When the DSK arrest story first broke, I linked to an outstanding post by foreign relations and international law scholar Duncan Hollis at Opinio Juris on the initial questions raised about diplomatic immunity. Another fine sch0lar, Chimene Keitner, has also weighed in with a guest post on why DSK can’t assert immunity. It’s clear and persuasive, and like Duncan’s, I recommend these two posts particularly to media trying to understand what some of the procedural legal skirmishes might be and how they might come out.
My short answer: status-based immunity (often referred to as “diplomatic immunity”) is not available. Conduct-based immunity (also called “official acts” or “functional” immunity) is not available either. Here’s why.