ICJ hears opening arguments as Mexico challenges death penalty cases in US

21 January 2003

Oral arguments began today at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a case submitted by Mexico claiming the United States violated an international treaty that guarantees people access to their country's diplomatic missions when accused of a crime in a foreign country.

Oral arguments began today at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a case submitted by Mexico claiming the United States violated an international treaty that guarantees people access to their country's diplomatic missions when accused of a crime in a foreign country.

Mexico filed a complaint against the United States in The Hague-based world court on 9 January, charging that US officials in 10 states have “arrested, detained, tried, convicted and sentenced to death no fewer than 54 Mexican nationals” following proceedings in which the competent authorities failed to comply with their obligations under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Mexico says it has intervened in numerous judicial proceedings on behalf of its nationals, but has not received adequate relief.

Mexico has asked the court to recommend that the United States stay all 54 executions until the ICJ issues a ruling. It has also asked the Court to recommend that the death sentences be reduced to life in prison and that the men be granted new trials with lawyers provided by the Mexican Government.

 

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