5.1 Operation of the diplomatic and consular conventions in Australia

Under Australia’s Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act 1967 (‘the DPI Act’) and Consular Privileges and Immunities Act 1972 (‘the CPI Act’), diplomatic missions, consular posts, their staff and family members who form part of staff households, enjoy privileges and immunities in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961 and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963.

Privileges and immunities of consular officials, including honorary consuls, are more restricted than those of diplomatic staff. Immunities are generally limited to acts performed in the exercise of consular functions (‘functional immunity’).

In rare circumstances where an Australian national is given diplomatic or consular accreditation, their immunities will be limited to acts performed in the exercise of official functions.

Further information on immunities by category of representative can be found in the summary of Immunities of Foreign Representatives [DOCX 100 KB].

Under the DPI and CPI Acts, all or any privileges or immunities may be withdrawn from another country’s mission, posts or personnel in Australia if the privileges and immunities accorded to Australia’s mission, posts or personnel in that country are less than those accorded in Australia.

Last Updated: 5 March 2018