The principle of exterritoriality sets up exemption from the operation of the laws of a state of the jurisdiction of its courts on the basis of a fiction that certain locally situated foreign persons and facilities should be deemed to be "outside" the state. Thus, the principle is actually a rationale for a set of immunities accorded foreign heads of state temporarily present, to their retinues, diplomatic agents and members of their households, to consuls, and to foreign men of war ans other public vessels in port.
McAuliffe, W.C. Jr.
"Discussions in International Law,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 20
, Article 7.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol20/iss8/7