The UK has agreed a treaty with INTERPOL, granting the organisation and its officials privileges and immunity from legal proceedings, in order to facilitate the organisation’s functions in Britain. The treaty closely resembles the headquarters agreement signed between INTERPOL and France in 2008, carving out privileges, such as immunity from legal proceedings, inviolability of official papers and premises, and exemption from taxation necessary for the organisation to carry out its functions on UK soil.
This treaty has been prompted in part to enable the UK to host the 2024 INTERPOL General Assembly in October next year, for which the privileges and immunity granted by the agreement were a prerequisite. For this reason, it is intended that it should enter into force before autumn 2023 in order to facilitate preparations for the General Assembly.
The UK has been a member of INTERPOL since 1928 and this treaty will not affect day-to-day operational activities. However, it will set out a long-term framework governing the privileges and immunities of INTERPOL in the UK, as well as those required for the 2024 General Assembly. However, the agreement will cease to apply one year after either party informs the other in writing of its desire to terminate.
A statutory instrument, referred to as “The International Criminal Police Organisation (Immunities and Privileges) Order 2023”, will be laid before parliament in draft following completion of the treaty scrutiny process and is intended to implement the treaty into UK domestic law this year.