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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 222000 Find in a Library
Title: Diplomatic Immunity
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:77  Issue:2  Dated:February 2008  Pages:25-32
Author(s): Jonathan L. Rudd J.D.
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 8
Document: HTML
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article provides an overview of the legal parameters of foreign-official immunity from criminal jurisdiction, so that U.S. law enforcement officers can be informed about their options in encounters with foreign officials.
Abstract: Generally, modern treaties and laws specify three levels of diplomatic immunity from criminal jurisdiction. The first level is full immunity, under which a foreign official cannot be arrested or significantly detained. His/her residences, property, papers, and vehicles may not be entered, confiscated, or searched. He/she may not be forced to testify or otherwise provide evidence in any criminal proceeding and is protected from all criminal prosecution. Full immunity, however, does not prevent a police officer from issuing a traffic citation to foreign officials or their dependents for a moving violation. This does not constitute an arrest or significant detention. Neither does full immunity prevent police officers from attempting to interview the subject or obtain consent to search. Further, should the actions of foreign officials or their dependents threaten the safety and welfare of others, police officers are authorized to take appropriate action to remove the danger. The second and more restrictive level of diplomatic immunity is known as official acts immunity. Such individuals are only immune from providing evidence in a criminal proceeding regarding matters that involve their official duties. They are also immune from prosecution for criminal acts arising from the performance of official duties. The third level of immunity is no immunity. Factors that determine level of immunity are discussed.
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Diplomatic immunity; Police legal limitations; Search and seizure laws; Search and seizure training
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