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Diplomatic Law: Privileges and Immunities online course

Diplomatic privileges and immunities usually receive attention only when exceptions or abuses are reported in the news.

Starting with the evolution of diplomatic privileges and immunities and ending with the question of whether the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations should be revisited in the Internet era, this course introduces participants to diplomatic law in general and diplomatic privileges and immunities in particular. Combining a theoretical introduction with practical exercises, participants will become familiar with current developments in the field of diplomatic privileges and immunities.

Programme details

What will you learn?
  • Explain the difference between the concepts of immunities, privileges and facilities, providing examples of each.
  • Describe the legal basis of diplomatic privileges and immunities, including as it relates to individuals, states and representatives, diplomatic missions, and consular missions.
  • Explain the theoretical justifications for privileges and immunities and how regulation has evolved.
  • Describe the privileges and immunities of states and their representatives (including heads of states and governments, other ministers and officials, diplomatic missions and diplomatic agents).
  • Compare and contrast the privileges and immunities of diplomatic missions and agents with those of consular missions and agents.
  • Analyse cases of use and abuse of diplomatic privileges and immunities in the modern era, and taking these into account, argue in favour of, or against, revisions to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
How will you learn? In this course you will interact intensively in discussions with classmates and lecturers from around the world. You will receive guidance and personalised feedback on your classwork from the course team. How long will you learn? The course lasts for 10 weeks:
  • 1 week of course introduction and orientation to online learning
  • 8 weeks of addressing the course topics one by one (see below for more details)
  • 1 week for the final assignment and completing pending tasks