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Israel: Implementation of CERN Protocol on Privileges and Immunities

(Nov. 18, 2013) On November 11, 2013, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed the Law for the Implementation of the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, 5774-2013. (Text [in Hebrew], Knesset website (last visited Nov. 13, 2013).)

The passage of the Law enables Israel, which has been an associate member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) since 2011, to become a full member. (Lahav Harkov, Knesset Passes Law Allowing Israel to Be CERN Member State, THE JERUSALEM POST (Nov. 12, 2013; Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Mar. 18, 2004), CERN DOCUMENT SERVER.)

The Protocol establishes the right of CERN officials and country representatives to enjoy immunity and status similar to those enjoyed by diplomats. It has been suggested that the objective of recognizing diplomatic rights under the CERN Protocol was “to prevent government intervention in its research.” (Harkov, supra.)

The Law recognizes CERN as a legal entity in Israel. (The Law for the Implementation of the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, § 3.) It provides that the Protocol’s provisions regarding privileges and immunities enjoy the force of law under Israeli domestic legislation. The Law excludes, however, countries that are not subject to the duty to grant privileges and immunities under the Protocol, from those that should be awarded such rights. (Id. § 2.) The Law assigns the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the duty to implement the Law. (Id. § 4.)