Diplomatic Privileges ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

2. Application of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

3. Restriction of privileges and immunities.

4. Extension of provisions of this Act to certain international organisation.

5. Order to be placed before Parliament.

6. Evidence.

7. Sinhala text to prevail in case of inconsistency.

SCHEDULE

9 of 1996.

AN ACT to give effect to the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations; to provide for the grant of immunities and privileges to the officers, agents and property of certain international organisations; and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

[Date of Commencement: 9th April, 1996]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Diplomatic Privileges Act.

2. Application of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

(1) Subject to the provisions of section 3 of this Act, the Articles of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (hereinafter referred to as "Articles”) specified in the Schedule to this Act, shall have the force of law in Sri Lanka and shall be construed in accordance with the succeeding provisions of this section.

(2) ln those Articles—

"agents of the receiving State” shall be construed as including a peace officer within the meaning of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, No. 15 of 1979, and any person exercising a power of entry to any premises under any law;

"national of the receiving State” shall be construed as meaning a citizen of Sri Lanka.

(3) For the purposes of Article 32, a waiver by the head of mission of any State or any person for the time being performing his functions, shall be deemed to be a waiver by that State.

(4) Articles 35, 36 and 40 shall be construed as granting any privilege or Immunity which are required to be granted by these Articles.

(5) The references in Articles 37 and 38 to the extent to which any privileges and immunities are admitted by the receiving state and to additional privileges and immunities that may be granted by the receiving State, shall be construed as referring respectively, to the extent to which any privileges and immunities may be specified by the Minister by Order published in the Gazette and to any additional privileges and immunities that may be so specified.

3. Restriction of privileges and immunities.

If it appears to the Minister that the privileges and immunities accorded to a Sri Lankan mission in any State abroad, or to persons connected with that mission, are less than those conferred by this Act on the mission of such State or on the persons connected with that mission, the Minister may by Order published in the Gazette, declare that such of the provisions of this Act as are specified in such Order shall, with effect from such date as may be specified in such Order, cease to apply with respect to the mission of that State or to such categories of members of the mission of that State, as is, or are, specified therein.

4. Extension of provisions of this Act to certain international organisation.

(1) Where the Government of Sri Lanka has entered into an agreement with any inter-governmental or international organisation providing for the grant of any immunities and privileges, to the officers or agents or property of such organisation, the Minister may, by Order published in the Gazette, and to the extent necessary to give effect to the terms of such agreement, declare that such of the provisions of this Act as are specified in such Order shall apply to such officers, agents and property, of such organisation as are, or is, specified in such Order, to such extent as is specified therein, and upon the making of such Order such, of the provisions of this Act as are specified therein, shall,
mutatis mutandis, apply to such officers, agents and property of such organisation as are, or is, specified therein.

(2) Every Order made under this section shall recite or embody the terms of the agreement in consequence of which such Order, was made and shall come into force on the date of publication of such Order, or on such later date as may be specified therein, and shall remain in force for so long, and so long only, as the agreement in consequence of which such Order was made remains in force.

5. Order to be placed before Parliament.

(1) Every Order made under sections 2, 3 or 4 shall as soon as convenient after its publication in the Gazette be placed before Parliament for approval. Any Order which is not so approved shall be deemed to be rescinded from the date of its disapproval, but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder.

(2) Where any Order is deemed to be rescinded by virtue of the operation of the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, notification of such rescission shall be published in the Gazette.

6. Evidence.

Where in any proceedings a question arises as to whether or not any person is entitled to any privilege or immunity under this Act, a certificate under the hand of the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister in charge of the subject of Foreign Affairs, stating the facts relating to such question shall be admissible in evidence and shall be conclusive evidence, of the facts started therein.

7. Sinhala text to prevail in case of inconsistency.

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