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Old 10-05-2019, 06:56 PM
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Is This an Example of American Arrogance Riding Roughshod over the Sensibilities of a Friendly Count


Are diplomat's wives immune from the consequences of their actions?

Quote:
The mother of a teenager killed in a car crash involving the wife of a US diplomat has urged her "as a mum" to return to the UK for questioning.

Harry Dunn, 19, died when his motorbike collided with a car near RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on 27 August.

The diplomat's wife, who has diplomatic immunity, left the UK despite telling police that she had no plans to.

~~

The problem here is that the US do not appear to have granted a waiver for this particular diplomatic spouse.

Instead, they have removed her from the UK before the British government could threaten to remove her itself if she did not submit to questioning.

As such, the US appears to have calculated that protecting the woman from identification, questioning and possible prosecution was more important than the potential risk to UK-US relations.

This is further evidence the adjective "special" should rarely be used to describe the alliance between both countries.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-englan...shire-49945461

Last edited by bob++; 10-05-2019 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:18 PM
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Which Count? Dracula? Chocula? Blah/Aight?
(As for your question, it is answered in the text you quoted: "The diplomat's wife, who has diplomatic immunity")
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:23 PM
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And here I thought the "Friendly Count" was going to be Dracula.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBC commenter
The problem here is that the US do not appear to have granted a waiver for this particular diplomatic spouse.
Instead, they have removed her from the UK before the British government could threaten to remove her itself if she did not submit to questioning.
So, this guy is ticked off because "the US" "removed" her from the UK before the Brits had a chance to do the same thing? And how does her getting on a plane and leaving equate to "the US" removing her?

I could note that "The problem here is that the US do not appear to have granted a waiver" should read "the U.S. does not appear to have granted a waiver", but pedantry is questionably warranted at a time like this when British Sensibilities are at stake.

If this person was criminally or civilly at fault in the accident she should of course be held liable.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 10-05-2019 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
Which Count? Dracula? Chocula? Blah/Aight?
(As for your question, it is answered in the text you quoted: "The diplomat's wife, who has diplomatic immunity")
You are making poor jokes about a typo in a thread about the death of a teenager.
Nice threadshit.

As to the bracketed bit it's not so much whether she has diplomatic immunity but whether it should apply in a situation like this.

Quote:
In a written Parliamentary answer in October 2017, then Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: "The FCO does not tolerate foreign diplomats breaking the law.

"When instances of alleged criminal conduct are brought to our attention by the police, we ask the relevant foreign government to waive diplomatic immunity where appropriate.

"For the most serious offences, and when a relevant waiver has not been granted, we seek the immediate withdrawal of the diplomat."

The problem here is that the US do not appear to have granted a waiver for this particular diplomatic spouse.

Instead, they have removed her from the UK before the British government could threaten to remove her itself if she did not submit to questioning.
So the US could have issued a waiver allowing the police to question and possibly charge her. Instead they advised her to flee the country. It looks bad and my sympathies are with Harry Dunn's family.

Apparently she had just left RAF Croughton and was driving on the wrong side of the road when her car collided with Harry's motorbike. His mother said "We have nothing. No justice. We have nothing to put our minds at rest that she's even remorseful".

A final quote from the BBC article

Quote:
... the US appears to have calculated that protecting the woman from identification, questioning and possible prosecution was more important than the potential risk to UK-US relations.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:36 PM
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The linked article says it all. Yes, treaties respected by virtually every nation on earth give immunity to diplomats and their families. Yes, a country may waive the immunity for its own diplomats if they wish. And yes, itís not often that it happens.

Although, the couple instances I can think of where immunity was waived by the sending state did involve wrongful deaths, so it is possible that the spouse could be compelled by the USG to return to the UK.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob++ View Post
Are diplomat's wives immune from the consequences of their actions?
Generally, yes. It's right there in the linked article that spouses (and other family members) of diplomats are also granted diplomatic immunity by international convention. It makes sense. Arresting a spouse for some trumped up charge would be a way to bring pressure on a diplomat, otherwise. It's the same reason diplomats have significant immunity from the legal consequences of their actions.

It then comes down to whether or not a waiver to that immunity will be granted. The article has that diplomatic conversation as a work still in progress. If it is granted her presence in the US doesn't protect her much. We do have an extradition treaty with the UK. Of course we rarely grant waivers. Still we should probably get to the point where that process is complete before we just jump to conclusions about the result.

It's also not a US-centric issue in general. It's an issue with diplomatic immunity regardless of the nations involved. Things like this don't require US arrogance, or even involvement, to produce seemingly unjust outcomes.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Springtime for Spacers View Post
You are making poor jokes about a typo in a thread about the death of a teenager.
Nice threadshit.
It is the type of humor that is deeply ingrained in this board. (And everyone who reads the thread title is thinking the same thing.) And I went on to give a real answer to the question. Not a threadshit here or on that other forum where you mentioned it. But duly noted that someone is please thinking of the children.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
It is the type of humor that is deeply ingrained in this board.
More's the pity.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:45 PM
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I had a relative who was working near Washington with diplomatic immunity. He mentioned that the instructions about that from the Canadian Foreign Affairs were quite explicit - if the employee or any family members were involved in anything that would have resulted in charges absent diplomatic immunity, then they would all come home immediately. And, it would be a career-limiting move (after all, if you can't be trusted abroad, what job do you expect?). For more serious cases, they would consider waiving diplomatic immunity.

But I think the question answers itself. I find it hard to believe the police do not know the identity of the driver, if they had to verify the person in question had immunity - they just are not allowed by the Foreign Office to share that detail. The person drove on the wrong side of the road, with fatal results. Serious, unfortunate, and stupid - but not on par with something like drug dealing or murder. The USA logically decided that recall rather than letting the person be charged was the choice they made. This is typical. Canada has a number of cases of foreign diplomats who cause problems and leave. There was a prominent case many years ago of a Russian diplomat who was driving drunk - not for the first time - and killed someone. The Russians recalled him rather than let him be charged, but rumors were that his career trajectory back in Russia probably made him regret not getting immunity waived. Most countries don't give medals for creating diplomatic incidents.

(I know I've made a similar mistake. Leave a location in the middle of nowhere with no traffic visual cues, as I did in the Australian outback, and you realize when you see traffic coming that you've instinctively gone on the wrong side of the road. It's a lot harder to make that mistake on busy roads).

the tone of the question implies a judgement and bias. I suspect that no country would let their diplomatic immunity be waived except for serious crimes, because the principle is they are immune. If it became routine to be de-immunized (?) what protection is there from harassment? I'm sure the asme judgement applies when it's British diplomats.

Last edited by md2000; 10-05-2019 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:59 PM
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One take on it:
Quote:
Diplomatic immunity can be waived only by the government of the official’s home country. In most cases, this happens only when the official commits or witnesses a serious crime not related to their diplomatic role. Many countries are hesitant or refuse to waive immunity, and individuals cannot—except in cases of defection—waive their own immunity.

If a government waives immunity to allow the prosecution of one of its diplomats or their family members, the crime must be serious enough to make prosecution in the public interest.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:06 PM
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Okay, now that she's left the UK via diplomatic immunity, can the UK apply for a regular extradition to have her sent back to the UK?
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:08 PM
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[Moderating]

If you want to discuss this, try again in the appropriate forum, and with a non-poisoned well.

EDIT: Great Debates thread started this morning.

Last edited by Chronos; 10-07-2019 at 09:13 AM. Reason: Link to new thread
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