In all these cases, the police officer submits a PaDP report and a copy is forwarded to the FCO Protocol Directorate. PaDP/FCO will indicate whether the offender has diplomatic status. The position of members of ad hoc or “special” diplomatic representations was clarified in R (Freedom and Justice Party) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2016] EWHC 2010 (Administrator). The High Court ruled that immunity would be granted under customary law if the diplomatic status of that mission (and the person concerned) was recognised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on behalf of the British Government. The Court of Appeal found that the Divisional Court had correctly held that a rule of customary law had been established, obliging a State to grant immunity from criminal proceedings to members of a special mission (accepted and recognized by the State as such) for the duration of the special mission: [2018] EWCA Civ 1719, [2018] All ER (D) 127 (Jul). Immunity depends on rank and ranges from immunity from criminal, civil and administrative justice to immunity for official acts only. The immunities granted to diplomatic personnel and their families are set out in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR), the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) and the Consular Relations Act 1968. The relevant provisions of the Conventions are applied in the United Kingdom by Section 2 of the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964 (DPA 1964). Criminal immunity and inviolability in the United Kingdom are granted to all qualified members of the household by diplomatic agents and administrative and technical agents of foreign diplomatic missions as well as by consular and consular and consular agents in foreign consular missions in London. To qualify for this immunity and inviolability, the addict must be reported to the FCO and accepted by it. Diplomatic agents and consular agents may not be nationals of the United Kingdom; and administrative, technical and consular staff must not be nationals of the United Kingdom or have a permanent domicile in the United Kingdom. The police are responsible for determining whether a person or local has diplomatic immunity. However, if the police consider that there is sufficient evidence to justify legal action against a person, but the head of mission in question does not agree to give up, the BSR may request the removal of the person and his or her family or declare him or her personae non gratae.

Even if immunity is not waived, all other persons involved as secondary parties to the diplomat`s offence may continue to be subject to criminal prosecution. In more serious cases and if the police consider that this is a case that merits the waiver of immunity, the PaDP will present the full facts to the FCO and the Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP) of the corresponding SCC area. A serious case is defined by the FCO guidelines as “an offence that may result in a term of imprisonment of more than 12 months”. Father Marvin said, “I was afraid that one day they would hide behind diplomatic immunity.