You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

How diplomatic immunity works

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 17/03/2017

* Foreign diplomats have diplomatic immunity from any criminal processes, including investigation and prosecution.

* Immunity is owned by states, not by the individual diplomats.

* MFAT expects foreign diplomats to abide by New Zealand law, and to waive immunity should MFAT request it if there are allegations of serious crimes.

* Police are unable to interview a diplomat without a waiver from the diplomat's government.

* A waiver enables interviews to take place for police to determine whether prosecution is warranted.

* Depending on the outcome of the interviews, police may ask MFAT to seek a further waiver to allow for the prosecution of the foreign diplomat.

* MFAT cannot compel other states to waive immunity.

* When a waiver is refused, MFAT may ask the diplomat's government to withdraw the diplomat from New Zealand.

* For the purpose of MFAT's policy, a serious crime is an offence for which the penalty is a term of imprisonment of 12 months or more.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon