The Harry Dunn Case

Today, I have been preoccupied with the Harry Dunn case. I keep wondering what it would be like if one of my kids was killed in similar circumstances.

It would be bad enough to have a child killed, but to see a foreign government help them escape trial must add a whole new dimension to the case, particularly when it is supposed to be a friendly foreign government.

Nations should realise what messages they send with their actions. I know what message I am taking away from it. The message I am taking away is that the UK is not seen as either a friend or an ally, which I sort of knew anyway, and that the life of a British youth is not worth a fig compared to the comfort of an American citizen.

This will only be a short post. I don’t want to labour the point, and i don’t want to say anything to cause offence to American readers. It is, after all, a decision taken by the state, not by individuals.

However, I would like to know what any passing Americans think of the case, or indeed, have even heard of it.

And that. I think, is a good place to stop.

 

20 thoughts on “The Harry Dunn Case

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Like so many things, diplomatic immunity is a great concept and quite important. But it has been debased. Ditto for politics – ours is the worst I have known in my life and I have washed my hands of it. I’m voting Green for the rest of my life as it is the only thing that really matters now.

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    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      It is the first to be refused since we signed a new treaty in 2003.

      Courts in the USA have previously denied the extradition of several IRA members on the grounds that their crimes were political.

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  1. arlingwoman

    The case is awful. It’s just horrible. And the idea that someone can get away with such recklessness is hard to contemplate. But here’s the thing. There’s likely a British diplomat that got away with something similar and numerous other diplomats around the globe who escaped consequences because diplomats and their families have immunity from prosecution in the countries where they serve. One of the annoyances in NY and DC is that they park anywhere they like with impunity and never have to pay parking fines. Hardly manslaughter, though. The issue here, as I understand it, is that sending her back to face charges, would set a precedent where diplomatic immunity could be challenged–and diplomats are sometimes accused of crimes they did not actually commit. I’ve been following this case and the parents were here a few months ago. It’s one of those complex outrages where it’s hard to fault anyone who comes down on any side of it.

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    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Yes, diplomats owe millions in parking fines in London too. I’m sure the concept of diplomatic immunity was not meant to cover this.

      I’ve always thought it was meant to keep people secure from problems in hostile environments, and can see why it is necessary.

      It has, I’m sure, been abused in the past.

      In the current case I’ve seen reports that her husband was not an accredited diplomat. If this is true, diplomatic immunity should not be an issue.

      A complex case at the best of times.

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  2. Sharon

    Here in Australia I am aware of the case and I am disgusted that someone has been allowed to escape justice by an abuse of diplomatic immunity. It is a shameful incident that was made worse by the behavior of the American president in attempting to force a meeting with the woman accused of responsibility for the accident and the parents.
    There appears to be no honour and justice in the world.

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    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Interesting to see it has travelled to Australia, I would have thought you had enough to worry about at thy moment without importing bad news.

      Part of the problem I have with it is that her husband seems not to be an accredited diplomat. Therefore she is not even entitled to diplomatic immunity.

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      1. Sharon

        Maybe I should just stay away from reading the news, none of it ever seems good and I best not get started on the subject of bushfires and what I think I will now call climate criminals, ( that is politicians who have been complicit in ecocide).
        Well done for having an international conversation about the issue, maybe I am old fashioned but I think people should do the honorable thing and be accountable for their actions and yes using diplomatic immunity in this case does rather look like an abuse of the privilege. And a boys life is not quite on a par with parking fines.

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    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      It’s one of those things that is probably only of local importance. I find it a tricky subject because he was about the same age as my kids and that makes it strike home. However, there are plenty of things out there, like Australian bush fires, that are obviously equally terrible for the people involved.

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    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      I was wondering if it was a matter of importance to anyone outside the UK. So far that seems to be mixed. I’m sure this is true of many stories in the world.

      The press in the UK is full of Harry Dunn and the Royal family, despite the stories of hardship they could be running from around the globe.

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