Immunities of the Head of State overseas
1. In the context of globalization, consonant with the requirements of this time, official visits by Heads of State (or Government) have become a key component in the agendas of the leaders and a key factor of contemporary international relations.
2. It is noted that the large number of meetings between leaders often responds to the need for the national leaders to understand each especially with respect to their nations’ mutual relations and their views on international issues. Clearly, many Heads of State play a diplomatic role of the first order and are responsible, personally, to carry out negotiations of a particular character and significance.
3. For state visits, official visits and also for so-called working visits, it is essential that the programme is carried out faithfully while observing the principle of legal equality of States. The rules to ensure the maintenance and strengthening of good relations that should exist between the States must also be applied.
4. While the host State receives Heads of State (or Government) from other States which may have different political systems, there should be no difference with regard to privileges and immunities provided to the guests, no matter what form of government is established in their respective countries.
5. According to their high office, the Head of State enjoys a privileged status while visiting other States and has the right to the honours defined by protocol. The Head of State is granted, while in other countries, privileges and immunities which include (a) inviolability of his person, his property, his place of residence, his companions, his documents, and his means of transport; (b) independence, which exempt them from all police and criminal jurisdiction; and (c) exemptions privileges, such as certain tax exemptions while customs will not open his baggage, and that of his companions, at the port of entry.
6. The privileged status of head of state is extended to his family and members of the official delegation accompanying him: senior officials, technical advisers and assistants, among them those responsible for security and protocol, considered as the “advance party” if their arrival precedes that of the Head of State.
7. If the Head of State is making a private visit, the authorities of the recipient country, with due discretion, take the necessary safety measures. Therefore, it is necessary that the State which is the object of his visit must be informed before the visit takes place.
© by Odeen Ishmael