Consul becomes diplomat when transferred to UN mission
Indian Deputy Consul General Khobragade and the ensuing media discussion have had a ripple effect with some readers of my book, who’re now curious about consular immunity and astutely note that a discussion of this is not a part of the Foreign Consuls Among Us. You may recall the facts having to do with charges of visa fraud and other alleged violations of the rights of a housekeeper/maid.
For an easy start to the subject of the legal status of consuls, I suggest my law review article Counsel, Consul or Diplomat: Any Practical Significance for Practitioners? (1 UM International Yearbook 143 (1991)).
The NYC incident with the Indian consular representative has also caused some people to ask me about any special protection of honorary consuls (v. those in the career service). The short answer (the one we learned in law school) is “functional immunity and inviolability of consular archives.”