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The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 (VCDR) is the cornerstone of the relationship between sovereign states. It outlines the principles of diplomatic law and codifies the rules for the exchange and treatment of diplomats as well as their staff. In the meantime about 190 states have ratified the Convention. The VCDR consists of 53 articles, defining, for instance, the diplomatic mission, the agreement, the declaration of a diplomat to be persona non grata, the privileges of diplomats in person, of their families and their premises, the freedom to gather information and to communicate etc.
This Commentary covers the VCDR article-by-article, giving a historical overview, followed by a concise commentary of the relevant law and its implementation in the diplomatic and consular practice taking into consideration the wording of the Convention as well as its practical implementation on the basis of harsh political reality.