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The end of diplomatic immunity for road offences in the ACT – about time

By Tracy - 28 November 2016 9

diplomat-car-istock

It was reported in The Canberra Times that the ACT Government and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have reached a deal that ends the absolute immunity from the local road rules for foreign diplomats.

Having had a few near misses with cars bearing diplomat plates, I can’t help but think that it really is about time.

Hopefully this will result in safer roads here in the ACT.

What do others think?

Pictured above is a file image of a diplomatic car. Photo: iStock

What’s Your opinion?


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9 Responses to
The end of diplomatic immunity for road offences in the ACT – about time
1
DrSamBeckett 12:32 pm
28 Nov 16
#

Taxi’s and Uber are going to be very happy in around 6 to 9 months time. All the diplomats who can no longer drive due to being caught driving in their “usual” manner having to park the diplomatic cars and find another way of getting around.

2
chrisi 7:27 pm
28 Nov 16
#

Good!

The kickback from the diplomats, in particular Russia- stating that it’s because they are Russian that this is occurring, is ridiculous.

Some of the bigger offending embassies have come together for chinwag, using ‘proof’ that no serious accidents have occurred involving diplomatic cars, so therefore all is ok.

It’s NOT ok. FOLLOW THE ROAD RULES LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!

3
bearlikesbeer 8:53 am
29 Nov 16
#

How will suspending their licences deter them from driving?

4
No_Nose 11:29 am
29 Nov 16
#

bearlikesbeer said :

How will suspending their licences deter them from driving?

It doesn’t. They still have diplomatic immunity and cannot be compelled to appear in an Australian court (either civil or criminal) and cannot be compelled to pay any fine or comply with any court order.

5
Garfield 1:32 pm
29 Nov 16
#

No_Nose said :

bearlikesbeer said :

How will suspending their licences deter them from driving?

It doesn’t. They still have diplomatic immunity and cannot be compelled to appear in an Australian court (either civil or criminal) and cannot be compelled to pay any fine or comply with any court order.

I think its a case of DFAT indicating a willingness to expel diplomats who don’t comply with the road rules. For example, hopefully if a diplomatic driver racks up enough demerit points from speeding that they would lose their license if they were an ordinary resident, they will get sent home.

6
spades 3:04 pm
29 Nov 16
#

No_Nose said :

bearlikesbeer said :

How will suspending their licences deter them from driving?

It doesn’t. They still have diplomatic immunity and cannot be compelled to appear in an Australian court (either civil or criminal) and cannot be compelled to pay any fine or comply with any court order.

Yes they cannot be arrested or compelled to appear in court but if their license is cancelled the police can make them walk home.

7
No_Nose 5:41 pm
29 Nov 16
#

Garfield said :

I think its a case of DFAT indicating a willingness to expel diplomats who don’t comply with the road rules. For example, hopefully if a diplomatic driver racks up enough demerit points from speeding that they would lose their license if they were an ordinary resident, they will get sent home.

Its unlikely though, expulsion of a diplomat is a very serious step. Even the original article says that DFAT will just “request the departure”. Its a request, not an order and can be ignored. But in diplomatic parlance even a ‘request’ is a big deal.

Actual expulsion is rarely used and usually results in the tit-for-tat expulsion of a similar ranked Australian diplomat from that country.

8
spades 6:06 pm
29 Nov 16
#

Garfield said :

No_Nose said :

bearlikesbeer said :

How will suspending their licences deter them from driving?

It doesn’t. They still have diplomatic immunity and cannot be compelled to appear in an Australian court (either civil or criminal) and cannot be compelled to pay any fine or comply with any court order.

I think its a case of DFAT indicating a willingness to expel diplomats who don’t comply with the road rules. For example, hopefully if a diplomatic driver racks up enough demerit points from speeding that they would lose their license if they were an ordinary resident, they will get sent home.

Definitely not going to happen. Diplomats are still immune from other things like criminal offences. They don’t get sent home for more serious offences there’s no way they’re sending them home for traffic offences.

DFAT did not indicate that as you said, they will likely just revoke their license and ban diplomats from driving.

9
Benjamin Rose 9:34 pm
29 Nov 16
#

I hope that this will also wake up the dazed and confused diplomatic driver. Doing 30 under the limit on Commonwealth avenue while keeping to their lane like a drunk person does has to stop.

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