Is it all police power? Clearly it is not only police power, because they are not allowed to be subject to fines or sanctions by civil courts either.

But suppose that police are enforcing a road closure. Sure they perhaps can’t be arrested for defying the police directions, but can they be forcibly kept out of the closed zone? Or removed from a site of Public disorder to enforce a dispersal notice? Or removed from a scene under police powers to prevent a breach of the peace even if they are still immune to formal arrest or further punitive sanctions? Likewise if a diplomat becomes embroiled in a gruesome bar brawl and everyone knows that they are the ambassador of Wadiya, are police impotent to restrain and subdue his excellency from continuing to hammer his victim’s face?

In that regard, why cannot am eviction of a property’s occupants be carried out, irrespective of any outstanding debts that may have accrued to the individual personally?

  • I resolutely reject the VTC’s accusation that this question needs more focus and suggest that anyone who thinks that misconstrues the several examples given to illustrate and refine the question as multiple different questions in their own rights. Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


You look in the underlying treaty, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. For example, Art 22 (3) says "The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution". The diplomatic courier "shall enjoy personal inviolability and shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention". Art. 31 is most of what you are probably interested in:

  1. A diplomatic agent shall enjoy immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving State. He shall also enjoy immunity from its civil and administrative jurisdiction, except in the case of:

(a) a real action relating to private immovable property situated in the territory of the receiving State, unless he holds it on behalf of the sending State for the purposes of the mission; (b) an action relating to succession in which the diplomatic agent is involved as executor, administrator, heir or legatee as a private person and not on behalf of the sending State; (c) an action relating to any professional or commercial activity exercised by the diplomatic agent in the receiving State outside his official functions. 2. A diplomatic agent is not obliged to give evidence as a witness.

  1. No measures of execution may be taken in respect of a diplomatic agent except in the cases coming under sub-paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of paragraph 1 of this Article, and provided that the measures concerned can be taken without infringing the inviolability of his person or of his residence.

  2. The immunity of a diplomatic agent from the jurisdiction of the receiving State does not exempt him from the jurisdiction of the sending State.

Nothing in the treaty forbids the police from physically preventing a diplomat from robbing a bank, they just can't be arrested for it.

An eviction involves hauling the diplomat into court, and physically ejecting them from the premise, neither of which is allowed. This is directly encoded in US law under 28 USC 1609.

  • Okay, but then it seems that 33(1)(a) covers evictions so as to allow them as well, wouldn’t it? Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 15:43
  • If you address the second piece of the titular question, then I would be glad to accept this answer. Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 15:47
  • @Seekinganswers The "purposes of the mission" exception in 31(1)(a) would cover eviction from their official residence. If the diplomat personally owned a separate investment property, that would not have immunity.
    – user71659
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 17:53
  • If they rented it in their own personal names as a residence for themselves and family and didn’t host any guests for work purposes there then would it be immune to eviction? Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 18:15
  • 2
    @Seekinganswers It doesn't matter whether they host guests or not. A diplomat clearly cannot sleep on the streets or fly home across the ocean every single day, so residences would be necessary for the purposes of the mission.
    – user71659
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 21:28

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