1999

ICJ

Case concerning the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations Germany v USA Provisional Measures

Karl & Walter LaGrand were sentenced to death in Arizona without having been informed of their rights under Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (consular assistance) Failure of what, said Germany, precluded it from protecting its nationals’ interest in the US at the trial and appeal level Karl LaGrand was executed on 24 February 1999 Walter LaGrand was to be executed on 3 March 1999. 2 March 1999 Germany filed the case, and at the same date, 2 March 1999 7.30 pm Germany asked the ICJ to indicate forthwith and without holding a hearing, provisional measures proprio motu Germany argued ‘Without the PM requested the US will execute Walter LaGrand before the ICJ can consider the merits and Germany will be forever deprived of the opportunity to have this status quo ante restored in the event of a judgement in its favour’ Germany asked the ICJ to indicate that ‘US should take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Walter LaGrand is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings’ Germany based jurisdiction on art 36.1 (treaties) and Art I Optional Protocol, compulsory settlement provisions or the Vienna convention

Whereas the court considers the extreme gravity and immediacy of the threat of execution of a German citizen. The court need not finally satisfy itself that it has jurisdiction on the merits, but it may not indicate PM unless the provisions invoked by the applicant appear, prima facie, to afford a basis on which jurisdiction of the ICJ might be founded. Art I Optional Protocol, compulsory settlement provisions or the Vienna convention on Consular relations ‘disputes arising out of the interpretation or application of the convention shall lie within the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ’ German and US are parties to such convention, and since according to Germany dispute arises within art 5 & 36 of such convention, the court has prima facie jurisdiction Whereas measures indicated by the court for a stay of execution would necessarily be provisional in nature and would not in any way prejudge findings the court might make on the merits. Request granted