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H.R. 7819 (95th): Diplomatic Relations Act


The text of the bill below is as of Sep 30, 1978 (Passed Congress).


92 STAT. 808                    PUBLIC LAW 95-393—SEPT. 30, 1978

                 Public Law 95-393
                 95th Congress
                                                  An Act
Sept. 30, 1978           TO complement the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
 [H.R. 7819]
                  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
Diplomatic       United States of America in Congress assembled,
Relations Act.
                                                SHORT TITIiE

22 use 254a        SECTION   1. This Act may be cited as the "Diplomatic Relations Act",
note.
                                                DEFINITIONS

22 use 254a.       SEC. 2. As used in this Act—
                        (1) the tenn "members of a mission" means—
                             (A) the head of a mission and members of the diplomatic
                          staff of a mission,
                             (B) members of the administrative and technical staff of a
                          mission, and
                             (C) members of the service staff of a mission,
                     as such terms are defined in Article 1 of the Vienna Convention;
                        (2) the term "family" means—
                             (A) the members of the family of a member of a mission
                          described in paragraph (1) (A) who form part of his or her
                          household if they are not nationals of the United States, and
                             (B) the members of the family of a member of a mission
                          described in paragraph (1) (B) who form part of his or her
                           household if they are not nationals or permanent residents of
                          the United States,
                     within the meaning of Article 37 of the Vienna Convention;
                        (3) the t>erm "mission" includes missions within the meaning of
                     the Vienna Convention and any missions representing foreign
                     governments, individually or collectively, which are extended the
                     same privileges and immunities, pursuant to law, as are enjoyed by
                     missions under the Vienna Convention; and
                        (4) the term "Vienna Convention" means the Vienna Conven-
                     tion on Diplomatic Relations of April 18,1961 (T.I.A.S. numbered
                     7502; 23 U.S.T. 3227), entered into force with respect to the United
                     States on December 13,1972.
                 ESTABLISHMENT OF THE VIENNA CONVENTION AS THE UNITED STATES l A W
                            ON DIPLOMATIC PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES

Repeal.             S E C 3. (a) (1) Sections 4063 through 4066 of the Revised Statutes
                 of the United States (22 U.S.C. 252-254) are repealed.
                    (2) The section analysis of title XLVTI of the Revised Statutes of
                 the United States is amended by striking out the items relating to sec-
                 tions 4063 through 4066.
22 use 254b.        (b) Members of the mission of a sending state which has not ratified
                 the Vienna Convention, their families, and the diplomatic couriers
                 of such state, shall enjoy the privileges and immunities specified in the
                 Vienna Convention.

PUBLIC LAW 95-393—SEPT. 30, 1978 92 STAT. 8()9 AUTHORITY TO EXTEND MORE FAVORABLE OR LESS FAVORABLE TREATMENT SEC. 4. T h e President may, on the basis of reciprocity and under 22 USC 254c. such terms and conditions as he may determine, specify privileges and immunities for members of the mission, their families, and the diplo- matic couriers of any sending state which result in more favorable treatment or less favorable treatment t h a n is provided under the Vienna Convention. DISMISSAL OF ACTIONS AGAINST INDIVIDUALS ENTITLED TO I M M U N I l T f SEC. 5. Any action or proceeding brought against an individual who 22 USC 254d. is entitled to immunity with respect to such action or proceeding under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, under section 3 ( b ) or 4 of this Act, or under any other laws extending diplomatic privi- leges and immunities, shall be dismissed. Such immunity may be established upon motion or suggestion by or on behalf of the indi- vidual, or as otherwise permitted by law or applicable rules of procedure. REQUIREMENT FOR LIABILITY INSURANCE SEC. 6. (a) E a c h mission, members of the mission and their families, 22 USC 254e. and individuals described in section 19 of the Convention on Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations of F e b r u a r y 13, 1946, shall comply with any requirement imposed by the regulations promulgated by the President pursuant to subsection ( b ) . (b) The President shall, by regulation, establish liability insurance Regulations, requirements to be met by each mission, members of the mission and their families, and individuals described in section 19 of the Conven- tion on Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations of Febru- ary 13, 1946, relating to risks arising from the operation in the United States of any motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft. (c) T h e President shall take such steps as he may deem necessary to insure t h a t each mission, members of the mission and their families, and individuals described in section 19 of the Convention on Privileges t^.-j: and Immunities of the United Nations of February 13, 1946, who operate motor vehicles, vessels, or aircraft in the United States comply with the requirements established pursuant to subsection ( b ) . SEC. 7. (a) T h a t chapter 85 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by the addition of the following new section: "§ 1364. Direct actions against insurers of members of diplomatic 28 USC 1364. missions and their families " ( a ) T h e district courts shall have original and exclusive jurisdic- tion, without regard to the amount in controversy, of any civil action commenced by any person against an insurer who by contract has insured an individual, who is a member of a mission (as defined in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations) or a member of the family of such a member of a mission, or an individual described in section 19 of the Convention on Privileges and Immunities of t h e United Nations of F e b r u a r y 13, 1946, against liability for personal injury, death, or damage to property. " ( b ) A n y direct action brought against an insurer under subsection (a) shall be tried without a jury, but shall not be subject to the defense t h a t the insured is immune from suit, t h a t the insured is an indispens- abllB party, or in the absence of fraud or collusion, t h a t the insured has violated a term of the contract, unless the contract was cancelled before the claim arose.".
92 STAT. 810 PUBLIC LAW 95-393—SEPT. 30, 1978 (b) The chapter analysis of chapter 85 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding after the item relating to section 1363 the following new item: "1364. Direct actions against insurers of members of diplomatic missions and their families.". CONFORMING AMENDMENTS TO TITLE 2 8 SEC. 8. (a)(1) Section 1351 of title 28, United States Code, is amended to read as follows: "§1351. Consuls, vice consuls, and members of a diplomatic mission as defendant "The district courts shall have original jurisdiction, exclusive of the courts of the States, of all civil actions and proceedings against— " Q^ consuls or vice consuls of foreign states; or "(2) members of a mission or members of their families (as such terms are defined in section 2 of the Diplomatic Relations Act).". (2) The chapter analysis of chapter 85 of such title 28 is amended by amending the item relating to section 1351 to read as follows: "1351. Consuls, vice consuls, and members of a diplomatic mission as defendant.". (b)(1) Section 1251(a) of such title 28 is amended to read as follows: Jurisdiction. " (a) The Supreme Court shall have original and exclusive jurisdic- tion of all controversies between two or more States.". (2) Section 1251(b) (1) of such title 28 is amended by striking out "brought by" and all that follows through "consuls or" and inserting in lieu thereof "to which ambassadors, other public ministers, consuls, or". EFFECTIVE DATE 22 use 254a SEC. 9. This Act shall take effect at the end of the ninety-day period note. beginning on the date of its enactment. Approved September 30, 1978. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: HOUSE REPORT No. 95-526 (Comm. on International Relations). SENATE REPORTS: No. 95-958 (Comm. on Foreign Relations) and No. 95-1108 (Comm. on the Judiciary). CONGRESSIONAL RECORD: Vol. 123 (1977): July 27, considered and passed House. Vol. 124 (1978): Aug. 17, considered and passed Senate, amended. Sept. 18, House concurred in Senate amendments. WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS: Vol. 14, No. 40 (1978): Oct. 2, Presidential statement.