Tuesday 1 – Wednesday 2 November 2022
By an Appellant’s Notice filed at this Court on 3 June 2021, this is an appeal against the decision the President of the Family Division and Sir Duncan Ouseley. The applicant is the Children’s Guardian who seeks to challenge the dismissal of the claim brought by the local authority, for a declaration of incompatibility pursuant to s.4(2) of the Human Rights Act 1998 in respect of the immunity provisions of the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964. There is no express exclusion from its Part V remit of the children of diplomats, who enjoy immunity or inviolability under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR).
The background to proceedings are that in 2019 and continuing in to 2020, the Local Authority had concerns about the welfare of the children of a diplomat and his wife, who were living within its area. It took such steps as it could to protect the children, but the range of steps, including those which would have been the most effective, could not be taken because of the immunity enjoyed by the diplomat, his wife and children. An application for an interim care order came before Mostyn J in March 2020 who concluded that his hands were tied by the operation of section 2 of the DPA. The interim care order could not be made when it otherwise would have been.