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Alumni Diplo alumni

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
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Alumni Diplo alumni

Diplomatic Theory and Practice online course

Why do we need diplomats?

Diplomats are members of a profession developed over many centuries. But why do we still need them in a world transformed by electronic communications? This course examines the nature of diplomacy; when it is appropriate; the advantages and disadvantages of different diplomatic methods; and the lexicon of diplomacy.

The materials for this course were developed by Prof. GR Berridge, based on his book Diplomacy: Theory and Practice, now in its 5th edition. Prof. Berridge is an Emeritus Professor of International Politics at the University of Leicester and a DiploFoundation Senior Fellow; read more, including his current blog postings, on his website.

Programme details

What will you learn?
  • Describe and explain with clarity the shape and functions of the contemporary world diplomatic system.
  • Identify and describe the different stages of negotiations, the objectives for each stage, and techniques for securing agreement, providing examples from diplomatic practice.
  • Compare and contrast the various missions, offices, conferences, techniques and procedures of bilateral and multilateral diplomacy.
  • Analyse what contributes to successful mediation.
  • Justify the role of summits and their place in the negotiating arena.
  • Defend the value of diplomacy with authority and enthusiasm.
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