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Thread: Crazy hypothetical political/legal scenario

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Default Crazy hypothetical political/legal scenario

    Here's one I've been kicking in my head for years:

    The laws of Southeast Asian Pacific countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore towards drug smuggling are notoriously strict. Individuals who bring banned substances into their borders, regardless of circumstance, are swiftly executed. There have been horror stories of innocent people losing their lives in these countries because someone had secretly placed some banned substance inside their luggage.

    Here's an outlandish situation to consider: what if Prince Charles of the United Kingdom, heir to the British crown, were caught smuggling a banned substance into one of these countries?

    1. Would the countries execute the prince per their laws, or would they make an exception for him because of his status? If they execute him, would they risk some sort of retaliation (either political/economic or military) from Britain? If they don't execute him, how would they enforce their laws in the future?

    2. If the country in question decides to execute Charles and refuses to negotiate with Britain for his release, would Britain go to war to save their future monarch? Or would they agree that he had broken the hypothetical country's law and had to pay the penalty, prince or no prince?

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    Senior Member oGaKirA's Avatar
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    1. No they would most likely not execute them. If it were someone like the Prince, they would simply keep it on the downlow, slap him on the hands and let him go.

    2. However if the country did decide to make it public and execute the very important person, then nothing any country can do because the World is watching...not even going to war. 1 Prince may not be worth many soldiers.
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    Senior Member jiang bao's Avatar
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    Cover up or scapegoating will occur. More likely cover up.
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    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Neither.

    Even the most junior of diplomats, much less a head of state, has immunity from prosecution when travelling abroad; this is what is commonly known as 'diplomatic immunity'. A diplomat could literally murder someone in front of a courthouse, and unless the diplomat's country waived the immunity (some countries refuse to waive immunity for any reason), said diplomat literally could not be prosecuted; at most, he would be expelled from the host country. They will, however, almost always be prosecuted and be punished in their home country.

    In addition, diplomats have what is known as 'personal immunity', meaning that their person and their possessions are inviolable. So even if a diplomat was brazenly bringing in huge amounts of drugs, those governments would not be able to arrest him, much less execute him; at most, they could declare him persona non grata and expel him from the country.

    Of course, diplomats obviously can't do whatever the hell they want; their own country will generally prosecute them for any crimes committed overseas, and they will obviously lose their job, etc. etc. But the host country itself cannot arrest them; their person and property is inviolable and not subject to any jurisdiction save that of their own country.

    So to answer the question simply,

    1) He would never be caught, because his personal possessions are inviolable and not subject to search,

    2) Even if he was caught and assuming said governments wanted to make a stink out of it, at most they could expel him from the country.
    Last edited by Ren Wo Xing; 07-15-09 at 11:34 PM.
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    Moderator kidd's Avatar
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    These individuals who bring banned substances into the country will not be swiftly executed. They still need to go on trial. The court can easily said that there's not enough proof to convict the prince and set him free.
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    Senior Member KJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidd View Post
    These individuals who bring banned substances into the country will not be swiftly executed. They still need to go on trial. The court can easily said that there's not enough proof to convict the prince and set him free.
    They can, but if they do have the evidence, would they? That's the question Ken is asking. Would they still go ahead and prosecute him knowing it will turn into a big deal since he is the prince (barring diplomatic immunity). Or will they turn the other way and let him go.

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    I think he will be executed as it's a mandatory sentence for bringing illegal substance into the country. If the country doesn't execute him, then it will lose all the credibility. I don't think great britain can do anything over it as the world is watching.

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