Diplomatic Corps

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The Polish Diplomatic Corps, chaired by Apostolic Nuncio Jozef Kowalczyk, at the 2007 New Year's reception of the Polish President.

Diplomatic corps ( French corps diplomatique , abbreviated to CD , German also diplomatic corps ) refers to the entirety of the diplomatic representatives of other states in a state.

The term is not precisely defined internationally and has not been included in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VÜD). It is rarely used in national law.

Narrow term of the diplomatic corps

According to one definition, the diplomatic corps consists of all heads of mission accredited to the same government . According to Art. 14 Para. 1 VÜD, the heads of mission are the ambassadors and nuncios , the envoys , ministers and internals as well as the chargées . Depending on how it is interpreted in state practice, the Diplomatic Corps may include other persons who have been accredited by the Foreign Ministry as members of the Diplomatic Corps .

Belonging to a diplomatic mission and an existing diplomatic status according to the WÜD (e.g. for the ambassador's wife) does not justify belonging to the diplomatic corps according to this word meaning. As a rule, only the most senior active members of a diplomatic mission are included in the list of the diplomatic corps.

Another term for the diplomatic corps

According to another view represented in international law literature, the diplomatic corps is understood to mean all members of the diplomatic staff of the diplomatic missions located in the receiving state. In addition to the head of mission, these are the subordinate employees such as embassy councilors , embassy secretaries and attachés .

Sometimes all employees of a foreign mission, regardless of their function, for example also the administrative and technical staff of an embassy, ​​are counted as part of the diplomatic corps. Administrative officials can in rare cases assume management functions. If no member of the diplomatic staff of the mission is present in the receiving state, the sending state may, with the consent of the receiving state, appoint a member of the administrative and technical staff to manage the day-to-day administrative affairs of the mission ( Art. 19 para. 2 VCDR). The administrative officer is then the highest representative of the sending state.

International organizations

The heads of the international organizations based in the host country enjoy a special position. Due to the sovereignty of the international organization within the community of states - also vis-à-vis the host country - you are not accredited by the latter. The VÜD regulations do not apply directly to them. The status of the employees must be agreed in a host state agreement concluded with the host state , whereby it may happen that the head of an important international organization is granted the diplomatic privileges that ambassadors are entitled to under the VCDR. They therefore do not belong to the diplomatic corps of the host state. However, because of their rank comparable to ambassadors, the leaders are used on official occasions, e.g. B. the New Year's Reception of the Diplomatic Corps at the Head of State , invited and in the official communications abbreviated as a member of the Diplomatic Corps.

Organization and chairmanship of the diplomatic corps

The diplomatic corps generally does not have any institutional structures (e.g. an organization, statute, office or similar). According to customary international law, the doyen is in charge of the rather loose union . Doyen is the longest active ambassador in the receiving state. In order to avoid sensitive protocol questions, many states (e.g. Germany , Austria , Switzerland and Liechtenstein ) have appointed the Apostolic Nuncio as doyen. The privileged position as spokesman for the diplomatic corps, which has long been granted to the papal representative in international law, is also reflected in Article 16, Paragraph 3 of the VCDR: The exercise that a receiving state has accepted or will accept in the future with regard to the priority of the representative of the Holy See, remains unaffected by the division of the heads of mission into classes. In Germany, the function of doyen of the nuncio is guaranteed by international treaty according to the final protocol to Article 3 of the Concordat between the Holy See and the German Reich of July 20, 1933 (still valid today).

The doyen represents the interests of all diplomatic representatives vis-à-vis the receiving state. It becomes active in questions of protocol, which must be clarified with the representatives of the receiving state, and monitors the respect of the privileges, immunities and immunities granted to the diplomats . If necessary, the doyen can protest against their violation at the receiving state. For example, the Apostolic Nuncio in Switzerland, on behalf of the Diplomatic Corps , protested at the Foreign Ministry there against the introduced administrative practice of sending fines to diplomats for traffic offenses .

See also


  • Georg Dahm : international law. Volume 1, Part 1: The Basics. The subjects of international law. 2nd, completely revised edition. de Gruyter, Berlin [a. a.] 1989, ISBN 3-11-005809-X .
  • Knut Ipsen : International Law . 5th, completely revised edition. CH Beck, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-406-49636-9 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Definition in the ABC of Diplomacy of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, accessed on December 31, 2012.
  2. See Fischer in Ipsen, Völkerrecht, Section 35, no. 21 (p. 565); Delbrück / Wolfrum in Dahm, Völkerrecht, § 32 III (p. 265).
  3. Definition according to the homepage of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, accessed on December 31, 2012.
  4. See e.g. B. in § 8 para. 1 of the German FZV  i. V. with Appendix 3 . According to this, the vehicles of the administrative and technical personnel are also classified in the group of vehicles of the diplomatic corps .
  5. Press release on the New Year's reception of the German Federal President of January 12, 2012 (at the end), accessed on December 31, 2012, and press release on the New Year's reception of the German Federal President of January 8, 2013 (at the beginning), accessed on March 10, 2013.
  6. ^ Concordat between the Holy See and the German Reich of July 20, 1933 ( RGBl. II, pp. 679, 689 )
  7. Fischer in Ipsen, Völkerrecht, § 35 marginal no. 21 (p. 565).
  8. Diplomats covet , report from NZZ Online dated November 20, 2005, accessed on April 25, 2019.