- Project Runeberg -  A practical guide for Russian consular officers and all persons having relations with Russia /
391

(1916) Author: Alfons Heyking - Tema: Russia
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he adds, "immunity from any personal obligations, weighing under the
local law upon private persons, which are incompatible with the
reasonably continuous presence of the Consul at his office or with his ability
to go wherever he may be called by his Consular duty. Thus it is held
that Consuls are exempt from serving on juries, because such
employment implies absence, and may compel them to travel to some distance
from their official residence." It would therefore be advisable to
incorporate in Consular Conventions the exemption of professional
Consular Officers from serving on juries or inquests.

Control of Consuls over Mentally Detective Countrymen.

Another case in point is the helpless position in which foreign
Consular Officers in Great Britain find themselves owing to the lack
of any administrative power over those of their own countrymen who
are mentally deranged. According to the Consular regulations of
nearly all civilised countries, Consuls are the lawful guardians of minors,
feeble-minded persons, and lunatics of their nationality who
temporarily or permanently reside within their Consular district. Having
to bear the responsibility of such duties, Consular Officers ought to be
in a position effectually to exercise them. Governments which have
recognised the official character of Consuls by granting them the
Exequatur, should place them in a position to fulfil their duties towards
their own countrymen, otherwise their office becomes nudum jus
without practical utility. As the matter stands now, Consular Officers
are advised that they must charge persons of their nationality, whom
they consider to be mentally deranged, before a local magistrate.
This course cannot be considered satisfactory, as in such case the
Consular Officer would find himself altogether in a false position,
proceeding, as it were, against his countrymen. It seems, therefore,
desirable that Consuls should be given the right of deciding whether
any inquiry should be held by local administrative authorities into
the state of mind of lunatics or feeble-minded persons of the Consul’s
nationality and, if the fact of their lunacy or feeble-mindedness be
established, the Consul should be entitled to request those authorities
to deprive the persons of their freedom until their restoration to health.
The provision wanted would run as follows : "In case a foreign
Consular Officer applies to the proper local authorities with the request that
measures of precaution be taken in respect of Russian subjects who,
in his opinion, are mentally deranged, the local authorities will arrange
for the examination of the state of mind of such person, and if it is
found that they are of unsound mind, they will have to be confined
in a lunatic asylum to be kept there until they can be certified as
sufficiently recovered to be able to be discharged without danger to
themselves and others."

The above suggestions are, of course, open to any amendment or
enlargement likely to improve them. They are put forward in order
to show, in principle, the desirability for Great Britain of concluding
Consular Treaties.


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