foreign national about his right to consular assistance and shall inform consular officers of that nation if he requests to do so. But many times this article has been violated especially by nations like USA whose have opted out from compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ.
  • The Vienna Convention says that receiving state shall take appropriate steps to prevent any attack on his person (the consulate), freedom or dignity. But Convention doesn’t specify level of protection as in last decade many of diplomats has killed in high crime cities or countries especially in African and West Asian countries.    
  • The recent detention and strip searching of Indian diplomat or Consulate Devyani Khobragade in USA for charges of violation of domestic minimum wage law (which is not a grave crime) is against consulate immunity provided under Vienna convention. But many times USA undermines even heinous crime charges against diplomats or consulates such as:
    • Recently earlier this month (Nov 2013), New York authorities prevented to arrest 49 Russian diplomat or consular officials for charge of embezzling millions.

Suggestions

  • The level protection of Consulates need to be defined specifically especially in civil war or high crime rate countries.
  • The immunities of consulates shall be subjected to limitation for protection of human rights.
  • As per modern times, the internet or social media shall be defined specifically under Vienna Convention allow security and free flow of communication b/w diplomats and sending state or local entity.
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