Queens, NY asked in International Law and Military Law for New York

Q: Under the Viena Convention of similar treaty how do you secure the physical safety of a head of state in foreign land?

Under the Viena Convention of similar treaty how do you secure the physical safety of a head of state in foreign land?

The president of Ecuador is basically permanently 'exiling' his VP to Telaviv Israel, to "help" solve the Hamas/Israel war [in reality, he has a personal vendetta against her]. He is a billionaire, she comes from a poor family and has about 10 days in office. He order to basically cut the whole the staff from the Vicepresidency. I would like to help writing a legal article on her defense, I have friends in the news that will publish it. He has claimed that based on the Viena Convention he wants her out by Dec 10. Under the Constitution of Ecuador the life of a VP has to be guaranteed. She has requested the measurement of her risk and physical protection/police members to accompany her. His government has not provided responses to such requests and he signed a decree based on the Viena Convention stating that she has to leave by the 10th.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • International Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Under international law, specifically the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the physical safety and security of a head of state or other high-ranking officials in a foreign country is primarily the responsibility of the host nation. This responsibility is grounded in the principle of diplomatic immunity and protection, which mandates that the host country take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on the person, freedom, or dignity of such officials.

In the scenario you've described, where the Vice President of Ecuador is being sent to Tel Aviv, Israel, under contentious circumstances, her safety and security become a matter of concern. If she is traveling in her official capacity, the host nation (in this case, Israel) would be responsible for ensuring her safety, in accordance with international law and its own national laws. This often involves coordination between the visiting dignitary's security team and local law enforcement or security forces.

However, if the situation involves internal political dynamics of Ecuador, such as the alleged personal vendetta of the President, it complicates the matter. While the Vienna Convention outlines the responsibilities of the host nation, it does not directly address internal political disputes or actions taken by a home country against its own officials.

Writing a legal article in her defense could focus on several key areas:

1. Highlight the obligations of the host nation (Israel) under the Vienna Convention to ensure her safety.

2. Discuss the responsibilities of the Ecuadorian government to protect its officials, as mandated by its own Constitution.

3. Examine the legitimacy and implications of the President's decree under both Ecuadorian law and international law.

4. Address the broader human rights concerns, including the right to personal security and political expression.

Your article can serve as a platform to bring international attention to the Vice President's situation, potentially influencing both Ecuadorian and Israeli authorities to take appropriate actions in line with their legal and international obligations.

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