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Diplomatic Impunity

 Diplomatic Impunity
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 Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is a treaty between countries which generally grants to the official representative of a country certain privileges by the receiving country, on the presumption of reciprocity, e.g. we will grant immunity from prosecution to your official diplomats in our country as long as you do the same for ours when they're in your country.
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_1'); })Diplomatic immunity, the next step in "not shooting the messenger" etiquette, is supposed to protect diplomats from being harassed for political reasons. In fiction, this can be a handy device, as it answers the question of "why don't they just arrest him?" quite neatly. Quite often, it's the villains who are protected by it — their immunity from the cops means that it's left to the hero to bring them down vigilante-style. Visiting heads of state get something similar, so every President Evil presumably has it automatically, although it isn't necessarily included in the plot. There are also heroes who have it, but for them, it's often a rather flimsy shield.
Related to this is the principle that the grounds of embassies should be treated (only treated, mind) as part of the owning country for legal purposes. This provides characters with a place to retreat to where they will supposedly be safe from pursuit - again, they're often villains who will smugly inform the hero that they can't follow. Likewise the immunity of sealed 'Diplomatic Bags' from customs searches may be used by a diplomatic villain as an easy way to smuggle illegal itemsnote Diplomatic couriers are stationed in just about every embassy in the world, and the courier bags they carry cannot, by law, be searched or even handled by anyone else. However, in practice, if the courier doesn't have the bag on their person or in easy reach, well, who's going to know? Diplomatic couriers can't be detained while on business, but accidents can happen.
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_2'); })And then there are cars with diplomatic plates, which are supposedly immune to all traffic and parking regulations. In reality, while it's perfectly possible to issue them a ticket, it's difficult at best to make them actually pay the fine. Some countries, surprisingly enough, do pay their parking tickets when official vehicles are ticketed.
Diplomatic immunity only applies to recognized diplomats and specific portions of their families; agents not officially in the country ("Non official cover" or hidden spies) can't claim it. Committing major crimes under the cover of diplomatic immunity would cause a serious international incident. Take murder, for example. If a foreign country protects a diplomat accused of murder from all consequences, they would appear to approve of the murder, making it an assassination by that country, which is an act of war. While diplomatic immunity is abused, serious abuse is playing with fire so diplomatic immunity can be revoked by the issuing country's foreign affairs office or by shooting the diplomat in the head... whichever comes first.
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_3'); })In real life, it's never taken that seriously, primarily because abusing diplomatic privileges to commit serious felonies in the host country is a very good way of getting the host country very, very angry, leading in turn to all kinds of potentially unpleasant international diplomatic consequences should you get caught. If a diplomat did something really bad in the host country, either the sending country would strip them of their immunity allowing the host country to try them, or, if they won't, the host country will declare them Persona Non Grata (PNG), a fancy Latin term roughly equivalent to "you're being a horrible guest, get out of our country" meaning they either have to leave the country within a reasonable time, or they have to give up their diplomatic immunity and be an ordinary tourist (at which point they could be prosecuted). In some cases, if the sending country is going to prosecute them instead, they will recall the person back to the home country, often before the host country PNGs them.
The accuracy of depictions varies considerably. Abuse of it on-screen can overlap with Hollywood Law.
This is often used as a No-Harm Requirement to keep the heroes from taking down a bad guy easily.
See also "Ass" in Ambassador, where the diplomat only has to be a jerk. Compare Sacred Hospitality.
Examples:
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OnePiece
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Fanfic: Harry Crow
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Lethal Weapon 2
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TheGodfather
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DBTropes
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Diplomatic Impunity
 Diplomatic Impunity / int_102a22a7
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Axel from Ansem Retort kills a random passer-by right after being told he has diplomatic immunity. Subverted when Namine lectures him for immediately abusing it; Axel hadn't even heard, he just wanted to kill someone.
 Diplomatic Impunity / int_102a22a7
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 Ansem Retort (Webcomic)
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Diplomatic Impunity
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The embassy part is subverted in The Bourne Identity, when Bourne escapes into the US embassy just ahead of the pursuing local authorities, but soon finds himself being chased by the Marine embassy guards because he's wanted by the US government as well.
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 The Bourne Identity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Pops up in a Hoka story aptly named Undiplomatic Immunity. Yes, the Hokas are ambassadors. No, they are not allowed to wiretap the Plenipotentiary's quarters. And put that codebook away, for the last time, there is no Section X!
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Fillmore! had a Canadian diplomat's son take advantage of his diplomatic immunity to circulate forged baseball cards. In this case it's actually entirely justified in that rather than claiming actual diplomatic immunity applied here, they made it clear that this was simply a rule Principal Folsom had decided on to avoid another diplomatic incident.
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In Girls Next Door, Jareth (being the Goblin King) has diplomatic immunity protecting him from getting arrested for his various crimes of stalking and perving on Sarah. He takes enormous pleasure in telling Javert that "You have no power over me!"
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 Girls Next Door (Webcomic)
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The trope name is also the name of a Munchkin spinoff; of course, since all the players are Munchkins, they're going to abuse any immunity they can get. The Ambassador class, introduced Star Munchkin 3: Diplomatic Impunity, can use its Diplomatic Impunity class feature to escape any traps your friends have sprung on you, and can also commandeer other ships.
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Attempted on The Truth Decays: Knowing that in the long run keeping on pissing him off would backfire hard, Tsunade grants Edward Elric diplomat status so all the other movers and makers of Konoha politics (especially Danzo) will leave Ed alone and not try to get retaliation for Ed's attempts at embarrassing them (which he did in retaliation to being dragged into the darkest cell Konoha has and interrogated so they could try to add knowledge of Alchemy to Konoha's arsenal and get knowledge of Amestris in case they needed to go to war with the latter, and having his Auto-Mail removed so it could be analyzed by Konoha scientists). It doesn't work. ROOT just goes behind Tsunade's back and brands Ed with a variation of the Caged Bird Seal that makes him unable to even so much as approach Konoha's city limits without enduring immense pain, so he cannot just leave and stop being bothered by Danzo, and when Tsunade gets in Danzo's face about such a blatant disregard of her orders, he mentions that he successfully managed to pull the "it was for the good of Konoha" card on the rest of the Hidden Village's political body, meaning all Tsunade can do about it is fume.
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In Benson there was an episode with a wealthy Arabian prince who used his status to pretty much get away with everything, including purposely wrecking Benson's car after they had an argument. Benson decided to teach him a lesson by making him the victim of such vandalism, by convincing Clayton to pose as another diplomat and destroy a work of art the guy owned. (The prince was so impressed by Benson's cleverness, he offered to buy him two new cars.)
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An episode of CHiPs had the CHP faced with the son of a diplomat who routinely sped/drove recklessly knowing that he couldn't be arrested for it. They eventually get him to stop by taking him to view the wreckage of a high-speed car accident that killed a young child.
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Bones
In one episode, the murderer is covered by diplomatic immunity. The lab crew comes up with a scheme to get around it, but Booth shuts them down, on the grounds that the standard of diplomatic immunity is too important to be damaged. It's then subverted by the fact that the immunity only applies to foreign prosecution — they can still hand the evidence over to the murderer's own government and let them try the case. Unfortunately for the diplomat in question, individuals don't have the authority to waive their own immunity short of defecting. In addition, Booth's original plan to have the diplomat's son declared persona non grata wouldn't have let him prosecute, either — at best it would have gotten him recalled to his home country.
In another episode, it also turns out that the perpetrator is supposedly covered by diplomatic immunity due to being Egyptian, yet there's no mention of him actually being a diplomat. Somehow, all Egyptian tourists are diplomats, to judge by the episode's logic.
Though in this case, they don't really cite that it's diplomatic immunity. He's a super computer hacker who managed to erase all traces of his identity and create himself a new one, which happened to be an Egyptian citizen. The implication might have been that he'd simply tricked the system into thinking he was a victim of mistaken identity, which prompted the Egyptian government to try to protect one of their citizens from foreign harassment. They don't really specify. Caroline just says "He's an Egyptian citizen and we can't touch him."
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Psych: While investigating a murder that took place at a British embassy, Shawn thinks being employed by the ambassador means he can use diplomatic immunity to get away with anything (mostly parking violations and littering), but finds out that it doesn't work that way. The Lethal Weapon 2 example is specifically mentioned. Several other try to invoke immunity over suspects of murder which are likewise pointless.
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Has popped up at least twice in Castle:
Played fairly straight in "The Fifth Bullet", wherein one of the persons of interest in a murder investigation is a UN diplomat from Bahrain who, although not actually involved in anything strictly illegal, did knowingly purchase forged copies of various paintings, is uncooperative. He's about to pull the 'I'm leaving the country and you'll never see me again' trick when Beckett arrests his driver for double-parking, which enables her to both detain him and search his car (which is from a car service, not a diplomatic service, and as such isn't covered under the immunity).
Subverted in "Suicide Squeeze", which involves the Cuban consulate in New York. A murder suspect tries hiding out there, but Beckett bluntly informs the head guy that a consulate is not an embassy and as such isn't covered by immunity in these situations; unless she's turned over, there's nothing stopping the police from entering the consulate legally as they would any other similar situation. Since holding her wouldn't reflect well on the Cuban government, she's turned over.
This, however, is incorrect, as consulates are just as inviolable as embassies so they really couldn't have done anything about it.
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White Collar, "What Happens in Burma": The Burmese embassy not only commits parking violations with reckless abandon, they steal a hard drive containing video footage of a rebel camp and try to smuggle it back to Burma in a diplomatic pouch. However, Peter turns the letter of the law against them by using the unpaid parking tickets to stall the ambassador at a crucial moment, enabling the FBI to (more or less legally) retrieve the hard drive when the ambassador's secretary is tricked into dumping out the pouch. Specifically, Peter presents the diplomat with all the parking tickets and asks him about every single one, citing the need to close each individual case.
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In Umineko: When They Cry, Sakutaro has this as a superpower.
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 Umineko: When They Cry (Visual Novel)
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The Simpsons:
There's an episode where they go to Australia and end up having to seek refuge in the American embassy:
Bart apparently tried to invoke this trope after getting in trouble at school; his chalkboard line from "Marge In Chains" is "I do not have diplomatic immunity."
Parodied in "Das Bus". The students of Springfield Elementary School are dressed as foreign dignitaries for some U.N.-model project and Nelson beats up a classmate. Principal Skinner says he'd like to do something, but Nelson has diplomatic immunity.
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Ali G Indahouse: Played for laughs at the end, when Ali G uses his new job as ambassador to Jamaica to smuggle weed back to the UK by slapping everything with diplomatic seals.
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At the start of the first Ghost in the Shell movie Section 9 was going after someone who then claimed diplomatic immunity. The Major simply blew his head off.
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In the pilot for Nurse Jackie, Jackie treats a diplomat who had his ear severed while attacking a prostitute. He couldn't be charged, so Jackie flushed the ear down a toilet.
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Used and subverted in Cat Planet Cuties.
Aoi and Manami are given diplomatic protection by the Catians after they helped rescue Eris from the CIA. This prevents retaliation against them for that act, but the protection is never used to allow them to commit further crimes. The Japanese government was happy to do so since the Catians were willing to overlook the fact that the member they'd sent to make initial contact with Earth had been kidnapped and nearly murdered on Japanese soil.
The potential diplomatic immunity of Kio's house being the Catian embassy is brought up in two instances later. Once, when Eris wants to mate with Kio despite being underage by Japanese law, and another time when Manami wants to shoot off guns in the yard. Both times, Kio puts the kibosh on it because he's not okay with either.
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In G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, the Joes interrupt a munitions sales presentation by Destro for several foreign dignitaries. The Joes try to arrest the dignitaries, but they cheerfully whip out their diplomatic credentials and the Joes have to concentrate on chasing Destro instead.
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The Hunter episode "Rape & Revenge" had DeeDee McCall being raped by a South American diplomat who claimed immunity when Hunter tried to arrest him—and shot Hunter just to twist the knife further.
Obviously, since this is Hunter we're talking about, he traveled to the guys' home country and killed him, and surprisingly, didn't get punished for it by the State Department.
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Level E. Prince Baka Ki El Dogra is an enormous jerk and knows it, but no one can do anything about him because he is a prince, and by the way of a recently concluded diplomatic treaty (which he orchestrated in a first part) he is in effect a protector of the Earth. He still gets beaten a lot though.
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An episode of The Good Wife involved a brutal rape/murder where the top two suspects were the sons of diplomats. The DA's office determined that while the son of a Dutch diplomat could not be prosecuted due to diplomatic immunity, the other one was Taiwanese, therefore not from a recognized country and did not have it. The protagonist then defended the son of the Taiwanese diplomat trying to prove the immune Dutchman was responsible. But it turns out he was guilty after all.
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In Darksiders, agents of The Charred Council have this while on official business between the realms, including their "search and destroy" or assassination missions. An attack on such an individual while on a sanctioned mission can be used as evidence of defiance to the Council's goal of maintaining the Balance Between Good and Evil and can land you in serious trouble (as in, being killed horribly or given a Fate Worse than Death) even if the "attack" constitutes defending yourself from an attack by said agent (which at best just makes you "collateral damage"). Of course, this immunity doesn't apply if the agent isn't on official business but a personal one (such as Death's quest in Darksiders II), or if the Council doesn't particularly care if you die in the process (War's "mission" in the original Darksiders). And then there are cases the person fighting the agent just plain doesn't care.
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The Joker gains diplomatic immunity once by being appointed as an ambassador to the United Nations. (He was initially said to be representing Iran, but that was apparently deemed implausible beyond the bounds of bad taste — it was retconned so that he represented the fictitious Qurac. Yes, that one.)
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Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Count Evallo von Meanskrieg, despite having been arrested for stealing natural gas in "The Gathering Gloom", is released because he has diplomatic immunity; the most they can do is deport him back to his home country (and since his family is the "most evil family in all of Europe", it's guaranteed that they won't punish him there either).
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Highlander had an immortal whose girlfriend was killed by the son of a diplomat friend of Duncan's. The immortal wanted justice,and ultimately killed the father thinking he did it. The son couldn't be prosecuted due to his immunity, and despite Duncan's attempts to get the kid to turn himself in voluntarily, the kid refused. Duncan did protect him by telling the other immortal that he'd keep his head as long as the kid stayed alive.
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One episode of Nash Bridges showed Nash and Joe taking a surprisingly logical approach to a criminal British diplomat. They called the Home Office in London, presented their evidence, and got the man fired. Not immune to anything then.
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Avengers, Assemble!: In "The Ambassador", Doctor Doom delivers a speech at the U.N. as a Latverian diplomat and, thanks to his diplomatic immunity, the Avengers have to protect him instead of arresting him. It turns out he's plotting to steal data from the Avengers and his failed attempt caused him to lose his immunity for breaking international law and he now must stay within the bounds of his own nation to avoid being arrested.
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In Dilbert, Dogbert gets diplomatic immunity at one point - and of course, abuses it for the sake of amusement, to the point where he uses his diplomatic immunity to boot the president of Elbonia and take his place.
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Sam Starfall from Freefall once did this to excuse his crimes but gave it up after they hired other diplomats to beat him up.
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In The Dresden Files book Cold Days, mortal warlock Molly Carpenter is wanted by the White Council for her crimes of using black magic to kill and altering people's minds. The sentence is death. But at the end of the book, by machinations of Queen Mab, the Winter Queen and Queen of Air and Darkness, Molly becomes the youngest Winter Queen, no longer a mortal thus no longer applicable to mortal wizarding laws. The White Council risks starting a war with Queen Mab if they try any underhanded means of getting Molly, and only if Queen Mab herself agrees to give her over under the Unseelie Accords (the supernatural version of the Vienna Convention among other things) can the council touch her. And Mab will not let that happen. Harry notes that it is a solution, but also points out that it's not a good solution for anyone but Mab.
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Discworld:
In The Fifth Elephant, Vimes and his party have diplomatic immunity when visiting Überwald. His willingness to assert that immunity in the face of people with sharp weapons is used by a local power to test his resolve. (It doesn't prevent him from being arrested when he later breaks a law that may be silly from our point of view but is very important in Dwarf culture.)
In the same book, the "embassy as sanctuary" trope gets inverted, when Vimes considers a break-in at the Morporkian embassy to be committing a crime in Ankh-Morpork, which means he finally gets to act like a watchman instead of a diplomat - he cites the Disc equivalent of the Hot Pursuit doctrine, which in real life permits Police officers certain exigent-circumstance exemptions to warrant requirements and even jurisdictional problems while actively chasing a suspect.
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Forever Knight had a diplomat protecting his son by dumping the kid's victims for him. There was worry that Nick, who kept pressing things, would get himself in trouble and into a possible sunrise execution, not good for a vampire. But the son lost his own immunity when they found he was employed under false pretenses at the consulate.
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Manimal: One of the villain of the week has diplomatic immunity — until the end of the episode, where Jonathan Chase turns into a black panther to terrify him. He pleads for Brooke to arrest him, but she retorts she can't, since she has to respect his immunity. A few more threatening growls from the panther, and the villain asks for his immunity to be waived.
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In the Nero Wolfe short story "Immune to Murder" (also one of the episodes in the TV series) the murderer is this.
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The final arc of the original run of Appleseed involved a cyborg diplomat trying to use this to smuggle a Humongous Mecha out of the city, by wiring himself into it and walking out. Unfortunately for him, his immunity got revoked, and he discovered that Giant Robots are somewhat vulnerable to flying cyborgs with tank cannons.
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 Manga: Appleseed
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In The Da Vinci Code, the main character is told to flee the Parisian police by fleeing to the US embassy so he can have a chance of a fair trial, rather than being the scapegoat for the museum curator's murder.
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Columbo had an episode in which a high-ranking official of a foreign consulate murdered a member of his staff, then used diplomatic immunity to thwart Columbo's investigation. It ultimately backfired when his government was informed of the murder, as the punishment he would face back home would be much harsher than in the United States.
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Deconstructed in Green Lantern Corps. A prince of a planet kills a Green Lantern and many potential replacements (because he wants to be a Lantern and they are all competition). When the other Lanterns bring him to Oa, they are forced to return him to his family. He is then tried and guillotined by them, with Soranik Natu giving him a Hope Spot just to be cruel.
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Blue Bloods: In "The One That Got Away" Danny and Baez are frustrated at being unable to press charges against a Moroccan diplomat for abusing his son. Erin manages to get his son removed from him into foster care though. Near the end, he is hoist by his own petard after his wife (who he also abused) guns him down in broad daylight. Since she also has diplomatic immunity, they have to let her go.
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One episode of The Practice dealt with a man who shot and killed his adulterous wife and her long-term lover. Eventually his lawyers find out that he's the son of a Croatian diplomat and therefore has immunity. Deconstructed in that, while the judge does resentfully dismiss the case, the murderer is immediately escorted out of the courthouse by Federal agents and put on the first plane to Croatia.
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Captain America: Civil War: Upon discovering that government agents are going after Bucky Barnes because they believe he's responsible for the U.N. bombing, Captain America and the Falcon go after them to bring Barnes into custody themselves (the agents were given shoot to kill orders). Their effort is interrupted by Black Panther, who wants to kill Barnes because his father was one of the people killed in the bombing. This leads to a chase that creates collateral damage and eventually ends with Cap and Falcon placed under arrest for obstructing the government while Black Panther gets off scot-free because he's the King of Wakanda.
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Subverted in 300. Leonidas kicks a Persian diplomatic messenger into a well in response to Xerxes's demand for earth and water as a sign of surrender. The diplomat is quite surprised to be threatened, since it's a serious breach of diplomatic protocol. He doesn't realize that "This! Is! Sparta!" Of course, this is Very Loosely Based on a True Story.
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The X-Files on at least two occasions. In "Nisei" Mulder and Scully arrest a Japanese consular official after he attacks Mulder while fleeing a crime scene, but is released at A.D. Skinner's order through "diplomatic immunity." The sixth season episode "S.R. 819" repeats this scenario almost verbatim with a Tunisian "diplomat." Justified in-universe as both men implicitly have Syndicate connections.
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NUMB3RS: This is briefly suggested as something Chinese spy Dwayne Carter might try, but Sinclair points out that they have the consulate under surveillance; since Carter isn't a diplomat himself, he'd be fair game as long as they got him before he was inside. As it turns out, Carter plans to exploit international shipping laws instead.
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In the Fujiyama Gangsta Paradise arc of Black Lagoon, Balalaika essentially gets away with creating a yakuza civil war by pulling a few strings and getting the Russian Ambassador to escort her away from her last hit and away from a huge police dragnet, who don't know who she is apart from the fact that an Ambassador just came to pick her up. Interestingly, someone who does know who she is yells at the cops for failing to arrest her, meaning that she didn't actually have this trope in effect but was only counting on them expecting it just long enough for her to make an escape.
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Crossing Lines dealt with this in the pilot. The serial killer was a member of the US diplomatic corps.
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In the "Exposed" episode of Smallville, Chloe and Lois investigate a case in which girls working at a Metropolis strip joint are disappearing. When the criminal is finally exposed, the Metropolis PD cannot arrest him because of this trope. It's subverted near the end when Chloe tips off INTERPOL and they arrest him. Surprisingly, keeping girls as slaves in your own country isn't covered by diplomatic immunity. Even before that, when the officer says diplomatic immunity means they can't touch him, Lois says "Well, I can," and slugs him.
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Sneakers. When Marty is about to be captured by the FBI, his friend Gregor (a KGB agent) offers him asylum inside his car, which he says is technically part of the Russian consulate (and thus under diplomatic immunity). Unfortunately, the bad guys are not part of the US government, and have no problem shooting Gregor and kidnapping Marty anyway.
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In Mass Effect 3's Show Within a Show, Blasto 6: Partners in Crime, the Big Bad vorcha ambassador repeatedly claims that Blasto can't touch him because of diplomatic immunity. However, Blasto doesn't believe that diplomatic immunity applies if he ignites a flammable surface that ambassador is standing on.
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You can actually play this trope yourself in Star Wars: The Old Republic if you have a Consular. Flouting local laws is usually, but not always a Dark Side choice.
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Invoked in The Lord of the Rings, when the Mouth of Sauron comes to bring Frodo's vest to Gandalf. He explicitly states that "I am an herald and ambassador and may not be assailed!" when he feels that the atmosphere is getting a bit hostile. Gandalf pointedly informs him that where such laws hold true it's customary to behave more politely, which does lead to him dialling back the insults a bit. Of course, in The Film of the Book, the Mouth does not assert this, and Aragorn promptly lops the guy's head off when he's said his piece.
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Batman:
The Joker gains diplomatic immunity once by being appointed as an ambassador to the United Nations. (He was initially said to be representing Iran, but that was apparently deemed implausible beyond the bounds of bad taste — it was retconned so that he represented the fictitious Qurac. Yes, that one.)
The writer (Jim Starlin) seems to have liked this trope; he used it earlier in "Ten Nights of the Beast" and "The Diplomat's Son". In the former, Batman ends up trapping the KGBeast and walking away, presumably to let him starve to death (well, until it was retconned), while in the latter it's suggested that Jason Todd shoved the diplomat's son off a high balcony.
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Fantastic Four. Doctor Doom, as ruler of Latveria, enjoys the head-of-state version when on official visits, but he's fair game when visiting on other occasions.
In the Crossover story where he fought Superman, after his plan was defeated Doom ran to the Latverian embassy, reaching it seconds before Superman arrived, then simply turned toward Superman and dared him to cross the embassy border to try arresting him on Latverian soil. Superman didn't want to trigger a major diplomatic incident so he turned around and left.
In one Fantastic Four story, Reed Richards and his family go to Latveria and take it over briefly so they can dismantle Doom's assets while he's suffering from a temporary death. They're eventually challenged by Nick Fury and arrested due to breaking international law by occupying the country, regardless of the fact that they're removing the tools Doom used to oppress the populace. Eventually it's pointed out to Fury that in addition to being a murderous tyrant, Dr. Doom broke international law and committed horrible crimes just about every other day on both his own and foreign soil, yet somehow neither the United Nations or any authority ever revoked his diplomatic immunity or attempted to remove him from power. This has never been brought up again.
The first storyline of Mighty Avengers had Iron Man march his team of Avengers right into Latveria, fight and arrest Doom for something he didn't even start (a symbiote invasion - he had a satellite that started it, but he didn't initiate it). He promptly escaped during Secret Invasion and wasn't touched since.
Should be noted that while Latveria is a tiny fictional country and normally would lack any amount of real political clout, the fact that Doom is an Ubermenschen super-genius means that he was able to turn it into a de facto global superpower on par with or even surpassing the United State of America, having access to technology so advanced that in the event of a war between the two Latveria would almost certainly win; Doom himself is powerful enough to let him take on an entire team of superheroes by himself, not to mention he has teleportation and Time Travel tech on his person and in his embassy so can enter and leave the United States at any time. It is likely that Doom has not been arrested less because of his immunity and more because even trying to arrest him is incredibly dangerous.
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Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye: In "Diplomatic Immunity," a crooked Sudanese diplomat uses his status to hide his role in slave trafficking. Diplomatic immunity even goes so far as to protect him from legal consequences when three FBI agents (among other people on the street) see him beating a woman in broad daylight and Bobby pulls him off the woman. The diplomat gets away with it, and the State Department makes Bobby apologize for the "misunderstanding."
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There is a cheat in Red Dead Redemption actually called "Diplomatic Immunity" that allows you to do whatever you want without consequences. Considering that this was made by Rockstar Games, you can imagine how that goes.
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In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), Princess Leia attempts to use her diplomatic status as a member of the Alderaan royal family to frustrate Darth Vader's search for the stolen Death Star plans. It infamously doesn't go well – as Vader points out, "if this is a consular ship, where is the ambassador?" – as Alderaan gets destroyed days later by the Death Star. In Rogue One (2016), we learn that Leia and the Tantive IV was present at the battle of Scarif when the plans were stolen, and only escapes Vader by seconds, stretching her claim to incredulity.
Even in the original film Leia's claims of immunity are rather dubious, seeing that her ship was shown firing on the Imperial Star Destroyer, something that can be considered a rather serious diplomatic faux pas.
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In the Death Note Crack Fic Kingdom Come, L discovers that Light Yagami has gained diplomatic immunity by becoming ambassador for the Shinigami Realm.
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"Book 15: Delegates and Delegation" of Schlock Mercenary has (some of) Tagons Toughs be given Diplomatic Immunity cards to assist in their job of escorting some foreign ambassadors. One of the officers realizes that, by merely handing over one of the appropriate ID cards to Schlock, she is now potentially open to future charges of War Crimes. Although all he usually tries to get up to is avoid tickets for things like jumping off of walkways (not like he'd be hurt if things went wrong anyway). Also:
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There's an episode of Scandal where Olivia realizes a murdered college student was last seen with a diplomat from the fictional country of Kurkistan. The young woman's parents start a protest to try to get President Grant to revoke his diplomatic immunity, but the best he is able to do is to have the man deported. However, Huck takes matters into his own hands.
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A positive example in M*A*S*H. A Hollander's mother was facing deportation from the US, and he could not afford to travel from Holland. A Holland diplomat hired the woman as a secretary, giving her diplomatic immunity.
This is a case of right idea, wrong words: the limited diplomatic immunity that service staff gets would not protect her from being deported (even people with full diplomatic immunity can be deported after being declared persona non grata), but being issued a service passport would change her immigration status, so if she was being deported for overstaying her visa, it would take care of the core problem anyway.
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A suspect in a murder is a diplomat in the NCIS episode "Untouchable".
In another episode, the daughter of a foreign diplomat orchestrates her own kidnapping in order to derail a treaty signing, and one of her "kidnappers" gets killed. After she's found, she's sent back home without facing charges, courtesy of diplomatic immunity.
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This has shown up at least once each on Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In both cases, it eventually failed, but it did serve as a significant roadblock.
In one episode of L&O, a diplomat who refused to turn over records to the D.A.'s Office had his car towed. He protested that he had immunity from all parking fines. Jamie Ross argued that while that may be true, they could tow his car for illegal parking at every occurrence, and would until he cooperated. Presumably giving up the evidence was less hassle than finding a legal parking spot (this is a real issue with diplomats at the UN in New York City-while they can't get fined over illegal parking, cars are towed over it, diplomatic plates or not).
Another time a defendant who was employed by the Nigerian embassy, and thus enjoyed diplomatic immunity, tried to use it to get out of his involvement in a drug smuggling ring. His embassy revoked it, but then reinstated it halfway though the trial, allowing him to flee back to his native land. When a furious Ben Stone demands an explanation, he's informed that the man will be tried in a Nigerian court for his crimes, where the penalties for drug smuggling are even tougher than in the U.S. (death by hanging, it was said) and his conviction is all-but-assured thanks to the evidence the Manhattan prosecutors had on him. Stone is still displeased at having been a pawn in the affair, but lets the matter drop relatively quietly.
In the SVU episode "Honor," a woman has been found dead, and it became clear that it was an honor-killing committed by her Knight Templar Big Brother. Problem is, their dad's a big-time political figure, so his entire family has diplomatic immunity. The caveat is that the brother's immunity expired on his 21st birthday. Unfortunately, this whole mess results in the diplomat's wife, who finally stood up to him and testified against her son, also getting killed by her husband, who had already fled back to his home country by the time the detectives discovered the body.
Another SVU episode, "Parasites", had the DA's office managing to get immunity rescinded when the detectives found overwhelming evidence that he had murdered a woman.
The L&O mothership episode "Rapture" had a man using the tensions between Iran, Israel, and the United States to embezzle from charities and their donors. He tried to claim diplomatic immunity with the Iranian embassy by claiming he was a victim of a Zionist conspiracy. The detectives turned this back on him by making it look like he was part of the conspiracy, causing the government to revoke the immunity and kick him out of the embassy (specifically, the car meant to take him to the airport), where he was promptly arrested by the detectives.
One episode had a Russian national flee into a Russian consulate to avoid prosecution (over human trafficking). The Russians gave him up when the DAs gave them another Russian criminal for trial in the motherland. The head of the security detail cheerfully comments on the Prisoner Exchange: "Like the old days at Checkpoint Charlie."
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Stormwatch, having been set up under the auspices of the United Nations, used to confer diplomatic immunity to its members, which also extends to their family members. Early in the original series, Jackson King reluctantly invokes this to get his little brother Malcolm out of a jam with the police.
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In U.S. Marshals, a Chinese 'diplomat' claims immunity after shooting a federal agent in the head with an assault rifle. They're forced to deport him back to China, though it's implied that the US State Department is pissed, at least.
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The Soldier (1982). Ken Wahl's character is pursued onto the Israeli embassy grounds by US marines after breaking into the US Embassy. The Israelis order the marines to leave or they'll open fire.
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CSI: Miami had a Victim of the Week who was killed by the sons of an ambassador (who had also been using his immunity to smuggle blood diamonds to prove he was evil). They trap one of them in international waters by some ludicrously overcomplicated scheme. The ambassador retracts immunity from the other when the CSIs discover he isn't the diplomat's biological son.
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A one-shot character in Cat's Eye was a foreign ambassador using his immunity to steal and smuggle art, with Toshio and the other cops having managed to follow the trail to him and gather enough evidence they would be able to search his house if it wasn't an embassy. The ambassador's country revokes the immunity for him and his accomplices when Toshio manages to gather damning evidence anyway.
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Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: The first book Weekend Warriors plays this straight by having Myra's daughter Barbara killed by a drunk hit-and-run driver who could not be charged due to him having diplomatic immunity. The book Vendetta reveals the driver's name to be John Chai, the son of the Chinese ambassador to the USA Chai Ming. John is apparently quite the playboy and his father tries to keep him penned in to protect the family's honour and reputation. Apparently, John has not gone back to the USA because he knows that he will be arrested and charged for his crime. The Vigilantes had to sneak into China, get John to go somewhere away from security, kidnap him, skin him alive, drop him off to England for treatment and then dump him back in China.
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In Cagney & Lacey, a close friend of a diplomat committed a hit-and-run on a guy, and ran to the mission. Cagney & Lacey have a warrant for his arrest, but even though he doesn't have immunity, since he is within the diplomatic mission, the Charge dAffairs informs them that they are within their rights to refuse. He reminds them how their own country was horribly upset when the government of Iran didn't respect the sovereignty of their embassy in Tehran. He sneaks out of the mission once (which means he's now fair game) and they almost catch him, but he's able to sneak back in. The two discover that to get rid of a diplomatic incident the United States is going to waive prosecution on the guy. Before he finds out, the two go see him on the mission grounds and make a deal with him: if he'll pay the guy's medical expenses and lost wages, and make a donation to a charity, they'll not prosecute. (The interesting thing is that it was just an accident, if he hadn't panicked and ran, that's probably all that would have happened, his insurance would have had to pay the costs.)
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There are stories about UN officials racking up huge parking fines in New York City, only to refuse to pay them because of "diplomatic immunity." It was referenced in an episode of The West Wing.
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Early on in Code Geass R2, the Black Knights take refuge in the Chinese Federation's embassy (having Geassed the ambassador into submission).
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Captain Antilles in Darths & Droids, played by Jim, tries this on Darth Vader.
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One episode of Dilbert involves a trip to Elbonia, where Dogbert has become a diplomat. He first uses it to get a cop to tear up a parking ticket, then eat it and then regurgitate it. Then he gets the cop's gun and clothes and orders him to dance while shooting at his feet. This is just the first thing he does with it. He eventually takes over Elbonia.
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In an episode of The Commish, "Sleep of the Just", the rapist was a diplomat. At one stage the police decide to harass him by ticketting for obscure and long-obsolete violations of the law, like sneezing in public (it frightens the horses).
In a more comically portrayed example, Commissioner Scali has a Cuban diplomat locked up for slapping one of his officers, then Scali (while demonstrating how he slapped said officer). When Scali subsequently needs a favour from the State Department they're not happy with him, as the Cubans have cut off the water supply to Guantanamo Bay until their 'political prisoner' is released.
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In The Princess Diaries, the Queen claims diplomatic immunity after she and Mia get into a car accident (the Queen's license had expired, and Mia was an unlicensed minor). Then she gets Mia out of trouble by inducting the traffic cops into the nonexistent "Genovian Order of the Rose." Earlier, Joe turned down Mia's request to take the Genovian flags off the limo he was driving, on the grounds that they allow him to park anywhere.
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Boss Cass in TY the Tasmanian Tiger 2 uses this to kidnap random people in order to build his grand army.
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In Generator Rex, Van Kleiss gains diplomatic immunity when he presents himself as a representative of his country, Abysus (the site of the Nanite Event), and tries to gain membership in the United Nations. This stops Rex and Providence from attacking him since, for once, he's not doing anything illegal. It doesn't stick because the other representatives revoke it when he tries to take over the world.
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Robot Chicken included a gag with the superhero Tablescrapper interrupting the meeting of the "Council of Evil Tables". His rival, a South African table, had a paper for Diplomatic Impunity lying on it.
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In Young Justice Count Vertigo has this as a member of the Vlatavan royal family. He loses this in his second appearance, however, when he turns into The Evil Prince to his niece, Queen Perdita.
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In Lupin III: Goodbye Partner, the villainous Roy Forest is forced to bail out of his private jet over the ocean thanks to Lupin. Floating in his escape pod, he tries to claim diplomatic immunity thanks to his connections to the American government when Inspector Zenigata comes to arrest him. Zenigata points out that Lupin cleverly arranged for Forest's plane to crash in international waters, which means he's now in ICPO territory where there is no diplomatic immunity.
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One of the targets in Hitman (2016) is hiding in the Swedish consulate in Morocco after stealing billions from the government, with the consulate being surrounded by an angry mob of protesters which is what the other target wants so he can declare martial law. Notably, the consulate's staff are disgusted and horrified by the scumbag with the only reason he hasn't been thrown out into the crowd is because he's a Swedish citizen and he bribed the diplomat.
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In one The District episode, a diplomat's son was using a diplomatic bag from his father's embassy to smuggle drugs. The son himself was covered by diplomatic immunity because he was going to college at the time, requiring Mannion to go to the university's Dean to get him kicked out of school before they could arrest the drug-running son.
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Near the end of The Peacemaker, a missing nuke is smuggled via diplomatic pouch so that it is never checked. The nuke is for a plan to blow up the United Nations headquarters.
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In The Road Not Taken Eleya arrests a Klingon warrior for assault, but then is told Security was forced to release him because as part of the bodyguard detail for the Klingon ambassador he was covered by her diplomatic immunity.
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In Until Death Do Us Part, bad guy Edge Turus invokes this against Mamoru. It doesn't work, and he ends up losing an arm and a leg.
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A particularly egregious case from NYPD Blue: a Japanese diplomat is bribed to sign a statement where he admits to the murder of a call girl, and then leaves the country. This admission is taken at face value by the FBI and the top brass of the NYPD (but not by Sgt. Sipowicz). Even though the police officials have reasons to be happy to close the case, nobody even has a thought of requesting the help of the Japanese authorities to remove his diplomatic immunity, or even have him interrogated by Japanese police. This is extremely glaring for a show that normally tries to give a realistic view of police work - but it occurs in the very last episode of the last season, when the writers apparently had given up even trying.
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Outrage by Takeshi Kitano. The Yakuza use an embassy to run a illegal casino. They actually force the ambassador to move to a new building because the old one wasn't large enough.
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An episode of The Bill went into this in detail, with an "Eastern European" (possibly Ruritanian) diplomat resisting arrest for assaulting a prostitute. The police discovered steadily more heinous crimes that the diplomat was involved in, such that the embassy was forced to hand him over for prosecution; and as usual they found the body of a murdered prostitute in his back garden seconds before he was due to leave for the airport, having been dismissed from the service for the original assault. At the climax of the episode, the officer involved on the case was promoted to deal with the Foreign and Commonwealth office in matters such as this.
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JAG:
Some retired veterans go up against drug dealers covered by diplomatic immunity in the episode "Yesterday's Heroes".
Sudansese Ambassador Moshak in the fourth season episode "Embassy" even says You'd be suprised by the multitude of sins one can hide in a diplomatic pouch. One of the many advantages of being the Ambassador.
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Arikos from Last Res0rt used this in his Back Story to get out of masterminding a cult he'd been keeping up for years, including trying to cover up said cult with a mass suicide. He eventually ended up on the show regardless, but that he's not dead already is a testament to the power wielded here.
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In the second Dominion Tank Police OVA series, Leona discovers the identity of the Big Bad of the season and is told to back off because he's a diplomat. Instead, she follows him to the airport in her tank and shoots his plane down as he's taking off. There are no mentioned repercussions for this outright act of war whatsoever.
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One episode of Criminal Minds had a priest suspected of performing deadly exorcisms (of the Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane variety), which was tough enough for the team to prove in the first place. Then it transpires that he's in the country on a mission from the Vatican (not the exorcisms, just missionary work that he'd used as an excuse to travel to America and perform them), so he has diplomatic immunity. The resolution boils down to informing the Vatican what he's suspected of, which causes them to recall him. The implication is that he won't ever face justice for what he's done, but since he was motivated by revenge against three particular people, he's now unable to carry out the final murder.
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Once, after defeating Maxima in battle yet again, Superman cites this as a reason for the police to withdraw. The other reason is that the Queen of Almerac is just as powerful as him, so the police wouldn't have been able to hold her anyway.
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Throughout the course of Chrysalis Visits The Hague, this is invoked, played straight, subverted and defied. Many if not most of the characters have diplomatic protection in one way or another (since they work for governments, international organizations or are otherwise guaranteed immunity), and many try to exploit it, though it doesn't always work.
The UN functionary Pierre for instance quickly discovers that his immunity (functional immunity) doesn't extend to acts that are, in nature, unrelated to his UN work (like breaking and entering or arson).
When Princess Twilight Sparkle attacks Queen Chrysalis in the ICC, there are no repercussions beyond kicking her off the premises.
Prosecution aide (and Equestrian Royal Guard clerk) Indigo Beam at one point uses his immunity to threaten a difficult concierge.
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Poppy, before she was reworked into the Keeper of the Hammer, was originally calledThe Iron Ambassador inLeague of Legends, representing her then at the time role as an Ambadassador for Demacia (before a massive lore re-work happened for all of the game). Her ultimate at the time was even called "Diplomatic Immunity", where only the target of the ability could damage or use abilities on her for the duration; making the "Immunity" part literal. Her current passive is still called 'The Iron Ambassador', but she no longer has the immunity ult.
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Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex:
In one episode a hacker tries to defend himself from Section 9 by saying that he's the son of the Canadian ambassador. He is, but Section 9 had already sought and received consent from the Canadians to proceed. Much of the episode takes place with Section 9 tailing him until the proper authorizations are given allowing them to move in for the arrest.
In another case, a Russian criminal who's been trafficking in humans happens to have unwittingly kidnapped the daughter of the former Japanese Prime Minister. Said criminal tries to run to the embassy but they close the automatic gates on her before she has a chance to get in.
At the climax of the second season, the Big Bad takes a job with the American Empire, complete with extradition, in order to give himself a quasi-form of this. Section 9 obtains a letter from the Prime Minister authorizing them to use any means necessary up to and including lethal force to prevent his defection, despite the risk of a diplomatic backlash. When confronted, he assumes they are bluffing. They aren't.
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In one episode of Barney Miller the diplomat in question had a slave. (Or rather, he claimed immunity for the charges against him, but when accused practicing slavery, he claimed to have no idea what they were talking about, even though it clearly seemed to be debt slavery.)
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A first-season episode of Madam Secretary revolves around the Washington police discovering that an official from the Bahraini embassy has basically imprisoned his Indonesian housekeeper in his basement. It's in a legal gray area initially—because of the official's rank it's unclear whether the incident is covered—but then the Bahraini government promotes him to a level that has full diplomatic immunity and gets him out of the country. Elizabeth tries to get him extradited via her being old friends with the crown prince, that doesn't work, and then the prince announces the official will be tried in Bahrain... and is promptly assassinated on live TV.
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An episode of Las Vegas plays it utterly straight when a Syrian diplomat steals a 90 million dollar Egyptian mummy that was on display at the Montecito casino. When Ed shows up trying to stop the guy before he boards his private plane the cops just let him go on with his business by citing his personal immunity, in spite of the fact that letting a foreigner steal a national treasure would undoubtedly lead to an international incident with Egypt (which unlike Syria, has been a major US ally since 1989). However, the guy who stole the treasure was a selfish dick who simply did not give a crap who wanted it for his private collection, Deline didn't have any legally obtained, actionable evidence of the crime, and Team Montecito had already stolen it back.
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In Casino Royale (2006), James Bond gets in trouble for paying absolutely no attention to the extraterritoriality of an embassy in Africa. ("You violated the only absolutely inviolate rule of international relations, and for what?")
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Defied on Unforgettable. A foreign diplomat is arrested for murder and invokes diplomatic immunity. The deputy mayor overseeing the investigation immediately goes to that country's ambassador and points out that the goodwill of the United States in general and of the NYPD in particular is worth more than trying to protect a corrupt diplomat who committed a murder for personal reasons. The ambassador agrees and promptly waives the diplomat's immunity on behalf of his country.
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In a Brazilian Mickey Mouse Comic Universe, the Phantom Blot managed to acquire diplomatic immunity by kidnapping an ambassador and stealing his papers to claim he was the ambassador, even getting Super Goof declared a criminal for arresting him. Much to O'Hara's delight and Phantom Blot's horror, Super Goof's reaction was to fly to the country he purpotedly represented and convince their head of state to make him the ambassador and revoke Phantom Blot's status, at which point his plan was exposed and the original ambassador restored to his place.
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In Once Upon a Time in China 2, the British Ambassador refuses to allow General Nap-lan to arrest Sun Yat Sen in their embassy, stating that the Embassy was British soil, and as such they could legally grant the man asylum. (Since he was busy treating people injured in a terrorist attack at the time the attempted arrest was made, the ambassador had every reason to not want the Chinese government to drag the man away at that moment.) The next time said official enters the embassy, he murders the ambassador on the spot, claiming "This is China, not England!". In this case the ambassador is not abusing his powers, but the Chinese government refuses to acknowledge them.
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Midsomer Murders had an episode where the unsearchable diplomat's bag was a minor but important plot point. The alumni of a college tended to get diplomatic jobs, using them to smuggle archaeological and historical artifacts back to England from the countries they were sent to, which were then sold on the black market.
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In the Family Guy episode "E. Peterbus Unum", Peter considers himself to enjoy diplomatic immunity as a result of declaring his house an independent country.
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The Fantastic Four (1967): In "The Way It All Began", Doctor Doom invokes diplomatic immunity as Latveria's ruler to avoid being arrested upon arriving in New York.
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The Adventures of Shirley Holmes: Robert Holmes was once accused of abusing his diplomatic status to sell information to another country. In another episode, it was believed he was harboring a suspected murderer (a woman who turned out to be innocent). The police officer interrogating him acknowledged he couldn't arrest Holmes but warned he could lose his job over that. That risk was quite real.
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The first storyline of Mighty Avengers had Iron Man march his team of Avengers right into Latveria, fight and arrest Doom for something he didn't even start (a symbiote invasion - he had a satellite that started it, but he didn't initiate it). He promptly escaped during Secret Invasion and wasn't touched since.
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In an episode of MacGyver (1985), a murderer and jewel thief has diplomatic immunity as a cultural attaché. Mac and his team prove said attaché's criminality to the ambassador, who insists the attaché be returned to their home country to stand trial. The attaché pleads unsuccessfully to be allowed to face American justice instead.
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In an episode of The Goon Show ("The Case of the Missing CD Plates"), the steamroller which runs down Neddie Seagoon has CD (Corps Diplomatique) plates, preventing him from suing for injury. He is then tricked into screwing CD plates onto a piano that struck him on the head, so that the villains who dropped it on him can claim diplomatic immunity.
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In the Alex Cross novel Pop Goes the Weasel, Geoffrey Shafer is a British diplomat who (and ex-Special Forces assassin) abuses this to get away with murder. Although his government eventually waives the immunity and allows him to be put on trial, his assertion of the immunity during his arrest leads to the most damning evidence being suppressed, and he is acquitted.
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An episode of Night Court put a twist on it. The diplomat in question claimed immunity, but didn't like the idea of leaving America, something he'd have to do to keep getting away with it. (America clearly had more creature comforts.) Eventually, he paid the fines he owed out of faux compassion.
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The following is a list of statements referring to the current page from other pages.

 Diplomatic Impunity
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Artistic License – Law
 Diplomatic Impunity
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Just for Pun
 Diplomatic Impunity
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Villains
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
 Fan Fic: Memories of Days Long Past / int_10f3a8dd
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Diplomatic Impunity
 All Things Probable Series (Fanfic) / int_6bc499da
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Diplomatic Impunity
 Changeling Space Program & The Maretian (Fanfic) / int_6bc499da
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Diplomatic Impunity
 Of Crystal Shards and Dust (Fanfic) / int_6bc499da
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
 U.S. Marshals / int_6bc499da
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Diplomatic Impunity
 Light Novel: Asobi ni Iku yo! / int_10f3a8dd
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Diplomatic Impunity
 Literature: DoubleShot
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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Diplomatic Impunity
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