Consular Privileges

International Legal Research

Information about Consular Privileges in free legal resources:

Treaties & Agreements

International Organizations

Jurisprudence $ Commentary

European Union

IP Law


Consular Privileges

Diplomatic and Consular Privileges and Immunities in 2011

United States views on international law (based on the document “Digest of U.S. Practice in International Law”): On February 24, 2011, the United States filed a statement of interest in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Hassen v. Sheikh Mohamed et al., No. 09-1106 (C.D. Cal.). The United States notified the court in its statement of interest that the defendant, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (“Sheikh Mohamed”), had not been lawfully served in the case because the plaintiff had attempted to serve Sheik Mohamed through diplomatic agents who are inviolable and immune from service of process pursuant to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (“Vienna Convention”). The U.S. statement of interest provided as exhibit 1 a letter from Mr. Koh.

The statement of interest and the attached State Department determination explained that the Vienna Convention disallows treating diplomats as involuntary agents for the purpose of service of process. The U.S. statement of interest, including the State Department's letter as exhibit 1, is available at (internet link)

On March 28, 2011, the United States filed a supplemental statement of interest with the court to respond to arguments by plaintiff that the court should apply the commercial activity exception in Article 31 of the Vienna Convention to validate the service of process on the diplomats. The United States explained in its supplemental brief that plaintiff's argument missed the mark because:

finding an exception to a diplomatic agent's immunity from jurisdiction requires a finding that the one otherwise entitled to immunity from jurisdiction was engaged in commercial activity. Art. 31(1)(c). Thus, in this case, finding an exception would require that the diplomatic agents themselves engaged in commercial activity, not the Defendants. Plaintiff does not allege that the UAE Ambassador and Military Attaché personally engaged in commercial activities.


The supplemental statement of interest is available at (internet link)

Diplomatic, Consular, and Other Privileges and Immunities

In relation to the international law practice and diplomatic, consular, and other privileges and immunities in this world legal Encyclopedia, please see the following section:

Privileges and Immunities

About this subject:

Immunity of Diplomatic Accounts and Personnel

Note: there is detailed information and resources under these topics during the year 2013, covered by this entry on diplomatic, consular, and other privileges and immunities in this law Encyclopedia.


See Also

  • Privileges
  • Immunities

Leave a Comment