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Formal diplomatic actions enable states to maintain relations with other subjects of international law and to communicate with foreign audiences and nationals living, traveling, or doing business abroad. An important part of such relations is executed by diplomatic envoys, sent on an ad hoc or permanent basis to a receiving state to serve as the sending state’s direct representatives. The specific nature of the functions performed by diplomats necessitates a climate in which secrecy and confidentiality are respected, which is reflected in international law. Largely developed during the Cold War period and thus reflecting sentiments of distrust, the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR) and many agreements of international organizations contain provisions protecting diplomatic documents and correspondence from unwanted disclosure. At the same time, ...

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