Posted: September 17th, 2017
ln 1962 a Convention on Diplomatic Asylum was concluded and signed by 43 countries. including
Ruritania and Moldavia. It came into force in 1969 upon the deposit of the 35th ratification. There
are now 96 parties. including Ruritania. Moldavia has not ratified the Convention.
Article 3 of the Convention reads as follows:
“No State shall grant diplomatic asylum to any person who is seeking asylum as a result of
his or her involvement in, or commission of, any of the following acts:
(a) the crime of genocide” as defined in the Convention on the Prevention and
Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 9 December 1948;
(b) the crime of apartheid. as defined in the International Convention on the
Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid of 30 November
(c) Piracy jure gentium.”
Moldavia grants asylum to Bronowski, who has sought asylum because of f-ear of prosecr.rtion in
Ruritania tbr acts of “ethnic cleansing” contrary to Article 3(a). Ruritania commences proceedings
in the International Court of Justice against Moldavia. seeking a declaration that Moldavia has
thereby violated a rule of customary international law in the terms of Article 3(a). or alternatively
a rule of regional international law applicable as betw-een Ruritania and Moldavia. Ruritania relies
on the following as evidence of the status of the rule.
1. States have frequently (but not invariably) refused asylum in cases covered by Article 3.
2. In particular” in only two cases since I 949 has a person suspected on good evidence of
genocide been granted asylum; once by Ruritania and once by another State. In neither
case was there any official inter-governmental protest, although the General Assembly
subsequently. in general terms. criticized the granting of asylum to a person suspected of
3. The 1962 Convention does not contain a reservations clause: but no reservations have been
made with respect to Article 3,
4. Moldavia has stated officially that its objections to the 1962 Convention, which preclude
ratification. “do not extend to Article 3″.
5. It is generally accepted that the right to grant diplomatic asylum is accorded by
international law as an incident of the immunity of diplomatic premises; although comity
requires the discrete exercise ofthat right.
6, In drafting lhe 1962 Convention six members of the International Law Commission took
the view that Article 3(a) was declaratory of customary international law. Four members
expressed no opinion on the point, Three members thought it merely a rule of morality.
Three thought it de lege /erenda.
7 . Most of the States at the diplomatic Conference which approved lhe 1962 Convention also
took the view that the rule was one of international law. A number of States dissented.
Moldavia expressed no opinion.
8. The General -ssembl1’has passed. in all” 18 resolutions on diplomatic and territorial
as1’lum. and has proclaimed. inter alia:
“No state shall grant asllum to an)’person suspected on probable grounds of an1
international crime, and in particular of offences against multilateral conventions of
a humanitarian nature.”
These resolutions have been passed by overwhelming majorities. Moldavia has usually
abstained: although on 4 occasions it voted in favour.
9. All the States in the region, except Moldavia and Transylvania. are parties to the 1962
Convention. Transylvania explicitly accepts a duty not to grant asylum in situations
covered by Article 3.
Discuss the relevance of these various factors separately. and as a whole.
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