As per this question, Persona Non Grata process, in theory, applies to the Embassy, meaning that theoretically, a PNGed person isn't supposed to go to their embassy and hide and everything's OK.

However, what happens in practice? Let's say the sending country and the PNG person decided not to follow the rules. The PNGed person, instead of leaving the host country, simply stays inside the Embassy and refuses to leave it, ever.

This means that the host country can't arrest and deport him outside the Embassy (he never leaves); and they can't arrest and deport him inside the embassy (As per Vienna Convention).

Does that mean that, absent Monty Pythonesque strongly worded protestations, there's no practical (especially legal) consequence to the sending country? Or can such action be seen as a formal violation of Vienna convention (or even casus belli)?


can such action be seen as a formal violation of Vienna convention

It is a violation of Article 9 paragraph 1

In any such case, the sending State shall, as appropriate, either recall the person concerned or terminate his functions with the mission

Possibly of Article 3 paragraph 1e

The functions of a diplomatic mission consist inter alia in: [...] promoting friendly relations between the sending State and the receiving State

Possibly of Article 41 paragraph 3

The premises of the mission must not be used in any manner incompatible with the functions of the mission as laid down in the present Convention or by other rules of general international law or by any special agreements in force between the sending and the receiving State.

What are the practical consequences

The consequences tend to be diplomatic in nature.

Paragraph 2 of Article 9 sets out a consequence.

If the sending State refuses or fails within a reasonable period to carry out its obligations under paragraph 1 of this Article, the receiving State may refuse to recognize the person concerned as a member of the mission.

In general, where a state fails to meet its obligations under the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations, the consequences seem usually, aptly, to be diplomatic in nature.

For example, on 29 November 2011, Iran failed to meet its obligations under article 22 paragraph 2. The consequence was the closure of Iran's embassy in the sending state and the expulsion of all Iran's diplomats.

Whether that counts as "practical" is for the reader to decide.

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  • Closure of the embassy seems practical enough by my personal definition :) – user4012 Mar 29 '18 at 16:23
  • @user4012 That depends how interested both side are in maintaining diplomatic relations. – origimbo Mar 29 '18 at 17:50

The deal is that the PNG leaves the country and the rest of the mission gets to stay.

If the country chooses to break the rules then the whole mission can be removed. If the mission decides to stay in the embassy there would probably be a stand-off. However, without the ability to leave the embassy the mission can't operate.

A diplomatic mission requires the consent of the host country. It is in the guest country's interest to follow the rules, and this is what happens in practice.

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