An important decision was handed down today by the High Court of England and Wales: for the first time, the Court allowed an application to go forward which will determine whether there is any incompatibility between the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and its provisions on immunity, and Art. 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights and other international human rights treaties.

The dispute arose in the context of alleged abuse of diplomats' children and pitted the Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office against a Local Authority and the Guardian for the children. The Guardian team was led by Jo Delahunty QC and assisted in matters of public international law by Associate Professor and Law Fellow at St Anne's, Antonios Tzanakopoulos. The Secretary of State, opposing the application, was represented by Sir James Eadie QC and Chichele Professor of Public International Law Emeritus Vaughan Lowe QC.