Re Areco León (Minors) - Jurisprudencia - VLEX 870079693

Re Areco León (Minors)

EmisorRegional Court (Chile)
Chile, Second Juvenile Court of Santiago.
Re Areco León (Minors).

Diplomatic Immunities — Staff of Diplomatic Mission — First Secretary of Embassy — Action in Respect of Failure to Pay Alimony — Absence of Immunity — Havana Convention of 1928 Concerning Diplomatic Officers — The Law of Chile.

The Facts.—A warrant for arrest was issued against Don Alberto Areco Pittaluga for failure to make alimony payments for a period of four months. The defendant pleaded to the jurisdiction on the ground that as First Secretary of the Uruguayan Embassy in France he was vested with diplomatic immunity. He submitted that according to Articles 578 and 580 of the Chilean Civil Code the present charge must be classified as a “personal” suit or action and that according to Articles 333 and 337 of the Code of Private International Law (Bustamante Code)1 the Courts of the contracting parties could not take cognizance of “personal” actions in which the defendant was a foreign diplomatic agent.

Held: that the plea must be rejected. A diplomat may not invoke immunity from the jurisdiction of local courts in regard to his personal acts as distinguished from his official acts.

After reviewing the facts, the Court said: “The Court has been officially notified by the Ministry of Foreign Relations that Uruguay has not ratified the Convention on Private International Law; consequently, the provisions of that Convention which have been invoked by the defendant are not applicable to the present case. The only legislation applicable to this case is that provided for in the Convention Concerning Diplomatic Officers, concluded at Habana on February 20, 1923 [sic., actually 1928],1 which was ratified by Uruguay on September 16, 1936, according to information included in the communication from the Ministry of Foreign Relations to which reference has been made, and which was ratified by Chile on September 2, 1936.

“This Convention contains the following relevant provisions:

Article 19. Diplomatic officers are exempt from all civil or criminal jurisdiction of the State to which they are accredited; they may not, except in the case when duly authorized by their Government, waive immunity, be prosecuted or tried unless it be by the courts of their own country.’

Article 22. Diplomatic officers enter upon the enjoyment of their immunity from the moment they pass the frontier of the State where they are going to serve and make known their position.’

‘The immunities shall continue during the...

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