Foreign Policy Watch: India-Canada

Explained: Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Vienna Convention

Mains level : Not Much

vienna convention

Central Idea

  • The India-Canada crisis took a fresh turn as 41 diplomats were withdrawn from the country.
  • India insisted that its actions are consistent with the tenets set forth in Article 11.1 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

What is the Vienna Convention?

  • The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is an international treaty signed by 61 countries in 1961.
  • It puts forth a framework for diplomatic interactions between independent nations and aims to ensure the ‘development of friendly relations among nations’.
  • At present 193 countries are party to the document including India.

Key Features

Diplomatic Immunity (Articles 29 to 36)
  • Diplomats and their families are granted immunity from the jurisdiction of the host country’s legal system for their official actions.
  • Extends to criminal and civil matters and ensures that diplomats cannot be prosecuted or sued in the host country’s courts.
Inviolability of Diplomatic Premises (Articles 22 to 27)
  • Diplomatic premises, such as embassies and consulates, are considered inviolable.
  • They cannot be entered or searched by the host country’s authorities without the permission of the sending state.
Non-Interference (Article 41)
  • Diplomatic agents are expected not to interfere in the internal affairs of the host country.
  • This principle promotes peaceful coexistence and respectful relations between states.
Protection of Diplomatic Missions (Articles 22 to 27)
  • Host country is responsible for ensuring the security and protection of diplomatic missions and their staff.
  • Includes safeguarding the physical premises and preventing any intrusion or damage.
Termination of Diplomatic Relations (Articles 45 to 50)
  • Outlines procedures for the termination of diplomatic relations between states.
  • Includes orderly withdrawal of diplomatic personnel and the closure of diplomatic missions.

What is Article 11.1 about?

  • It deals with the size of international missions within other countries.
  • In the absence of a specific agreement as to the size of the mission, the receiving State may require that the size of a mission be kept within limits considered to be reasonable and normal.

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