American University
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The Diplomatic Immunity of the Ambassador's Household

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posted on 2023-08-03, 16:11 authored by Howell F. Fuller

The right of a sovereign state to send and receive ambassadors is one of the oldest, as well as one of the most generally sanctioned, of international usages. It has existed from the earliest times, and among all peoples, of whom we have any authentic knowledge. It is recognized and practised to some extent even by barbarous nations in their occasional intercourse with each other (1). The practice of maintaining public ambassadors at foreign courts, though recognized to some extent in Europe at an earlier date, did not become general until about the middle of the seventeenth century. It was at this time that the foreign relations of the different European states began to increase in volume and intricacy, and the necessity of establishing permanent legations was recognized and acted upon (2).The object of this work has been first, to define the household of the ambassador, and second, to discover how far his privileges and immunities have been extended to the various members of his suite by present day practice and usage. The theorists have been dealing with these problems for many centuries. Some of the opinions voiced by Bynkershoek, Grotius, Zouch, Calvo, and Wicquefort are now in practice. But it is the usage of nations; the treatment accorded ambassadors by the receiving state, to which they now appeal for the immunities of their households. While the influence of theory cannot be wholly denied, yet it is the steadily developing practice which plays the major part in determining the immunities now enjoyed by the members of the envoy's suite.



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Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 83-01.; Thesis (M.A.)--American University, 1931.


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