Kai Bruns's analysis of the genesis of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is fascinating and enlightening. It offers a highly readable and substantial contribution to the history of international law and diplomacy in four ways.

First, Bruns gives an accurate and balanced account of how the Vienna Convention codified, built on, and developed customary international law. In the key areas of difficulty—the right to free communication between diplomatic missions and their home governments, the privileges and immunities to be given to junior staff of a mission, and the need for special rules to govern intra-Commonwealth and French Communauté diplomacy—Bruns explains how constructive and ultimately acceptable compromises were formulated and negotiated. It seems strange that the United Kingdom long...

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