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On the compliance of the International Court of Justice decision in the Avena case

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 11606 | 02 May 2008

Mr Luc Van den BRANDE, Belgium, EPP/CD ; Mr Miloš ALIGRUDIĆ, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Mr Mátyás EÖRSI, Hungary, ALDE ; Mr Jean-Charles GARDETTO, Monaco, EPP/CD ; Mr John GREENWAY, United Kingdom ; Mr Andreas GROSS, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Davit HARUTYUNYAN, Armenia, EDG ; Baroness Gloria HOOPER, United Kingdom ; Mr Joachim HÖRSTER, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Konstantin KOSACHEV, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr Andros KYPRIANOU, Cyprus ; Mr Göran LINDBLAD, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Mr Jean-Claude MIGNON, France, EPP/CD ; Ms Nino NAKASHIDZÉ, Georgia
Referred to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, for report: Reference No. 3461 (19th Sitting, 23 June 2008).

The Assembly refers to the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case concerning Avena and other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. United States of America), in which the United States of America was found to have breached it’s obligations under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

The Assembly notes that in its decision the United Nations’ highest judicial body, based on the said finding, ordered the United States of America to review and reconsider the convictions and sentences to death of 51 Mexican nationals, including that of Mr Medellin, in the light of the violations to their right to consular notification and assistance.

In that regard, the Assembly expresses its deep concern about the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States of America in the case of Medellin v. Texas, in which, on 25 March 2008, the high court held that the judgment of the ICJ in the Avena case does not constitute binding federal law for the United States of America’s courts.

In the Assembly’s view, the aforementioned decision of the Supreme Court of the United States of America implies an unacceptable disregard of international law, as well as a clear failure to comply with its obligations under the Charter of the United Nations.

Thus, the Assembly strongly encourages the United States of America to fulfil it’s international commitments by providing, by a means of its own choosing, an effective review and reconsideration of the convictions and sentences of the Mexican nationals included in the Avena judgment, as ordered by the highest international tribunal.