On June 4, 2014, the Lorenz Public International Law and Diplomatic Law Team has organized a seminar on the occasion of the publication of “Diplomatic Law in Belgium”, a book written by B. Theeuwes, F. Dopagne and former Lorenz associate E. Hay. Over 120 representatives of 88 embassies and missions to the European Union have attended the event, in Flagey cultural center.
After an introduction by B. Theeuwes, Mr. D. Caroes, a senior official at the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has given a presentation outlining the role of the Protocol Directorate as well as the main recent trends in the latter’s practice. F. Dopagne has then made a presentation on the immunity from jurisdiction of diplomatic agents in Belgium’s practice, and C. Naesens another presentation on issues around the employment of local staff by diplomatic missions in Belgium. Finally, the audience and the panel have engaged in a fruitful Q&A session. “Diplomatic Law in Belgium” has just been published by Maklu legal publishers, and can be purchased via http://www.maklu.be/MakluEnGarant/en/BookDetails.aspx?id=9789046606865.
The book, which benefits from a foreword by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Mr. D. Reynders, provides a detailed overview of the current practice of Belgian authorities vis-à-vis the diplomatic missions accredited to Belgium or to the European Union. Both the governmental practice (including the numerous circular notes issued by the Protocol Directorate) and the relevant court case-law are analyzed in-depth. The book covers numerous aspects and issues of diplomatic law relating to the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which the Lorenz Public International Law and Diplomatic Law Team is dealing with on a regular basis (immunities, tax exemptions, local staff, seizing bank accounts of the embassy, road traffic matters, status of family members, use of languages in Belgium, etc.).
For more information about the book, please read more here.