Why Diplomats Can’t be Arrested

Why Diplomats Can’t be Arrested


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another password at the link in the description. You’ve probably seen it in loads of movies—ambassadors
above the law—but this is not just another one of those fake movie myths like how undercover
cops have to tell you they’re cops if you ask or that North Dakota is a real place. You really, truly can’t arrest an ambassador
while they’re abroad or really any diplomatic staff of any country, but before you go run
off and get a job in a diplomatic mission so you can start your drug empire, don’t
worry, there are some caveats. Like all good things, diplomatic immunity
has a United Nations convention, oh actually you know what, clearly that’s not true because
there’s no United Nations convention on Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Nonetheless, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic
Relations is signed by 191 countries meaning pretty much every country in the world with
a few exceptions like the Solomon Islands and South Sudan but hey, give them a break! They only started existing a few years ago! This treaty sets down a few rules such as…actually,
I’m pretty sure this whole listing rules bit is a bit boring so watch this video of
desert wildlife. This treaty sets down a few rules such as
countries can kick diplomats out, countries cannot enter an embassy without permission
ever, countries cannot arrest or detain diplomats, and the family members of diplomats receive
the same special treatment. What happens when a diplomat gets arrested
is nothing, because they literally cannot be, at least legally. A police officer may mistakingly attempt to
arrest a diplomat, but usually this doesn’t happen since embassies are well marked and
also because, in most countries, diplomats are issued special license plates that identify
their immune status. The embassy itself and the land it sits on
enjoys another special status. Basically, the countryness of which country
a country’s land is in lies on a spectrum. With the far left being the US and the far
right being being France, a US embassy in France sits around here. There are places further to the left on this
spectrum like the US military cemetery in Normandy, France which is not part of the
US legally but is a perpetual, tax-free concession to the US from France while the embassy, on
the right, is not part of the US even if US laws apply. This is actually a major misconception—while
the laws of the origin country apply in an embassy and they cannot be entered by the
host country, embassies are still parts of their host country. I know, reality is a lot less interesting
than internet folk-lore but the whole rule about not entering an embassy is concrete
and non-negotiable. If a country enters another country’s embassy
forcefully, it is considered an act of war. For example, Julian Assange, creator of Wikileaks,
currently has a warrant out for his arrest in the UK but cannot be arrested because he
lives here—in the Embassy of Ecuador in London. British Police know exactly where he is but
because of that one pesky not starting a war thing they can’t go in. Julian Assange can’t leave the embassy without
getting arrested, but when diplomats leave embassies, they sort of having a floating
bubble of legal protection around them as if they were still in their embassy. If a diplomat commits a crime sufficiently
bad, though, say murder, their country would likely waive their diplomatic immunity in
order to not be viewed as being pro-murder. Most countries, and Half as Interesting as
an institution, are staunchly anti-murder. If a country refuses to waive their diplomats
immunity after a crime they might recall the diplomat to avoid embarrassment, but, if the
country of origin truly does nothing after a crime, the host country can kick diplomats
out even with their immunity. Just as diplomats have little bubbles of political
protection wherever they go, diplomatic pouches do too. It’s definitley another movie cliche, but
embassies and ambassadors often send materials to and from their home countries through diplomatic
pouches which are, just like the embassy, legally impenetrable. These are often entrusted to a diplomatic
courier who generally takes the pouch on a commercial flight but, at the airport, the
pouch cannot be x-rayed by security and at customs, it cannot be searched. Oh, and do people use these bags to smuggle
drugs? Of course people use these bags to smuggle
drugs. Sometimes people will make fake diplomatic
pouches while other times diplomats will use real diplomatic pouches for what would normally
be illegal activities. Just imagine that! Government officials taking advantage of their
positions! If you want to create an fully legal diplomat
drug smuggling ring you’ll probably need to sign up for an email account, run a website,
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About the Author: Sam Caldwell

100 Comments

  1. Hey kids, I did a Q&A thing on my new(ish) personal channel. Watch it here so I can feel fulfilled: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTpXQmRB3tI

  2. Years ago (1980's) my friend was in a car accident with a Diplomat and he was SOL. He wasn't really injured but it was his first car, he spent years saving for it and didn't have full coverage.
    The accident wasn't my friend's fault but the Diplomat "declined to pay for it"
    As I recall, my friend's insurance eventually paid as if it was an uninsured motorist but he had no car and no money over the entire summer and that's like forever to a newly licensed teenager.

  3. Now Julian's been arrested, there's now a 1 bedroom apartment available for rent in the Ecuadorian embassy.

  4. I suggest a new marker in the timeline scale… The 'post ass or pre ass" as in this video is a year pre ass. As in pre Julian asange.

  5. Places that are real but people say are not: North Dakota
    Places that are actually not real: Finland, Denmark, Wyoming, Australia and Cambodia

  6. Actual question on an NYPD promotional exam: A man shoots and kills a police officer in your presence. He then surrenders the weapon and identifies himself as a foreign diplomat. What would be the most correct course of action?

    Correct answer: Verify the diplomatic identification, generate a police report and offer any assistance possible

  7. Fuck that. If they were in my country, they would have to follow our laws and could be punished. There wouldnt any special privilege for anyone, no matter age, rank, or offical status.

  8. I was watching wendover video and I when I clicked this one, it sounded like “ hethrow was made possible by dashlane

    breaking news! Heathrow secretly run by dashlane!

  9. You are wrong about the Normandy American Cemetery. It is not more the property of the US than an embassy. Its French property. Only the US is granted the right to idenfinately use it.

  10. Kind of funny that the title of the video is wrong. You absolutely CAN arrest a diplomat and it has happened on MANY occasions. After the arrest, the embassy is contacted and they decide if the person will have immunity revoked or if they want them released. Please get your information correct before making a video stating absolute bullshit.

  11. Half Is Interesting, about the thing that Julian Assange can't be "arrested"… Well… You have been proven wrong here. He was arrested on 11th of April 2019. So, you need to make an updated video,

  12. Youtube, why when I think of something; does the next day it pop up on my recommended videos? Why don't you and Mark Zuckerberg admit you have mind reading technology?! 😂

  13. 1:11 a g a m m a r a c a n t h u s k y t o d e r m o g a m m a r u s l o r i c a t o b a i c a l e n s i s  p l a n t

    (yes that's a thing)

  14. The building is not the embassy, but the chancery. The ambassadors and other employees on the diplomatic mission are the embassy, according to this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomatic_mission

  15. Even his own ads are entertaining. I would normally click away when sponsorship segues happen on a channel. These are pretty funny though.

  16. hey! I've driven through North Dakota, there were houses and street lights – people live there, it's totally real

  17. Diplomats can be arrested and detained up until the point that they claim “diplomatic immunity” They have to prove it. Once their bona fides have been corroborated then they should be released. Embassies CAN be entered with the consent of the appropriate Countries Govt or in an EXTREME situation which is written into British legislation following the shooting of WPC Fletcher By someone in the Libyan Embassy. Suffice to say authority would have to granted at Ministerial level. Other countries don’t always obey the nieceties of Dipolmatic Immunity just as the Americans held in Iran

  18. Peter: It's just been revoked.
    Brian: Uh, Peter, he didn't really set you up for that Lethal Weapon line. It doesn't really work here.
    Peter: Oh. [thinks of another one] I'll have what she's having.
    Brian: That's…better?

  19. @Half_as_Interesting your try to be funny (or, entertaining) too much, and relate to people and things hardly anybody outside your own circles or country would know.

  20. Diplomats always carry expensive briefcases. Half the time there's nothing in them except a sandwich
    and a newspaper.

  21. Let's get real here… it's not like Ecuador would have been some big threat to the UK if they had stormed in there and arrested Asange. What is Ecuador going to do, declare war on one of the largest world powers? The UK just wanted to save face with the international community. Which actually, was pretty weak if you think about it.

  22. You say you are anti-murder. This includes aborted babies too, or like much of Western society, you disregard them?

  23. So what you're saying is that the US is pro murder? Since a diplomats wife ran someone over in the UK, killing them, (by driving on the wrong side of the street) and then just flew home to the US

  24. This video is nice, but it doesn't mention arguably the precedent for diplomatic immunity, the destruction of the Khwarezmian Empire by the Mongols after Ala-ad-Din Muhammad II killed Genghis Khan's diplomats, twice.

  25. Why would Britain care if they enter the embassy by force to get the man? I mean what the hell is equador gonna do😂(far af away and poor as hell)

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