What are the dangers of diplomatic immunity?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Diplomatic immunity is not dangerous to the person who holds it.  Instead, it is dangerous to those in the country where that person is living as a diplomat.  The reason for this is that a person with full diplomatic immunity can act with impunity unless they fear that their own country will waive their diplomatic immunity.  A person with full immunity cannot be prosecuted for any crime, no matter how serious. Neither can they be sued in a civil proceeding.  Therefore, they can do as they wish.  This endangers people who might be victimized by their behavior.  Perhaps the clearest example of this was in 1983 when the New York police suspected a diplomat's son of 15 rapes and could not prosecute him.  His immunity endangered American citizens in New York City.

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