Diplomatic Privileges (Commonwealth Countries and Republic of Ireland) Act

(Original Enactment: Ordinance 37 of 1957)

(30th March 1987)
An Act to confer upon certain officers of Commonwealth countries and the Republic of Ireland in Singapore reciprocal privileges and immunities.
[13th December 1957]
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Diplomatic Privileges (Commonwealth Countries and Republic of Ireland) Act.
2.  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“Commonwealth officer” means an officer of a country to which this Act applies for the time being recognised by the Government of Singapore as an officer of that country performing in Singapore functions substantially corresponding to those which in the case of a foreign power would be performed by a consular officer;
“consular officer” has the same meaning as in the Consular Conventions Act [Cap. 52];
“employee” means any person employed at the office of a Commonwealth officer for the performance of executive, administrative, clerical, technical or professional duties or as a guard, messenger or driver of a vehicle whose name has been communicated by the Commonwealth officer to the Minister, but does not include any person employed on domestic duties;
“office” means any building or part of a building which is exclusively occupied for the purpose of the official business of a Commonwealth officer.
Restriction of powers of entry into offices
3.—(1)  Subject to this section, the office of a Commonwealth officer shall not be entered by a police officer or other person acting in the execution of any warrant or other legal process or in the exercise of powers conferred by or under any written law (whether passed before or after the commencement of this Act) or otherwise, except with the consent of the Commonwealth officer in charge of the office or, if that consent is withheld or cannot be obtained, with the consent of the Minister.
(2)  Nothing in this section shall apply to any entry effected —
(a)in pursuance of section 7(a) of the Fire Service Act (which confers power to enter premises for the purpose of extinguishing fire) or any other written law making provision corresponding with the provisions of that section;
(b)by a police officer who has reasonable cause to believe that a crime involving violence has been or is being or is about to be committed in the office; or
(c)by any person entitled to enter by virtue of any easement, contract or other private right.
Remission of taxes, duties, and fees
4.  The President may provide that any tax, charge, duty or fee, imposed or collected under any written law in force in Singapore or any part thereof by the Government or by a public authority, and payable by the government of any country to which this Act applies or by a Commonwealth officer or an employee of such a government, shall be remitted when, in the opinion of the President, substantially similar treatment is accorded or would be accorded by that government to the Government of Singapore or to its officers or employees corresponding in status to the officers and employees of that country.
Immunity from suits and legal process and inviolability of archives
5.  Commonwealth officers shall enjoy in Singapore the like immunity from suit and legal process and the like inviolability of official archives as are accorded by the common or unwritten law of Singapore to consular officers.
Countries to which this Act applies
6.—(1)  The countries to which this Act applies are Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
(2)  The President may by order published in the Gazette provide for including among the countries to which this Act applies any country specified in the order, being —
(a)a country within the Commonwealth; or
(b)the Republic of Ireland.
(3)  Any order made under subsection (2) may be revoked by a subsequent order.
(4)  Any order made under subsection (2) shall be presented to Parliament as soon as possible after publication.
Reciprocal treatment
7.—(1)  The President may by order published in the Gazette provide that this Act shall cease to apply to, or shall be modified in its application to, any country on the ground that that country is failing to accord corresponding treatment to the Government of Singapore.
(2)  Section 6(3) and (4) shall apply to any order made under this section.