UC Law SF International Law Review


Diplomatic immunity has existed throughout history as a way to ensure that diplomatic visitors to foreign nations remained free to perform their essential duties. It arose for two reasons: diplomats we'e extremely important to the conduct of interstate affairs, and the difficulties of travel and communication in previous eras made it essential for ambassadors to remain at liberty to perform their diplomatic duties. Clearly, modern methods of travel and communications have done much to eliminate the second basis.

This Note will examine the extent to which they may also have impacted the first rationale as well. In other words, when interstate diplomacy is no longer limited to ambassadorial communication, is it really necessary, in light of crimes performed by diplomats, to provide modem diplomats with the same near-complete immunity which was so essential in earlier times?