Thursday, April 10, 2014

Germany v. United States case brief

Germany v. U.S. case brief summary
Citation: 526 U.S. 111
Subject: International Law
Link to Case: http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/526/111/


Case Facts
Two German nationals known as the LaGrand brothers facing the death penalty in an Arizona state prison.
The government of Germany went to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
The ICJ made a provisional ruling that the LaGrand brothers were not to be executed until the ICJ could rule on whether they had been denied their rights to contact the German Embassy, which was required by the Vienna Convention on Consular Rights.
The Supreme Court of the United States found that the LaGrands' had waived their rights due to a procedural default, and the LaGrand brothers were executed.
The US State Department had forwarded the provisional ICJ order to Arizona's governor, but did not ask for a stay.
Afterwards, Germany brought the the issue to the ICJ, and the ICJ issued a ruling saying that provisional ICJ decisions are binding and create a legal obligation under international law.

Rule
ICJ decisions that are provisional in nature create a legal obligation under international law.

1 comment:

  1. Plaintiffs moved for leave to file a bill of complaint and for a preliminary

    injunction against the United States and the Governor of Arizona, both

    raised under this Court’s original jurisdiction, seeking, inter alia, en-
    forcement of an ex parte order by the International Court of Justice,

    which directed the United States to prevent Arizona’s execution of a

    German citizen. The action was filed within two hours of an execution

    ordered in January, based upon a sentence imposed in 1984, about which

    Germany learned in 1992.

    Held: Given the tardiness of the pleas and the threshold barriers they

    implicate, this Court declines to exercise its original jurisdiction. It

    appears that the United States has not waived its sovereign immunity,

    and it is doubtful that Art. III, § 2, cl. 2, provides an anchor for an action

    to prevent execution of a German citizen who is not an ambassador or

    consul. Also, a foreign government’s ability here to assert a claim

    against a State is without evident support in the Vienna Convention

    and in probable contravention of Eleventh Amendment principles. See

    Breard v. Greene, 523 U. S. 371, 377.

    ReplyDelete

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