Boris Johnson Must Waive Any Claim of Immunity for Prince Andrew 235

Contrary to the Establishment line, Prince Andrew does not automatically have diplomatic immunity for statutory rape charges in the USA: and if he does, the UK Government can waive it.

Any British diplomat facing investigation for under-age sex in the USA would, beyond doubt, instantly have their immunity waived by the UK government. There is no reason why Prince Andrew should be different.

That is even if he has diplomatic immunity in the first place. The children of a Head of State do not have immunity under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. It is generally accepted that they do often enjoy such immunity, but this is not contained in any international treaty and most experts in public international law do not even think it reaches the bar of customary international law, rather reaching the lower standard of comity – what states usually do in friendly co-operation. Comity can be argued in an international court, but it is the weakest form of international law below treaty law and customary law. Comity in this case boils down to no more than the notion that Donald Trump would not want Andrew in the dock in Florida, because he would want Ivanka to be protected from ending up in the dock in London.

A UN Commission considered this subject:

128. The doctrine reflects the various viewpoints. It is noted in Oppenheim’s International Law that a comparison of the status of members of the family of a Head of State with the position of the family of a diplomatic agent indicates that members of the family of a Head of State forming part of his household enjoy immunity from the jurisdiction of the host State. The fact that members of the family of a Head of State and Head of Government are protected by immunity is also acknowledged by P. Gully-Hart. In the view of A. Watts, the immediate family of a Head of State may enjoy immunity, but on the basis of comity and not of international law. This view is endorsed by S. Sucharitkul. The view that, if the members of the family of a Head of State are also granted immunity, it is on the basis only of international comity and not of international law was supported in the resolution of the Institute of International Law.

Even then, it is universally agreed that children of a Head of State would only be covered by immunity if they were part of the head of state’s household. Now it is important to note that the word “household” here, in international law, does not necessarily have the same precise application as it does in UK domestic political parlance. In the UK, Prince Andrew is part of the “Royal Household”, which is why he troughs a massive £280,000 a year for doing very little. But in international law the provision is much more likely to be interpreted in the common meaning, as in dependent family living together in a single home. Dependent children might include adult students but does not stretch to 60 year old millionaires.

The USA of course has a habit of ignoring international law when it so wishes under the doctrine of “exceptionalism”. However it would need British agreement not to claim diplomatic immunity for extradition proceedings in the UK to go ahead. It is sickening that Julian Assange is in a maximum security prison awaiting extradition for publishing the truth, while Prince Andrew is in some mansion having his feet massaged.

There is a further argument that Prince Andrew had immunity while on his visits to Epstein because of his status as “International Trade Ambassador” for the UK. That is a possible argument, although just like immunity for children of the Head of State, the situation on temporary visiting envoys is not firmly established by treaty. There is a UN Convention on Special Missions, but only about 30 countries ever ratified it, and neither the UK nor USA has ever done so. If Andrew was in the USA in that capacity, and if the State Department had received a formal Diplomatic Note indicating he was visiting on official business, customary international law would tend to support the view he had a claim to immunity. This quote from the German Federal Supreme Court is given in a very interesting paper on the subject in the European Journal of International Law:

irrespective of the [UN Special Missions Convention], there is a customary rule of international law based on State practice and opinio juris which makes it possible for an ad hoc envoy, who has been charged with a special political mission by the sending State, to be granted immunity by individual agreement with the host State for that mission and its associated status, and therefore for such envoys to be placed on a par with the members of the permanent missions of State protected by international treaty law.

However, it is not plain that on all occasions when he partied with Epstein, Andrew was in the States on an official basis, and even if he was, the UK government can still waive his immunity. The media are attempting to fix in our minds the idea that his immunity is immutable and nothing can be done. Far from it. It is conferred by the sending government and agreed by the receiving government. The sending government can simply waive or revoke it at will. This is frequently done.

All of this might be entirely academic because of the extraordinary inaction of the FBI on the case. It beggars belief that Ghislaine Maxwell has not yet been arrested or interviewed about the overwhelming evidence of her role as a procuress or pimp. It further beggars belief there has been no interview under caution of Prince Andrew in either the United States or the UK. The problem is, of course, that any number of very powerful people are going to be implicated in any serious investigation. In particular, the Clintons still have an astonishing amount of influence over senior staff of the FBI.

Only the power of public outrage is ever going to force any action, and this will be difficult to mobilise and focus; doubtless the mainstream media will shortly seek to close the matter down. But we can do a little to push things forward by insisting on a declaration from Boris Johnson that Prince Andrew’s bogus claim to diplomatic immunity will be denied or waived.


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235 thoughts on “Boris Johnson Must Waive Any Claim of Immunity for Prince Andrew

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  • N_

    The Sun is offering £10k to whoever can tell them where Ghislaine Maxwell is.

    One has to recall that the Israeli prime minister and president and half the Israeli cabinet attended her father’s funeral in occupied Jerusalem.

    • Phill

      And former Israeli PM Ehud Barak was heavily involved with Epstein. Visited him many times whilst Epstein donated to his politcal campaigns and helped finance some of Barak’s businesses.

  • N_

    (W)e can do a little to push things forward by insisting on a declaration from Boris Johnson that Prince Andrew’s bogus claim to diplomatic immunity will be denied or waived.

    This is an excellent idea. Has someone published a petition yet? This takes about 15 minutes to do at Whoever does it should refer to how in tonight’s ITV debate, when asked whether “Prince Andrew” was “fit for purpose”, Boris Johnson mumbled that “the law must take its course”. Yes indeed it must. But unfortunately there has been some speculation in the media about this man’s possible diplomatic immunity. So we are demanding a clear answer to the question “Will Boris Johnson guarantee that the British government will not under any circumstances consider Prince Andrew to have immunity from extradition in respect of any charges that may be laid against him in connection with the Jeffrey Epstein case?” – Yes or No.

    This deserves a huge audience. The beauty of it is that Boris Johnson cannot actually answer with an unequivocal Yes or No.

    • SA

      It is not a new thing that Boris doesn’t answer straight questions. He will always go back to the mantra. B’Brexit must be done’ and the headless chickens will cheer whatever the question asked. He has become a tunnelled vision PM. This is what must be exploited, his shallowness with regards any other issues.

    • Chris

      N mentions Johnson’s “…the law must take its course…”
      The mumbling dissembler also said, rather more clearly, “the Royal Family must be above reproach…”
      Don’t underestimate his capacity for equivocation!

      • N_

        He said the “institution of the monarchy” is “beyond reproach”. Which means, of course, that

        * the royal family must be beyond reproach, and
        * we must all know our place, and
        * anyone who doesn’t know their place (for example, any person who reproaches the monarchy or any member of the royal family) doesnt count as a person and doesn’t count has having said anything, because they are putting themselves completely outside and against what is natural

        because that’s what the monarchy is all about.

  • Willie

    The abuse of children and young people goes to the heart of common decency. It transcends cultures and states.

    The royal family, and in this latest example, have shown themselves to be nothing less that freeloading and sordid low life’s fully open to abuse the hereditary privelige that has been bestowed on them.

    Like the Jimmy Saville’s of the world nothing is off limits – not even abusing the dead.

    But people can demand change. Governments can pursue change. Governments can pursue the middle age men who would use someone’s 14 or 15 year old daughter.

    High time these royal perverts and their jet set chums were trans nationally hunted down and jailed.

    And that in our case includes the old slut that is our queen and who protects her odious son.

  • SA

    Corbyn I think answered the question about Royalty extremely well. And in his answer he was not only referring to Andrew but also to prorogationgate in a subtle way. It was very clear from this debate who would really make a better prime minister. Yet the press thinks it is a draw.

    • John A

      Mayb e that’s why the Daily Mail claims, quoting rent a gob Baddiel, that Corbyn pronounced the name Epstein in an ‘anti-semitic’ way.

    • Republicofscotland

      Prince Andrew’s (He’s too honourable ya know) good buddie Epstein, as we suspect was silenced, he knew too much, well the guards that were meant to be monitoring him in prison didn’t.

      Instead both guards falsified log entries and failed to perform checks on Epstein every half hour as stipulated. Both have been charged.

      However we all know these two are nothing more than patsies, and are taking the fall to cover up what really happened to Epstein.

      As pressure grows on Prince Andrew to give a statement to the Feds and name names, I wonder what the Queen’s favourite son will do next as sponsor after sponsor heads for the hills. I mean who’d want Prince Andrew as a patron now?

      Will mummy step in and find a way through this tangled web of deceit and intrigue? And get Prince Andrew off the hook somehow?

      And where is Ghislaine Maxwell now? Is she like her father sleeping with the fishes?

    • Ken Kenn

      There is a reason for Johnson’s ” hyperactivity ” and it’s not over enthusiasm.

      Any reporter with a bit of nous ( there are not many of them ) could get an astounding story if they followed him a lot more closely and I mean closely.

      ” Just sayin’ ” as Laura would say, as she’s the closest.

      She’s too close to say.

    • Mary

      Liar. Liar. Pants on Fire.

      So much for family ‘rule’ cited by Prince Andrew that one parent was always at home: Photos reveal Duke of York on a US trip in 2001 while his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson was in India
      Of he and Sarah Ferguson, Prince Andrew said ‘when one is away the other is there’
      Used this as part of defence against allegations he danced with Virginia Roberts
      But photographs and reports show duke and duchess broke this months earlier

      Hope his mother and daughters still love him. Nobody else seems to.

  • Mary

    If P Andrew is :stepping back from public duties’, is he also stepping back from receiving the £249,000 pa allowance he has been receiving from the crown? We should be told.

  • michael norton

    A few interesting connections in the Ghislaine/Jeffrey ensemble
    Ghislaine is the daughter of Robert Maxwell, he named his yacht for his daughter, he is said to have slipped overboard on the yacht
    The Lady Ghislaine and his remains were put to rest on The Mount of Olives, Israel.
    Before Robert Maxwell purchased the yacht it was known as Dancing Hare and it was built for Emad Khashoggi.
    One of Emad’s cousins was Dodi Fayed, who died in a Paris tunnel with the Princess of Wales.
    Another of Emad’s cousins was Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi the journalist who in October 2018 was slaughtered in Istanbul.

    • michael norton

      Adnan Khashoggi
      He was an uncle of slaughtered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
      Adnan’s yacht Nabila was later sold to Donald Trump.

  • Fwl

    1 Have to wonder why it is that so many photos of Andrew in the press this week have him with Tony Blair Red Devil eyes.

    2 Who is advising the Family? In one month we have this TV interview with Prince Andrew and two weeks ago we had the Prince Charles and Janes Stunt fake art story. They are very different scandals and one obviously far worse than the other, but surely any security or intelligence team could have advised as to the wisdom of a friendship with Epstein and borrowing Shunt’s art collection.

    3 I support Brexit (somewhat) but what happens if we have Brexit, an economic / constitutional crisis, a loss of the Monarch and a collapse in confidence in the Royal family. Open door for something worse that’s what. In that new Scorsese film the Irishman after Hoffa, the Teamster President gets put inside at first one might think Kennedy’s ‘Get Hoffa’ campaign has worked and it’s going to be something better, but what happened is the new guy is a pushover and the mobs find it even easier to get their super easy term Los Vegas bridging loans than they did with Hoffa so when he is released they don’t want him back.

    In other words if you remove what you don’t like don’t go expecting to get what you like.

    But if on the other hand you are the mean type with more resources than morals let the others open Pandora’s box and see what you can make of it. I only say this because as interesting as Craig’s blog is there is a naive theme that because we as a nation have done many bad things we should be deconstructed and then things might be better.

  • Kaiama

    Assange – should not be extradited?
    Andrew – should be extradited if necessary?
    Sacoolas – should be extradited but isn’t.
    Are we not in danger of bending over a little too much for posterior comfort?

  • Mary B

    Alright for some.

    ‘The Duke of York looked remarkably cheerful as he left his grace-and-favour Windsor home driving his £170,000 Bentley Flying Spur sports car this morning, despite calls for him to give evidence to the FBI under oath reaching fever pitch.’

    Hope it’s not a case of ‘not waving but drowning’.

    ‘I read about a man getting drowned once
    His friends thought he was waving to them from the sea but really, he was drowning
    And then I thought that, in a way, it is true of life too
    That a lot of people pretend, out of bravery really
    That they are very jolly and ordinary sort of chaps…’

    • michael norton

      Jack, that is what many people have understood for some time, being both millionaires, neither Ghislaine Maxwell not Epstein needed to make money by blackmail.
      It was thought that Robert Maxwell also did undercover work for Israeli Intelligence – hence he was allowed to be interned on
      The Mount of Olives.

  • Mary

    The previous Duke of York, the present Queen’s late father, received the title from George V. The letter George V sent to his son, Prince Albert, referred to the title being ‘noble and untarnished’! Was the current DofY watching?

    This featured in a Channel 4 programme tonight about the creation of the House of Windsor. The royal family, previously the Saxe Coburg Gothas, acquired the name Windsor in June 1917 in the middle of WW1 as German biplanes by the name of Gotha were dropping bombs on London and killing Londoners including a classful of very young children.

    The king was advised that the family’s German connections and name would prove to be so unpopular with the British people that they would be in difficulties like the Romanoffs in Russia who had been executed by the Bolsheviks.

    The correspondence is in the royal archive at Windsor and is seeing the light of day.
    Episode 1 of 6
    This episode reveals fresh insights into how George V rescued the monarchy by dumping his family’s German roots, and explores the Edward VIII abdication crisis

  • Mary

    Quarter of a million security cost to taxpayer of Prince Andrew’s business venture trips
    ‘Taxpayers have paid more than a quarter of a million pounds for Prince Andrew’s security detail to accompany him around the world promoting his Pitch@Palace business venture, an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

    According to court circular listings, the Duke made around 30 foreign trips to carry out engagements on behalf of the company, since he founded it in 2014. The revelations are likely to raise further questions about just how much taxpayers have spent propping up foreign trips made by Prince Andrew for business purposes, and why so many trips were necessary.

    The Duke of York reluctantly stepped down from the business on Friday, following intense pressure in the wake of…’

    Charities and organizations where he was patron are dropping him like a hot cake. From Africa P Charles went straight to Sandringham to speak to P Philip.

    Q How many of P Andrew’s trips made were for ‘business’ and how many for ‘funny business’?

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