On 14 November, ICIJ announced a new investigation called “Shadow Diplomats”, which warns that corrupt, violent and dangerous appointees, including those accused of aiding terrorist regimes, have turned a system meant to leverage the generosity of honourable citizens into a perilous form of rogue diplomacy that threatens the rule of law around the world.  Honorary consuls were guaranteed by a UN Convention the “freedom of movement and travel” in the countries where they served.  They can communicate without restraint, their consulate records and correspondence protected from searches and their offices protected from “any intrusion … or impairment of … dignity”.  They received legal immunity in matters involving their work, although immunity was not extended to unconnected offences, the treaty stipulated that honorary consuls would be entitled to criminal proceedings “with the minimum of delay” and “the respect due … by reason of his official position”.  The report also says that (honest) honorary consuls say they do valuable work for little or no pay and want to rid the system of abuse.  ICIJ also names 14 consuls said to be embroiled in controversy.

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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