1. Following the pattern of the legislation enacted in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, the bill will provide for:
(a) Immunity from legal process to be accorded to High Commissioners, members of their official staff, members of their family, and members of their domestic staff;
(b) Extension by Order-in-Council to other classes of Commonwealth representatives serving in Canada;
(c) Waiver of immunity in certain cases;
(d) Extension of the Act to other Commonwealth countries and exclusion of countries refusing reciprocal treatment;
(e) Issuance of a certificate by the Secretary of State for External Affairs relevant to any question on Immunity;
(f) Saving provision with respect to pending proceedings.
2. The purpose of this legislation is to make provision for diplomatic immunities for High Commissioners of Commonwealth countries, their staffs and families. A statute to this effect would complete for Canada the process of assimilating the status of High Commissioner to that of Ambassador. Similar legislation, designed to operate on a basis of reciprocity has been enacted in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the Union of South Africa. In India the present legislation provides that High Commissioners have immunity from civil process and consideration is being given to an amendment which would provide immunity from criminal process. Pakistan and Ceylon have agreed in principle to enact similar legislation.
3. The proposed legislation will relate to immunity from legal process and inviolability of premises and archives. It will not be concerned with diplomatic privileges, such as tax exemptions. It is envisaged that the usual consular immunity from legal process and the inviolability of premises and archives may be extended by Order-in-Council to Commonwealth representatives serving in Canada and performing consular functions.
4. The Department of Justice has confirmed that the legislation is within the legislative competence of Parliament.
5. The bill will contain about ten short sections.
6. Since legislation of this kind has been in force for some time in most of the other countries of the Commonwealth, the Canadian bill should be passed at the forthcoming session of Parliament.23
||Le Parlement adopta la Loi le 2 juin 1954 ; elle reçut la sanction royale le 26 juin 1954.
The legislation was approved by Parliament on June 2, 1954. It received Royal Assent on June 26, 1954.