On June 27, , the ICJ, rejecting all of the United States’ arguments, ruled in favor of Germany. The ICJ held that the Vienna. 1 LaGrand (Germany v United States of America) (hereafter ‘LaGrand Case’) may Not only did the ICJ state, for the first time in the history of its existence, the. The German’s (P) case involved LaGrand and his brother who were executed before the matter came to the I.C.J. the Court found that the U.S. (D) had breached.

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The Court shall have the power to indicate, if it considers that circumstances so require, any provisional measures which ought to be taken to preserve the respective rights of either party.

The United States has criticized this list czse misleading and inaccurate. After high level diplomatic efforts by Germany to prevent the execution of Karl LaGrand failed, Germany filed its application in the Registry of the ICJ instituting the proceedings and seeking provisional measures in relation to his brother, Walter.

Theodor Meron, Ms Catherine W.

The United States also alleges that the “terms of caee Court’s 3 March Order did not create legal obligations binding on [it]”. The dispute which exists between the Parties with regard to this point essentially concerns the interpretation of Article 41, which is worded in identical terms in the Statute of each Court apart from the respective references to the Council of the League of Nations and the Security Council. Quite a number of States, though in agreement with the formulation of the principle in the draft, were much concerned about the heavy burden that the mandatory consular notification would impose on the receiving State, particularly on those States on whose territories there are a sizeable caxe of resident aliens [p ] and foreign tourists or other short-term visitors.

It provides that, at the request of the detained person, the receiving State must inform the consular post of the sending State of the individual’s detention “without delay”. The Court will consider these objections in the order presented by the Casf States.

According to the United States, these arguments “rest on speculation” and do not withstand analysis. The ijc is within the jurisdiction of the Court under the Optional Protocol; the latter is not. Neither the Permanent Court of International Justice, nor the present Court to caee, has been called upon to determine the legal effects of orders made lafrand Article 41 of the Statute. As to the first measure, the Court notes that it did not create an obligation of result, but that the United States was asked to “take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Walter LaGrand is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings”.

States Parties to the VCCR are only required to extend the benefits of article 36 to nationals of other parties. The Court also notes that as a result of this breach, Germany did not learn until of the detention, xase and sentencing of the La Grand brothers.

Melbourne Journal of International Law

The Court’s decision is a consequence of its interpretation of Article 36, paragraph 1, in particular subparagraph bof the Convention, regarding the differences between the Applicant and the Respondent as to whether that subparagraph creates individual rights in addition to the rights csae to the States parties.


Germany wished to obtain assurances that for criminal convictions impaired by a violation of the rights under Art. However, in the second paragraph of the English version, the phrase “measures suggested” remained unchanged. The United States concedes that the competent authorities failed to do so, even after becoming aware that the LaGrands were German nationals and not United States nationals, and admits that [p ] the United States has therefore violated its obligations under this provision of the Vienna Convention.

IcelandMerits, Judgment, I. The United States also argues that Germany’s third submission lagand inadmissible because of the manner in which these proceedings were brought before the Court by Germany. Subsequent federal legislation overrides prior self-executing treaty provisions, Whitney v. Given the foregoing ruling by the Court regarding the obligation of the United States lagranx certain circumstances to review and reconsider convictions and sentences, the Court need not examine Germany’s further argument which seeks to found a like obligation on the contention that the right of a detained person to be informed without delay pursuant to Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Vienna Convention is not only an individual right but has today assumed the character of a human right.

Walter LaGrand was executed March 3,by lethal gasand currently remains the last person executed by that method in the United States. Clearly they can benefit individuals by permitting – not requiring – States to offer them consular assistance, but the Convention’s role is not to articulate or confer individual rights” Counter-Memorial of the United States, p. The Court notes moreover that at the time when the United States authorities took their decision the question of the binding character of orders indicating provisional measures had been caae discussed in the literature, but had not been settled by its jurisprudence.

Each of the first three submissions seeks a judgment and declaration by the Court that a violation of a stated international legal obligation has occurred.

Although Germany deals extensively with the practice of American courts as it bears on the application of the Convention, all three submissions seek to require the Court to do no more than apply the relevant rules of international law to the issues in dispute between the Parties to this case. This is not the law, and this is not how States or this Court have acted in practice. In the present case the Court has made its findings of violations of the obligations under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention when it dealt with the first and the second submission of Germany.

Each of those submissions is considered below in turn. The United States also contends that Germany’s submissions are inadmissible on the ground that Germany seeks to have a standard applied to the United States that is different from its own practice.

The Court will first examine the question of its jurisdiction with respect to the first submission of Germany. However, during the negotiating sessions, this draft provision mainly aroused two different reactions. United States of Americaheld that “there exists a dispute as to whether the relief sought by Paraguay is a remedy available under the Vienna Convention, in particular in relation to Articles 5 and 36 thereof; and.

Pending the final decision, notice of the measures suggested shall forthwith be given to the parties and the Council. Hence, the fact that the Court does not itself have the means to ensure the execution of orders made pursuant to Article 41 is not an argument against the binding nature of such orders.


On 16 Januarythis judgment was affirmed on appeal by the United States Court of Appeals, [p ] Ninth Circuit, which also held that the LaGrands’ claim relating to the Vienna Convention was “procedurally defaulted”, as it had not been raised in any of the earlier proceedings in state courts. The Court accordingly concludes that Article 94 of the Charter does not prevent orders made under Article 41 from having a binding character.

Hours before Walter LaGrand was due to be executed, Germany applied for the Court to grant a provisional court order, requiring the United States to delay the execution of Walter LaGrand, which the court granted. Karl LaGrand was executed later that same day. Inwhen they were still young children, they moved with their mother to take up permanent residence in the United States.

Judgments | LaGrand (Germany v. United States of America) | International Court of Justice

The language of the first paragraph of the English version was then made to conform to the French text: However, in order to avoid any ambiguity, it should be made clear that there can be no lgrand of applying an a contrario interpretation to this paragraph. The United States points to the distinction between jurisdiction over treaties and jurisdiction over customary law and observes that “even if a treaty norm and a customary norm were to have exactly the same content,” each would have its “separate applicability”.

A Functional Approach By that time, however, because of the failure of the American authorities to comply with their obligation under Article 36, paragraph 1 bthe procedural default rule prevented counsel for the LaGrands to effectively challenge their convictions and sentences other than on United States iccj grounds.

Whereas the United States contended that “rights of consular notification and access under the Vienna Convention in any event are rights of States, not individuals. Further, the choice of means by which full conformity of the future conduct of the United States with Article 36 of the Vienna Convention is to be ensured, may be left to the United States.

The preparatory work of Article 41 shows that the preference given in the French text to “indiquer” over “ordonner” was motivated by the consideration that the Court did not have the means to assure the execution of its decisions. The United States acknowledges that “there was a breach of the U. International focus on Arizona case”, The Arizona Republicp. The Court must as a preliminary matter deal with certain issues, which were raised by the Parties in these proceedings, concerning the jurisdiction of the Court in relation to Germany’s Application, and the admissibility of its submissions.

The ICJ held that the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of April 24,Vienna Convention granted rights to individuals on the basis of its plain meaning, and that domestic laws could not limit the rights of the accused under the convention, but only specify the means by which those rights were to be exercised.