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25th October 2023 (11 Topics)

Vienna gives Delhi the Right

Context:

Canada has accused India of unilaterally revoking the diplomatic immunity of Canadian diplomats in India, asserting a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR).

Allegations and Misunderstandings

  • Misinterpretation of Diplomatic Actions: Canada alleges India revoked diplomatic immunity, but India demanded reduction based on parity. No diplomats declared persona non grata.
  • Article 9 of VCDR: India holds the right to declare diplomats persona non grata, a prerogative under Article 9 of the Vienna Convention.
  • Subjective Determination of Reasonable Mission Size: Article 11(1) of VCDR allows the receiving state (India) to decide what “reasonable and normal” regarding mission size.

International Precedents and Legal Grounds

  • UK's Action against Soviet Union: The UK imposed a ceiling on the Soviet Union mission due to inappropriate activities, invoking Article 11 of the VCDR.
  • US Limitation on Iranian Diplomats: The US used its authority to limit Iranian diplomats based in Washington.
  • Moldova and Estonia’s Similar Actions: Moldova and Estonia asked Russia to downsize its mission based on the principle of parity, citing Article 11 of the VCDR.

 

Legal Framework and Call for Trust Restoration

  • Article 41(1) of VCDR: Canadian diplomats interfering in India’s internal affairs could be a breach of the VCDR.
  • Diplomatic Relations Act of 1972: India’s legal framework empowers the government to restrict privileges for non-compliance with VCDR obligations.
  • Need for Trust-Building Measures: Trust deficit between India and Canada requires efforts from both sides. Accusations harm relations and require resolution through diplomacy.
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