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Consular relations have been recognized as an integral part of people-to-people contact ‘since ancient times’, as stated in the preamble to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the 1967 codification of existing practice in consular relations. This article questions whether the legal and policy framework reflected in the Convention remains relevant in the twenty-first century as the demand for consular services has grown. It describes how international law and practice have evolved since 1967 with respect to consular relations, and argues that the time is now ripe to promote a more comprehensive international framework to support consular relations, which could be incorporated into a Model Consular Code (‘the Code’), which would build on existing successful initiatives to address problems confronting consular clients. The article focuses on the range of services provided by consular officers for their citizens abroad, whether routine or complex.

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In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy