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Vienna Convention on consular relations

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  1. Holdings of the court.
  2. Facts and jurisdiction of the court.
    1. The facts.
    2. The admissibility of the submissions and the jurisdiction of the court.
  3. The court's reasoning on the merits.
    1. Violations of Articles 36 and 5.
    2. The violation of the order for provisional measures.
    3. Remedies to the dispute.
  4. Annex.
  5. Bibliography.

THE HAGUE, 10 March 2005. Today the International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, delivered its Judgment in the case concerning Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (Paraguay v. United States of America). On 3 April 1998, the Republic of Paraguay filed an application related to alleged violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 24 April 1963 in the case of Mr. Angel Francisco Breard who had been arrested, tried, convinced and sentenced to death without being either informed of, or provided with his rights to consular assistance under that Convention. The Paraguay requested the Court to indicate Provisional Measures, i.e. the suspension of the sentence as long as the judgment was pending. Mr. Breard?s execution was scheduled to the 14th April of March. Although the Court required in its Order of 9 April 1998 that the United States should take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Angel Francisco Breard is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings, and should inform the Court of all the measures which it has taken in implementation of this Order , Mr. Breard was eventually put to death on the scheduled date.

[...] Iran) - Case Concerning the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (Paraguay v United States of America), - Lagrand Case (Federal Republic of Germany v United States of America) - Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v United States of America) Legal instruments - Charter of the United Nations - Statute of the International Court of Justice - Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 24 April 1963 - Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties - Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, International Law Commission Thereafter Vienna Convention? Case Concerning the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (Paraguay v United States of America), Provisional Measures, Order of 9 Apr ICJ Reports 1998. [...]


[...] Nevertheless, consular officers shall refrain from taking action on behalf of a national who is in prison, custody or detention if he expressly opposes such action The rights referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be exercised in conformity with the laws and regulations of the receiving State, subject to the proviso, however, that the said laws and regulations must enable full effect to be given to the purposes for which the rights accorded under this Article are intended. [...]


[...] Breard been informed of his rights under the Vienna Convention, nor had the Paraguayan authorities been advised of the situation, the consular officers were unable to enjoy the dispositions of the Convention under article and and Mr. Breard therefore unable to benefit from them. The question of whether article 36 provides individuals with rights independently of the State has been answered in the affirmative by this Court in both the Lagrand and Avena Cases. Indeed, Article specifies that authorities of the receiving State shall inform the [arrested or imprisoned person] . [...]

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