Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Law

Research Student: Alfirjani Abuzayan

Treatment of Diplomatic Envoys in International Law with Special Reference to Law and Practice in Islam

Photo of Alfirjani Abuzayan

Protection of diplomats is a traditional concept of international law that has developed over the centuries. It denotes the process by which a state ensures the safety of their nationals who are working abroad in other states. Ever since the existence of international relations between them, states have facilitated the protection of their nationals abroad against violations of their rights under international law through the exercise of protection of diplomats.

With the strengthening of such relations and the crystallisation of international law in general and rights of individuals in particular, the law on the protection of diplomats developed into customary international law. It is now a well-established part of the law on state responsibility. Protection of diplomats still plays a key role in protecting the rights of nationals abroad. Particularly in view of the lack of universally applicable complaint mechanisms for either human rights violations or investment disputes, it is a well-established concept of customary law and the only means for enforcing the rights of individuals in case of their breach.

The protection of diplomats has received some scholarly attention in recent years, however, less attention has been given to the question of extent of protection that current international law is offering for diplomatic envoys abroad and how much security offered for individuals that acquired under international law. This also applies to the question of what exactly constitutes the protection of diplomats.

A comprehensive analysis of current international law and treaties is needed to point out current international law issues in protecting other nationals abroad and reaffirming receiving sates responsibilities in hosting and protecting foreign individuals.


I have a permanent post as lecturer at School of Law / Sebha University – Libya since Jan 2008 which I have started my study leave to study PhD from June 2012.

What makes me passionate about my subject?

In the last two decades we have witnessed an increasing rate of attacks against diplomatic missions and embassies all over the world, especially in middle eastern countries. The message that I would like to deliver throughout my study is that currently there are many conventions that prohibit these attacks by providing protection to diplomatic missions. However, these conventions are not well implemented and/or do not provide effective protection. That has led to a compromise of the current protection of diplomats making them liable to more attacks. To prevent and decrease future attacks a good understanding and re-evaluation of current international law is needed with a proper comprehensive comparison with Islamic law in dealing with foreigners. This would result in the enhancement of protection of diplomats in the world.

What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?

My plan is to continue research in this area of international law after returning back to my country (Libya) and join my University again. Also I will contribute to delivering the message of protection of diplomats and give a better understanding of the international law in my country.

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