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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Melbourne Journal of International Law

In the first place, the very title of the Convention is none other than the “Vienna Convention on Consular Relations”. In this failure, Germany saw a violation of the order of the Court indicating provisional measures, while the US, relying on State practice and the drafting history of Art.

This clause cxse followed by the provision which spells out the modalities of consular notification Art.

Clearly, the effect of this clause is to limit the scope of Article 36 to facilitation of the exercise of consular functions relating to nationals of the sending State. The United States objects to Germany’s second submission, since it considers that “Germany’s position goes far beyond the wording of the Convention, the intentions of the parties when it was negotiated, and the practice of States, including Germany’s practice”.

The execution of Walter LaGrand was scheduled for 3 March Zum Urteil des IGH vom Ultimately it might have encouraged the Mexican government one and a half years later to seek review and reconsideration for its nationals on death row, who had allegedly been sentenced in violation of the VCCR.

La Grand Case (F.R.G. v. U.S.), I.C.J. (June 27)

Such judgments are at the core of the Court’s function, as an aspect of reparation. As regards the question whether the United States has complied with the obligation incumbent upon it as a result of the Order of 3 Marchthe Court observes that the Order indicated two provisional measures, the first of which states that “the United States of America should take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Walter LaGrand 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”.

Where jurisdiction exists over a dispute on a particular matter, no separate basis for jurisdiction is required by the Court to consider the remedies a party has requested for the breach of the obligation Factory at Chorzow, P. This case comes before this Court not under Article 36, paragraph 2 of its Statute, but under Article 36, paragraph 1.

Disputes arising out of the interpretation or application of the [ VCCR ] shall lie within the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice and may accordingly be brought before the Court by an application made by any party to the dispute being a Party to the present Protocol. This is also true of the dispute as to whether paragraph 1 b creates individual rights and whether Germany has standing to assert those rights on behalf of its nationals.


Germany was only made aware of the detention of the LaGrands by the brothers themselves in Accordingly, Germany states that all four of its submissions “are covered by one and the same jurisdictional basis, namely Art. 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.

However, the lack of means of execution and the lack of binding force are two different matters. That Article reads as follows: The United States acknowledges that “there was a breach of the U.

The United States maintains that the right of a State to provide consular assistance to nationals detained in another country, and the right of a State to espouse the claims of its nationals through diplomatic protection, are legally different concepts. President Guillaume makes the following declaration: Germany acknowledges that delay on the part of a claimant State may render an application inadmissible, but maintains that international law does not lay down any specific time-limit in that regard.

On the same day, proceedings were brought by Germany in the United States Supreme Court against the United States and the Governor of Arizona, seeking inter alia to enforce compliance with this Court’s Order indicating provisional measures.

The ICJ has commented on a number of occasions on the compliance or otherwise with its orders for provisional measures: 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. This impact is reflected in the decision of the ILC to wait for the judgment to be rendered before completing the second reading of its Draft Articles on State Responsibility.

Amongst other things this involved the distribution of leaflets outlining the rights of detained nationals and the obligations of State and Federal US officials under the VCCR.

The Court will first examine the question of lcj jurisdiction with respect to the first submission of Germany. It does, however, seek assurances: There was, in the view of the United States, “no deprivation of Germany’s right to provide consular assistance, lagranr Article 5 or Article 36, to Karl or Walter LaGrand” and “Germany’s attempt to transform a breach of one obligation into an additional breach of a wholly separate and distinct obligation should be rejected by the Court.

The choice of means must be left to the United States.

Oxford Public International Law: LaGrand Case (Germany v United States of America)

An effective remedy requires certain changes in US law and practice”. Significantly, this subparagraph ends with the following language: Moreover, Germany contends that its third submission also implicates “in an auxiliary and subsidiary ich. It argues in this respect that “the language used by the Court in the key portions of its Order is not the language used to create binding legal obligations” and that “the Court does not need here to decide lagranf difficult and controversial legal question of whether its orders indicating provisional measures would be capable of creating international legal obligations if worded in mandatory.


It is exceptional even as a non-legal undertaking in State practice, and cas would be entirely inappropriate for the Court to require such assurances with respect to the duty to inform undertaken in the Consular Convention in the circumstances of this case.

The Court considers in this respect that if the United States, notwithstanding its commitment referred to in paragraph above, lagrabd fail in its obligation of consular notification to the detriment of German nationals, an apology would not suffice in cases where the individuals concerned have been subjected to prolonged detention or convicted and [p ] sentenced to severe penalties.

The third submission of Germany concerns issues that arise directly out of the dispute between the Parties before the Court over which the Court has already held that it has jurisdiction see paragraph 42 aboveand which are thus covered by Article I of the Optional Protocol. This article includes a list of referencesbut its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. It notes that German consular officials became aware of the LaGrands’ cases inbut that the German Government did not express concern or protest to the United States authorities for some six and a half years.

This interpretation has been the subject of extensive controversy in the literature. Germany then modified its complaint in the case before the ICJ, alleging furthermore that the U. In the course of these proceedings, the United States Solicitor-General as counsel of record took the position, inter alia, that “an order of the International Court of Justice indicating provisional measures is not binding and does not furnish a basis for judicial relief”.

Signed Philippe Couvreur, Registrar. However, as Hugh Thirlway has noted, it is one thing to suggest that parties should not frustrate the judicial process, and quite another to suggest that parties are bound to follow a decision of the ICJ not to do so.

The second set of proceedings involved petitions by the LaGrands for post-conviction relief, which were denied by an Arizona state court in However, the two German nationals were executed by the United States.

The United States acknowledges, and does not contest Germany’s basic claim, that there was a breach of its obligation under Article 36, paragraph 1 bof the Convention “promptly to inform the LaGrand brothers that they could ask that a German consular post be notified of their arrest and detention”.