In the case, the ICJ found that its own temporary court orders were legally binding and that the rights contained in the convention could not be denied by the application of domestic legal procedures. They were subsequently charged and convicted of murder and sentenced to death. While they had both lived in the United States since they were four and five, respectively, neither had officially obtained U. As foreigners the LaGrands should have been informed of their right to consular assistance , under the Vienna Convention, from their state of nationality, Germany. However the Arizona authorities failed to do this even after they became aware that the LaGrands were German nationals.
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In the case, the ICJ found that its own temporary court orders were legally binding and that the rights contained in the convention could not be denied by the application of domestic legal procedures. They were subsequently charged and convicted of murder and sentenced to death. While they had both lived in the United States since they were four and five, respectively, neither had officially obtained U. As foreigners the LaGrands should have been informed of their right to consular assistance , under the Vienna Convention, from their state of nationality, Germany.
However the Arizona authorities failed to do this even after they became aware that the LaGrands were German nationals. The LaGrand brothers later contacted the German consulate of their own accord, having learned of their right to consular assistance.
They appealed their sentences and convictions on the grounds that they were not informed of their right to consular assistance, and that with consular assistance they might have been able to mount a better defense. The federal courts rejected their argument on grounds of procedural default , which provides that issues cannot be raised in federal court appeals unless they have first been raised in state courts.
Walter LaGrand was executed March 3, , by lethal gas , and currently remains the last person executed by that method in the United States.
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. Germany then initiated action in the U. Supreme Court for enforcement of the provisional order.
In its judgment,  the U. Supreme Court held that it lacked jurisdiction with respect to Germany's complaint against Arizona due to the Eleventh Amendment of the U. With respect to Germany's case against the United States, it held that the doctrine of procedural default was not incompatible with the Vienna Convention, and that even if procedural default did conflict with the Vienna Convention it had been overruled by later federal law — the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of , which explicitly legislated the doctrine of procedural default.
Subsequent federal legislation overrides prior self-executing treaty provisions, Whitney v. Robertson , U. The U. Solicitor General sent a letter to the Supreme Court, as part of these proceedings, arguing that provisional measures of the International Court of Justice are not legally binding. The Arizona clemency board recommended a stay to the governor, on the basis of the pending ICJ case; but the Governor of Arizona ignored the recommendation.
Germany then modified its complaint in the case before the ICJ, alleging furthermore that the U. In opposition to the German submissions, the United States argued that the Vienna Convention did not grant rights to individuals, only to states; that the convention was meant to be exercised subject to the laws of each state party, which in the case of the United States meant subject to the doctrine of procedural default; and that Germany was seeking to turn the ICJ into an international court of criminal appeal.
The ICJ held that the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of April 24, , 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.
The ICJ also found that its own provisional measures were legally binding. The nature of provisional measures has been a subject of great dispute in international law; [ citation needed ] the English text of the Statute of the International Court of Justice implies they are not binding, while the French text implies that they are. Faced with a contradiction between two equally authentic texts of the statute, the court considered which interpretation better served the objects and purposes of the statute, and hence found that they are binding.
This was the first time in the court's history it had ruled as such. The court also found that the United States violated the Vienna Convention through its application of procedural default. The court was at pains to point out that it was not passing judgment on the doctrine itself, but only its application to cases involving the Vienna Convention. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article includes a list of references , but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations.
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Eberhard U. Daniel Khan, University of Munich; Mr. James H. Michael J.
Germany stated that, in , the authorities of the State of Arizona had detained two German nationals, Karl and Walter LaGrand, who were tried and sentenced to death without having been informed of their rights, as is required under Article 36, paragraph 1 b , of the Vienna Convention. However, the two German nationals were executed by the United States. Public hearings in the case were held from 13 to 17 November Ruling on the merits of the case, the Court observed that the United States did not deny that, in relation to Germany, it had violated Article 36, paragraph 1 b , of the Vienna Convention, which required the competent authorities of the United States to inform the LaGrands of their right to have the Consulate of Germany notified of their arrest.
Title LaGrand Case Germany v. Reports , p. Jurisdiction of Court in respect of Germany's first submission - Recognition by United States of existence of dispute arising out of breach of subparagraph b of Article 36, paragraph 1, of Vienna Convention on Consular Relations - Recognition by United States of Court's jurisdiction to hear this dispute in so far as concerns Germany's own rights - Objection by United States to Court's jurisdiction over Germany's claim founded on diplomatic protection - Objection by United States to Court's jurisdiction over alleged breach of subparagraphs a and c of Article 36, paragraph 1, of Convention. Jurisdiction of Court in respect of Germany's third submission concerning implementation of Order of 3 March indicating provisional measures. Jurisdiction of Court in respect of Germany's fourth submission - Objection by United States - United States argument that submission seeking guarantees of non-repetition falls outside terms of Optional Protocol.