Parlett v Parlett

Date21 juillet 1927
Docket NumberCase No. 207
CourtCourt of First Instance (Switzerland)
Tribunal de première Instance of Geneva.
Case No. 207

Diplomatic Immunities — Officials of the International Labour Organisation — Fiction of Extra-territoriality — Domicile of Officials — Waiver of Immunity.

The Facts.—On 23 March, 1927, Mrs. P., wife of S.P., a first category official of the International Labour Office of British nationality, commenced divorce proceedings against her husband. By a letter of 21 June the Deputy Director of the International Labour Office waived S.P.'s immunities on behalf of the Office in respect of civil proceedings, and by a letter of the same date S.P. himself renounced the benefit of his immunities in respect of the proceedings instituted by his wife. On 5 July the Procureur-General, Geneva, submitted to the Court that it was incompetent on the ground that the defendant being a representative of a foreign country must be deemed never to have left his country and to retain his domicile there in virtue of the legal fiction of extra-territoriality.

Held: that the Court was competent on the following grounds: (1) Extra-territoriality was a fiction. It was merely the ensemble of the privileges and immunities of diplomatic agents and of the officials of the League of Nations and International Labour Office who were assimilated to such agents.

(2) On the waiving of diplomatic immunity the Court of the place of residence of the diplomatic agent...

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