Friday, April 19, 2013

Inadmissible Whistleblowers

The High Court in the UK has ruled that leaked embassy cables are inadmissible in evidence because they breach diplomatic privilege.

Article 24 of the Vienna Convention states that the archives and documents of the mission shall be inviolable at any time and wherever they may be.

Presumably the leaked cables contradicted the 'archives and documents of the mission' - but because the archives are inviolable, anything that contradicts them attacks their inviolability, and so is inadmissible.

I cannot help but wonder whether the Counsel for the Foreign Office felt smug when he slapped that in the face of the court?

Be that as it may, it was a gutless decision by the court.

The court may have intended to sidestep the decision, believing that an appeal would be made to a higher court.

But equally, the court could have decided to admit the evidence and let the defence make the move to appeal to a higher court.

Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964

Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations

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