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Parliamentary Written Question (Correction)

Volume 520: debated on Monday 13 December 2010

I regret that the answer I gave to the right hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr MacShane), to parliamentary question 22801, Official Report, 11 November 2010, Vol. 518 column 435W, on diplomatic immunity was incomplete.

The answer originally published was as follows:

Mr Bellingham: Whether a visiting Minister of a foreign Government is entitled to immunity from arrest in the UK will depend on the status of the person concerned, whether they are travelling on official Government business, as well as on other considerations. By virtue of their office, immunities will attach to visiting Heads of State, Heads of Government and Ministers of Foreign Affairs, as well as, by extension, other Ministers who travel by virtue of their office. The extent to which such immunities may attach to other visiting senior officials will fall to be determined case-by-case depending on their status and the reasons for their visit to the UK.

The answer should have been preceded by the following additional information:

There are various forms of immunity that may operate in proceedings before UK courts, including, State immunity, diplomatic immunity and special missions immunity. State and diplomatic immunity are addressed in legislation; special missions immunity derives from customary international law. Each of these aspects of immunity have been addressed in UK court judgments, to which reference must be made when determining whether immunity applies in any given case.