International & Foreign Legal Research
Lau, Christopher, "Diplomatic & Consular Law: Research Guide" (2015). Legal Research Series. 2.
Welcome! This is a guide to diplomatic and consular law, a fascinating area of the law. In a strict conceptual sense, diplomatic law is concerned with state-to-state political relations, whereas consular law deals with the relationship between individuals of sending and receiving states. Embassies and ambassadors establish high-level diplomatic relations, whereas consulates and consuls deal with the bureaucratic tasks of fostering trade, friendship, and understanding on an individual level. Diplomatic missions to a foreign state consist of establishing one embassy in the foreign state’s capital city and consulates in other major cities. For example, the U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany consists of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and consulates in the major cities of Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig, and Munich. Given the inter-related nature of the two branches of law, both diplomatic law and consular law are addressed together in this guide.