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Lawyers, other representatives, expert(s), tribunal’s secretary

Judgment

1.
On 9 January 2003 the United Mexican States (hereinafter referred to as "Mexico") filed in the Registry of the Court an Application instituting proceedings against the United States of America (hereinafter referred to as the "United States") for "violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations" of 24 April 1963 (hereinafter referred to as the "Vienna Convention") allegedly committed by the United States.

In its Application, Mexico based the jurisdiction of the Court on Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Statute of the Court and on Article I of the Optional Protocol concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes, which accompanies the Vienna Convention (hereinafter referred to as the "Optional Protocol").

2.
Pursuant to Article 40, paragraph 2, of the Statute, the Application was forthwith communicated to the Government of the United States; and, in accordance with paragraph 3 of that Article, all States entitled to appear before the Court were notified of the Application.
3.

On 9 January 2003, the day on which the Application was filed, the Mexican Government also filed in the Registry of the Court a request for the indication of pro visional measures based on Article 41 of the Statute and Articles 73, 74 and 75 of the Rules of Court.

By an Order of 5 February 2003, the Court indicated the following provisional measures:

"(a) The United States of America shall take all measures necessary to ensure that Mr. Cesar Roberto Fierro Reyna, Mr. Roberto Moreno Ramos and Mr. Osvaldo Torres Aguilera are not executed pending final judgment in these proceedings;

(b) The Government of the United States of America shall inform the Court of all measures taken in implementation of this Order."

It further decided that, "until the Court has rendered its final judgment, it shall remain seised of the matters" which formed the subject of that Order.

In a letter of 2 November 2003, the Agent of the United States advised the Court that the United States had "informed the relevant state authorities of Mexico’s application"; that, since the Order of 5 February 2003, the United States had "obtained from them information about the status of the fifty-four cases, including the three cases identified in paragraph 59 (1) (a) of that Order"; and that the United States could "confirm that none of the named individuals [had] been executed".

4.
In accordance with Article 43 of the Rules of Court, the Registrar sent the notification referred to in Article 63, paragraph 1, of the Statute to all States parties to the Vienna Convention or to that Convention and the Optional Protocol.
5.
By an Order of 5 February 2003, the Court, taking account of the views of the Parties, fixed 6 June 2003 and 6 October 2003, respectively, as the timelimits for the filing of a Memorial by Mexico and of a Counter-Memo rial by the United States.
6.
By an Order of 22 May 2003, the President of. the Court, on the joint request of the Agents of the two Parties, extended to 20 June 2003 the timelimit for the filing of the Memorial; the time-limit for the filing of the CounterMemorial was extended, by the same Order, to 3 November 2003.

By a letter dated 20 June 2003 and received in the Registry on the same day, the Agent of Mexico informed the Court that Mexico was unable for technical reasons to file the original of its Memorial on time and accordingly asked the Court to decide, under Article 44, paragraph 3, of the Rules of Court, that the filing of the Memorial after the expiration of the time-limit fixed therefor would be considered as valid; that letter was accompanied by two electronic copies of the Memorial and its annexes. Mexico having filed the original of the Memorial on 23 June 2003 and the United States having informed the Court, by a letter of 24 June 2003, that it had no comment to make on the matter, the Court decided on 25 June 2003 that the filing would be considered as valid.

7.
In a letter of 14 October 2003, the Agent of Mexico expressed his Government’s wish to amend its submissions in order to include therein the cases of two Mexican nationals, Mr. Victor Miranda Guerrero and Mr. Tonatibu Aguilar Saucedo, who had been sentenced to death, after the filing of Mexico’s Memorial, as a result of criminal proceedings in which, according to Mexico, the United States had failed to comply with its obligations under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention.

In a letter of 2 November 2003, under cover of which the United States filed its Counter-Memorial within the time-limit prescribed, the Agent of the United States informed the Court that his Government objected to the amendment of Mexico’s submissions, on the grounds that the request was late, that Mexico had submitted no evidence concerning the alleged facts and that there was not enough time for the United States to investigate them.

In a letter received in the Registry on 28 November 2003, Mexico responded to the United States objection and at the same time amended its submissions so as to withdraw its request for relief in the cases of two Mexican nationals mentioned in the Memorial, Mr. Enrique Zambrano Garibi and Mr. Pedro Hernandez Alberto, having come to the conclusion that the former had dual Mexican and United States nationality and that the latter had been informed of his right of consular notification prior to interrogation.

On 9 December 2003, the Registrar informed Mexico and the United States that, in order to ensure the procedural equality of the Parties, the Court had decided not to authorize the amendment of Mexico’s submissions so as to include the two additional Mexican nationals mentioned above. He also informed the Parties that the Court had taken note that the United States had made no objection to the withdrawal by Mexico of its request for relief in the cases of Mr. Zambrano and Mr. Hernandez.

8.
On 28 November 2003 and 2 December 2003, Mexico filed various documents which it wished to produce in accordance with Article 56 of the Rules of Court. By letters dated 2 December 2003 and 5 December 2003, the Agent of the United States informed the Court that his Government did not object to the production of these new documents and that it intended to exercise its right to comment upon these documents and to submit documents in support of its comments, pursuant to paragraph 3 of that Article. By letters dated 9 December 2003, the Registrar informed the Parties that the Court had taken note that the United States had no objection to the production of these documents and that accordingly counsel would be free to refer to them in the course of the hearings. On December 10th, 2003, the Agent of the United States filed the comments of his Government on the new documents produced by Mexico, together with a number of documents in support of those comments.
9.
Since the Court included upon the Bench no judge of Mexican nationality, Mexico availed itself of its right under Article 31, paragraph 2, of the Statute to choose a judge ad hoc to sit in the case: it chose Mr. Bernardo Sepúlveda.
10.
Pursuant to Article 53, paragraph 2, of its Rules, the Court, having consulted the Parties, decided that copies of the pleadings and documents annexed would be made accessible to the public on the opening of the oral proceedings.
11.
Public sittings were held between 15 and 19 December 2003, at which the Court heard the oral arguments and replies of:

For Mexico: H.E. Mr. Juan Manuel Gomez-Robledo,

Ms Sandra L. Babcock,

Mr. Victor Manuel Uribe Avina,

Mr. Donald Francis Donovan,

Ms Katherine Birmingham Wilmore,

H.E. Mr. Santiago Onate,

Ms Socorro Flores Liera,

Mr. Carlos Bernal,

Mr. Dietmar W. Prager,

Mr. Pierre-Marie Dupuy.

For the United States: The Honourable William H. Taft, IV,

Ms Elisabeth Zoller,

Mr. Patrick F. Philbin,

Mr. John Byron Sandage,

Ms Catherine W. Brown,

Mr. D. Stephen Mathias,

Mr. James H. Thessin,

Mr. Thomas Weigend.

12.
In its Application, Mexico formulated the decision requested in the following terms:

"The Government of the United Mexican States therefore asks the Court to adjudge and declare:

(1) that the United States, in arresting, detaining, trying, convicting, and sentencing the 54 Mexican nationals on death row described in this Application, violated its international legal obligations to Mexico, in its own right and in the exercise of its right of consular protection of its nationals, as provided by Articles 5 and 36, respectively of the Vienna Convention;

(2) that Mexico is therefore entitled to restitutio in integrum;

(3) that the United States is under an international legal obligation not to apply the doctrine of procedural default, or any other doctrine of its municipal law, to preclude the exercise of the rights afforded by Article 36 of the Vienna Convention;

(4) that the United States is under an international legal obligation to carry out in conformity with the foregoing international legal obligations any future detention of or criminal proceedings against the 54 Mexican nationals on death row or any other Mexican national in its territory, whether by a constituent, legislative, executive, judicial or other power, whether that power holds a superior or a subordinate position in the organization of the United States, and whether that power’s functions are international or internal in character;

(5) that the right to consular notification under the Vienna Convention is a human right;

and that, pursuant to the foregoing international legal obligations,

(1) the United States must restore the status quo ante, that is, re-establish the situation that existed before the detention of, proceedings against, and convictions and sentences of, Mexico’s nationals in violation of the United States international legal obligations;

(2) the United States must take the steps necessary and sufficient to ensure that the provisions of its municipal law enable full effect to be given to the purposes for which the rights afforded by Article 36 are intended;

(3) the United States must take the steps necessary and sufficient to establish a meaningful remedy at law for violations of the rights afforded to Mexico and its nationals by Article 36 of the Vienna Convention, including by barring the imposition, as a matter of municipal law, of any procedural penalty for the failure timely to raise a claim or defence based on the Vienna Convention where competent authorities of the United States have breached their obligation to advise the national of his or her rights under the Convention; and -

(4) the United States, in light of the pattern and practice of violations set forth in this Application, must provide Mexico a full guarantee of the non-repetition of the illegal acts."

13.
In the course of the written proceedings, the following submissions were presented by the Parties:

On behalf of the Government of Mexico,

in the Memorial:

"For these reasons,... the Government of Mexico respectfully requests the Court to adjudge and declare

(1) that the United States, in arresting, detaining, trying, convicting, and sentencing the fifty-four Mexican nationals on death row described in Mexico’s Application and this Memorial, violated its international legal obligations to Mexico, in its own right and in the exercise of its right of diplomatic protection of its nationals, as provided by Article 36 of the Vienna Convention;

(2) that the obligation in Article 36 (1) of the Vienna Convention requires notification before the competent authorities of the receiving State interrogate the foreign national or take any other action potentially detrimental to his or her rights;

(3) that the United States, in applying the doctrine of procedural default, or any other doctrine of its municipal law, to preclude the exercise and review of the rights afforded by Article 36 of the Vienna Convention, violated its international legal obligations to Mexico, in its own right and in the exercise of its right of diplomatic protection of its nationals, as provided by Article 36 of the Vienna Convention; and

(4) that the United States is under an international legal obligation to carry out in conformity with the foregoing international legal obligations any future detention of or criminal proceedings against the fifty-four Mexican nationals on death row and any other Mexican national in its territory, whether by a constituent, legislative, executive, judicial or other power, whether that power holds a superior or a subordinate position in the organization of the United States, and whether that power’s functions are international or internal in character;

and that, pursuant to the foregoing international legal obligations,

(1) Mexico is entitled to restitutio in integrum and the United States therefore is under an obligation to restore the status quo ante, that is, reestablish the situation that existed at the time of the detention and prior to the interrogation of, proceedings against, and convictions and sentences of, Mexico’s nationals in violation of the United States’ international legal obligations, specifically by, among other things,

(a) vacating the convictions of the fifty-four Mexican nationals;

(b) vacating the sentences of the fifty-four Mexican nationals;

(c) excluding any subsequent proceedings against the fifty-four Mexican nationals any statements and confessions obtained from them prior to notification of their rights to consular notification and access;

(d) preventing the application of any procedural penalty for a Mexican national’s failure timely to raise a claim or defence based on the Vienna Convention where competent authorities of the United States have breached their obligation to advise the national of his rights under the Convention;

(e) preventing the application of any municipal law doctrine or judicial holding that prevents a court in the United States from providing a remedy, including the relief to which this Court holds that Mexico is entitled here, to a Mexican national whose Article 36 rights have been violated; and

(f) preventing the application of any municipal law doctrine or judicial holding that requires an individualized showing of prejudice as a prerequisite to relief for the violations of Article 36;

(2) the United States, in light of the regular and continuous violations set forth in Mexico’s Application and Memorial, is under an obligation to take all legislative, executive, and judicial steps necessary to:

(a) ensure that the regular and continuing violations of the Article 36 consular notification, access, and assistance rights of Mexico and its nationals cease;

(b) guarantee that its competent authorities, of federal, state, and local jurisdiction, maintain regular and routine compliance with their Article 36 obligations;

(c) ensure that its judicial authorities cease applying, and guarantee that in the future they will not apply:

(i) any procedural penalty for a Mexican national’s failure timely to raise a claim or defence based on the Vienna Convention where competent authorities of the United States have breached their obligation to advise the national of his or her rights under the Convention;

(ii) any municipal law doctrine or judicial holding that prevents a court in the United States from providing a remedy, including the relief to which this Court holds that Mexico is entitled here, to a Mexican national whose Article 36 rights have been violated; and

(iii) any municipal law doctrine or judicial holding that requires an individualized showing of prejudice as a prerequisite to relief for the Vienna Convention violations shown here."

On behalf of the Government of the United States,

in the Counter-Memorial:

"On the basis of the facts and arguments set out above, the Government of the United States of America requests that the Court adjudge and declare that the claims of the United Mexican States are dismissed."

14.

At the oral proceedings, the following submissions were presented by the Parties:

On behalf of the Government of Mexico,

"The Government of Mexico respectfully requests the Court to adjudge and declare

(1) that the United States of America, in arresting, detaining, trying, convicting, and sentencing the 52 Mexican nationals on death row described in Mexico’s Memorial, violated its international legal obligations to Mexico, in its own right and in the exercise of its right to diplomatic protection of its nationals, by failing to inform, without delay, the 52 Mexican nationals after their arrest of their right to consular notification and access under Article 36 (1) (b) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and by depriving Mexico of its right to provide consular protection and the 52 nationals’ right to receive such protection as Mexico would provide under Article 36 (1) (a) and (c) of the Convention;

(2) that the obligation in Article 36 (1) of the Vienna Convention requires notification of consular rights and a reasonable opportunity for consular access before the competent authorities of the receiving State take any action potentially detrimental to the foreign national’s rights;

(3) that the United States of America violated its obligations under Article 36 (2) of the Vienna Convention by failing to provide meaningful and effective review and reconsideration of convictions and sentences impaired by a violation of Article 36 (1); by substituting for such review and reconsideration clemency proceedings; and by applying the ‘procedural default’ doctrine and other municipal law doctrines that fail to attach legal significance to an Article 36 (1) violation on its own terms;

(4) that pursuant to the injuries suffered by Mexico in its own right and in the exercise of diplomatic protection of its nationals, Mexico is entitled to full reparation for those injuries in the form of restitutio in integrum;

(5) that this restitution consists of the obligation to restore the status quo ante by annulling or otherwise depriving of full force or effect the convictions and sentences of all 52 Mexican nationals;

(6) that this restitution also includes the obligation to take all measures necessary to ensure that a prior violation of Article 36 shall not affect the subsequent proceedings;

(7) that to the extent that any of the 52 convictions or sentences are not annulled, the United States shall provide, by means of its own choosing, meaningful and effective review and reconsideration of the convictions and sentences of the 52 nationals, and that this obligation cannot be satisfied by means of clemency proceedings or if any municipal law rule or doctrine inconsistent with paragraph (3) above is applied; and

(8) that the United States of America shall cease its violations of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention with regard to Mexico and its 52 nationals and shall provide appropriate guarantees and assurances that it shall take measures sufficient to achieve increased compliance with Article 36 (1) and to ensure compliance with Article 36 (2)."

On behalf of the Government of the. United States,

"On the basis of the facts and arguments made by the United States in its Counter-Memorial and in these proceedings, the Government of the United States of America requests that the Court, taking into account that the United States has conformed its conduct to this Court’s Judgment in the LaGrand Case (Germany v. United States of America), not only with respect to German nationals but, consistent with the Declaration of the President of the Court in that case, to all detained foreign nationals, adjudge and declare that the claims of the United Mexican States are dismissed."

15.
The present proceedings have been brought by Mexico against the United States on the basis of the Vienna Convention, and of the Optional Protocol providing for the jurisdiction of the Court over "disputes arising out of the interpretation or application" of the Convention. Mexico and the United States are, and were at all relevant times, parties to the Vienna Convention and to the Optional Protocol. Mexico claims that the United States has committed breaches of the Vienna Convention in relation to the treatment of a number of Mexican nationals who have been tried, convicted and sentenced to death in criminal proceedings in the United States, The original claim related to 54 such persons, but as a result of subsequent adjustments to its claim made by Mexico (see paragraph 7 above), only 52 individual cases are involved. These criminal proceedings have been taking place in nine different States of the United States, namely California (28 cases), Texas (15 cases), Illinois (three cases), Arizona (one case), Arkansas (one case), Nevada (one case), Ohio (one case), Oklahoma (one case) and Oregon (one case), between 1979 and the present.
16.
For convenience, the names of the 52 individuals, and the numbers by which their cases will be referred to, are set out below:

1. Carlos Avena Guillen

2. Hector Juan Ayala

3. Vicente Benavides Figueroa

4. Constantino Carrera Montenegro

5. Jorge Contreras Lopez

6. Daniel Covarrubias Sanchez

7. Marcos Esquivel Barrera

8. Ruben Gomez Perez

9. Jaime Armando Hoy os

10. Arturo Juarez Suarez.

11. Juan Manuel Lopez

12. Jose Lupercio Casares

13. Luis Alberto Maciel Hernandez

14. Abelino Manriquez Jaquez

15. Omar Fuentes Martinez (a.k.a. Luis Aviles de la Cruz)

16. Miguel Angel Martinez Sanchez

17. Martin Mendoza Garcia

18. Sergio Ochoa Tamayo

19. Enrique Parra Duenas

20. Juan de Dios Ramirez Villa

21. Magdaleno Salazar

22. Ramon Salcido Bojorquez

23. Juan Ramon Sanchez Ramirez

24. Ignacio Tafoya Arriola

25. Alfredo Valdez Reyes

26. Eduardo David Vargas

27. Tomas Verano Cruz

28. [Case withdrawn]

29. Samuel Zamudio Jimenez

30. Juan Carlos Alvarez Banda

31. Cesar Roberto Fierro Reyna

32. Hector Garcia Torres

33. Ignacio Gomez

34. Ramiro Hernandez Lianas

35. Ramiro Ruhi Ibarra

36. Humberto Leal Garcia

37. Virgil io Maldonado

38. Jose Ernesto Medellin Rojas

39. Roberto Moreno Ramos

40. Daniel Angel Plata Estrada

41. Ruben Ramirez Cardenas

42. Felix Rocha Diaz

43. Oswaldo Regalado Soriano

44. Edgar Arias Tamayo

45. Juan Caballero Hernandez

46. Mario Flores Urban

47. Gabriel Solache Romero

48. Martin Raul Fong Soto

49. Rafael Camargo Ojeda

50. [Case withdrawn]

51. Carlos Rene Perez Gutierrez

52. Jose Trinidad Loza

53. Osvaldo Netzahualcoyotl Torres Aguilera

54. Horacio Alberto Reyes Camarena

17.
The provisions of the Vienna Convention of which Mexico alleges violations are contained in Article 36. Paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article are set out respectively in paragraphs 50 and 108 below. Article 36 relates, according to its title, to "Communication and contact with nationals of the sending State". Paragraph 1 (b) of that Article provides that if a national of that State "is arrested or committed to prison or to custody pending trial or is detained in any other manner", and he so requests, the local consular post of the sending State is to he notified. The Article goes on to provide that the "competent authorities of the receiving State" shall "inform the person concerned without delay of his rights" in this respect. Mexico claims that in the present case these provisions were not complied with by the United States authorities in respect of the 52 Mexican nationals the subject of its claims. As a result, the United States has according to Mexico committed breaches of paragraph I (b); moreover, Mexico claims, for reasons to be explained below (see paragraphs 98 et seq.), that the United States is also in breach of paragraph 1 (a) and (c) and of paragraph 2 of Article 36, in view of the relationship of these provisions with paragraph 1 (b).
18.
As regards the terminology employed to designate the obligations incumbent upon the receiving State under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), the Court notes that the Parties have used the terms "inform" and "notify" in differing senses. For the sake of clarity, the Court, when speaking in its own name in the present Judgment, will use the word "inform" when referring to an individual being made aware of his rights under that subparagraph and the word "notify" when referring to the giving of notice to the consular post.
19.
The underlying facts alleged by Mexico may be briefly described as follows: some are conceded by the United States, and some disputed. Mexico states that all the individuals the subject of its claims were Mexican nationals at the time of their arrest. It further contends that the United States authorities that arrested and interrogated these individuals had sufficient information at their disposal to be aware of the foreign nationality of those individuals. According to Mexico’s account, in 50 of the specified cases, Mexican nationals were never informed by the competent United States authorities of their rights under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), of the Vienna Convention and, in the two remaining cases, such information was not provided "without delay", as required by that provision. Mexico has indicated that in 29 of the 52 cases its consular authorities learned of the detention of the Mexican nationals only after death sentences had been handed down. In the 23 remaining cases, Mexico contends that it learned of the cases through means other than notification to the consular post by the competent United States authorities under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b). It explains that in five cases this was too late to affect the trials, that in 15 cases the defendants had already made incriminating statements, and that it became aware of the other three cases only after considerable delay.
20.
Of the 52 cases referred to in Mexico’s final submissions, 49 are currently at different stages of the proceedings before United States judicial authorities at state or federal level, and in three cases, those of Mr. Fierro (case No. 31), Mr. Moreno (case No. 39) and Mr. Torres (case No. 53), judicial remedies within the United States have already been exhausted. The Court has been informed of the variety of types of proceedings and forms of relief available in the criminal justice systems of the United States, which can differ from state to state. In very general terms, and according to the description offered by both Parties in their pleadings, it appears that the 52 cases may be classified into three categories: 24 cases which are currently in direct appeal; 25 cases in which means of direct appeal have been exhausted, but post-conviction relief (habeas corpus), either at state or at federal level, is still available; and three cases in which no judicial remedies remain. The Court also notes that, in at least 33 cases, the alleged breach of the Vienna Convention was raised by the defendant either during pre-trial, at trial, on appeal or in habeas corpus proceedings, and that some of these claims were dismissed on procedural or substantive grounds and others are still pending. To date, in none of the 52 cases have the defendants had recourse to the clemency process,
21.
On 9 January 2003, the day on which Mexico filed its Application and a request for the indication of provisional measures, all 52 individuals the subject of the claims were on death row. However, two days later the Governor of the State of Illinois, exercising his power of clemency review, commuted the sentences of all convicted individuals awaiting execution in that State, including those of three individuals named in Mexico’s Application (Mr. Caballero (case No. 45), Mr. Flores (case No. 46) and Mr. Solache (case No. 47)). By a letter dated 20 January 2003, Mexico informed the Court that, further to that decision, it withdrew its request for the indication of provisional measures on behalf of these three individuals, but that its Application remained unchanged. In the Order of 5 February 2003, mentioned in paragraph 3 above, on the request by Mexico for the indication of provisional measures, the Court considered that it was apparent from the information before it that the three Mexican nationals named in the Application who had exhausted all judicial remedies in the United States (see paragraph 20 above) were at risk of execution in the following months, or even weeks. Consequently, it ordered by way of provisional measure that the United States take all measures necessary to ensure that these individuals would not be executed pending final judgment in these proceedings. The Court notes that, at the date of the present Judgment, these three individuals have not been executed, but further notes with great concern that, by an Order dated 1 March 2004, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has set an execution date of 18 May 2004 for Mr. Torres.

The Mexican Objection to the United States Objections to Jurisdiction and Admissibility

22.
As noted above, the present dispute has been brought before the Court by Mexico on the basis of the Vienna Convention and the Optional Protocol to that Convention. Article 1 of the Optional Protocol provides:

"Disputes arising out of the interpretation or application of the [Vienna] Convention shall lie within the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice and may accordingly be brought before the Court by a written application made by any party to the dispute being a Party to the present Protocol."

23.
The United States has presented a number of objections to the jurisdiction of the Court, as well as a number of objections to the admissibility of the claims advanced by Mexico. It is however the contention of Mexico that all the objections raised by the United States are inadmissible as having been raised after the expiration of the time-limit laid down by the Rules of Court. Mexico draws attention to the text of Article 79, paragraph 1, of the Rules of Court as amended in 2000, which provides that

"Any objection by the respondent to the jurisdiction of the Court or to the admissibility of the application, or other objection the decision upon which is requested before any further proceedings on the merits, shall be made in writing as soon as possible, and not later than three months after the delivery of the Memorial."

The previous text of this paragraph required objections to be made "within the time-limit fixed for delivery of the Counter-Memorial". In the present case the Memorial of Mexico was filed on 23 June 2003; the objections of the United States to jurisdiction and admissibility were presented in its Counter-Memorial, filed on 3 November 2003, more than four months later.

25.
The United States has submitted four objections to the jurisdiction of the Court, and five to the admissibility of the claims of Mexico. As noted above, these have not been submitted as preliminary objections under Article 79 of the Rules of Court; and they are not of such a nature that the Court would be required to examine and dispose of all of them in limine, before dealing with any aspect of the merits of the case. Some are expressed to be only addressed to certain claims; some are addressed to questions of the remedies to be indicated if the Court finds that breaches of the Vienna Convention have been committed; and some are of such a nature that they would have to be dealt with along with the merits. The Court will however now examine each of them in turn.

United States Objections to Jurisdiction

26.
The United States contends that the Court lacks jurisdiction to decide many of Mexico’s claims, inasmuch as Mexico’s submissions in the Memorial asked the Court to decide questions which do not arise out of the interpretation or application of the Vienna Convention, and which the United States has never agreed to submit to the Court.
27.
By its first jurisdictional objection, the United States suggested that the Memorial is fundamentally addressed to the treatment of Mexican nationals in the federal and state criminal justice systems of the United States, and the operation of the United States criminal justice system as a whole. It suggested that Mexico’s invitation to the Court to make what the United States regards as "far-reaching and unsustainable findings concerning the United States criminal justice systems" would be an abuse of the Court’s jurisdiction. At the hearings, the United States contended that Mexico is asking the Court to interpret and apply the treaty as if it were intended principally to govern the operation of a State’s criminal justice system as it affects foreign nationals.
28.
The Court would recall that its jurisdiction in the present case has been invoked under the Vienna Convention and Optional Protocol to determine the nature and extent of the obligations undertaken by the United States towards Mexico by becoming party to that Convention. If and so far as the Court may find that the obligations accepted by the parties to the Vienna Convention included commitments as to the conduct of their municipal courts in relation to the nationals of other parties, then in order to ascertain whether there have been breaches of the Convention, the Court must be able to examine the actions of those courts in the light of international law. The Court is unable to uphold the contention of the United States that, as a matter of jurisdiction, it is debarred from enquiring into the conduct of criminal proceedings in United States courts. How far it may do so in the present case is a matter for the merits. The first objection of the United States to jurisdiction cannot therefore be upheld.
29.

The second jurisdictional objection presented by the United States was addressed to the first of the submissions presented by Mexico in its Memorial (see paragraph 13 above). The United States pointed out that Article 36 of the Vienna Convention "creates no obligations constraining the rights of the United States to arrest a foreign national"; and that similarly the "detaining, trying, convicting and sentencing" of Mexican nationals could not constitute breaches of Article 36, which merely lays down obligations of notification. The United States deduced from this that the matters raised in Mexico’s first submission are outside the jurisdiction of the Court under the Vienna Convention and the Optional Protocol, and it maintains this objection in response to the revised submission, presented by Mexico at the hearings, whereby it asks the Court to adjudge and declare:

"That the United States of America, in arresting, detaining, trying, convicting, and sentencing the 52 Mexican nationals on death row described in Mexico’s Memorial, violated its international legal obligations to Mexico, in its own right and in the exercise of its right to diplomatic protection of its nationals, by failing to inform, without delay, the 52 Mexican nationals after their arrest of their right to consular notification and access under Article 36 (1) (b) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and by depriving Mexico of its right to provide consular protection and the 52 nationals’ right to receive such protection as Mexico would provide under Article 36 (1) (a) and (c) of the Convention."

31.
The third objection by the United States to the jurisdiction of the Court refers to the first of the submissions in the Mexican Memorial concerning remedies. By that submission, which was confirmed in substance in the final submissions, Mexico claimed that

"Mexico is entitled to restitutio in integrum, and the United States therefore is under an obligation to restore the status quo ante, that is, re-establish the situation that existed at the time of the detention and prior to the interrogation of, proceedings against, and convictions and sentences of, Mexico’s nationals in violation of the United States’ international legal obligations..."

On that basis, Mexico went on in its first submission to invite the Court to declare that the United States was bound to vacate the convictions and sentences of the Mexican nationals concerned, to exclude from any subsequent proceedings any statements and confessions obtained from them, to prevent the application of any procedural penalty for failure to raise a timely defence on the basis of the Convention, and to prevent the application of any municipal law rule preventing courts in the United States from providing a remedy for the violation of Article 36 rights.

32.
The United States objects that so to require specific acts by the United States in its municipal criminal justice systems would intrude deeply into the independence of its courts; and that for the Court to declare that the United States is under a specific obligation to vacate convictions and sentences would be beyond its jurisdiction. The Court, the United States claims, has no jurisdiction to review appropriateness of sentences in criminal cases, and even less to determine guilt or innocence, matters which only a court of criminal appeal could go into.
33.
For its part, Mexico points out that the United States accepts that the Court has jurisdiction to interpret the Vienna Convention and to determine the appropriate form of reparation under international law. In Mexico’s view, these two considerations are sufficient to defeat the third objection to jurisdiction of the United States.
34.
For the same reason as in respect of the second jurisdictional objection, the Court is unable to uphold the contention of the United States that, even if the Court were to find that breaches of the Vienna Convention have been committed by the United States of the kind alleged by Mexico, it would still be without jurisdiction to order restitutio in integrum as requested by Mexico. The Court would recall in this regard, as it did in the LaGrand case, that, where jurisdiction exists over a dispute on a particular matter, no separate basis for jurisdiction is required by the Court in order to consider the remedies a party has requested for the breach of the obligation (I.CJ. Reports 2001, p. 485, para. 48). Whether or how far the Court may order the remedy requested by Mexico are matters to be determined as part of the merits of the dispute. The third objection of the United States to jurisdiction cannot therefore be upheld.
35.
The fourth and last jurisdictional objection of the United States is that "the Court lacks jurisdiction to determine whether or not consular notification is a ‘human right’, or to declare fundamental requirements of substantive or procedural due process". As noted above, it is on the basis of Mexico’s contention that the right to consular notification has been widely recognized as a fundamental due process right, and indeed a human right, that it argues that the rights of the detained Mexican nationals have been violated by the authorities of the United States, and that they have been "subjected to criminal proceedings without the fairness and dignity to which each person is entitled". The Court observes that Mexico has presented this argument as being a matter of interpretation of Article 36, paragraph 1 (bj, and therefore belonging to the merits. The Court considers that this is indeed a question of interpretation of the Vienna Convention, for which it has jurisdiction; the fourth objection of the United States to jurisdiction cannot therefore be upheld..

United States Objections to Admissibility

36.
In its Counter-Memorial, the United States has advanced a number of arguments presented as objections to the admissibility of Mexico’s claims. It argues that

"Before proceeding, the Court should weigh whether characteristics of the case before it today, or special circumstances related to particular claims, render either the entire case, or particular claims, inappropriate for further consideration and decision by the Court."

37.
The first objection under this head is that "Mexico’s submissions should be found inadmissible because they seek to have this Court function as a court of criminal appeal"; there is, in the view of the United States, "no other apt characterization of Mexico’s two submissions in respect of remedies". The Court notes that this contention is addressed solely to the question of remedies. The United States does not contend on this ground that the Court should decline jurisdiction to enquire into the question of breaches of the Vienna Convention at all, but simply that, if such breaches are shown, the Court should do no more than decide that the United States must provide "review and reconsideration" along the lines indicated in the Judgment in the LaGrand case (I. C.J, Reports 2001, pp. 513-514, para, 125). The Court notes that this is a matter of merits. The first objection of the United States to admissibility cannot therefore be upheld.
38.
The Court now turns to the objection of the United States based on the rule of exhaustion of local remedies. The United States contends that the Court "should find inadmissible Mexico’s claim to exercise its right of diplomatic protection on behalf of any Mexican national who has failed to meet the customary legal requirement of exhaustion of municipal remedies". It asserts that in a number of the cases the subject of Mexico’s claims, the detained Mexican national, even with the benefit of the provision of Mexican consular assistance, failed to raise the alleged non-compliance with Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Vienna Convention at the trial. Furthermore, it contends that all of the claims relating to cases referred to in the Mexican Memorial are inadmissible because local remedies remain available in every case. It has drawn attention to the fact that litigation is pending before courts in the United States in a large number of the cases the subject of Mexico’s claims and that, in those cases where judicial remedies have been exhausted, the defendants have not had recourse to the clemency process available to them; from this it concludes that none of the cases "is in an appropriate posture for review by an international tribunal".
39.
Mexico responds that the rule of exhaustion of local remedies cannot preclude the admissibility of its claims. It first states that a majority of the Mexican nationals referred to in paragraph 1 6 above have sought judicial remedies in the United States based on the Vienna Convention and that their claims have been barred, notably on the basis of the procedural default doctrine. In this regard, it quotes the Court’s statement in the LaGrand case that

"the United States may not... rely before this Court on this fact in order to preclude the admissibility of Germany’s [claim]..., as it was the United States itself which had failed to carry out its obligation under the Convention to inform the LaGrand brothers" (I.C.J. Reports 2001, p. 488, para. 60).

Further, in respect of the other Mexican nationals, Mexico asserts that

"the courts of the United States have never granted a judicial remedy to any foreign national for a violation of Article 36. The United States courts hold either that Article 36 does not create an individual right, or that a foreign national who has been denied his Article 36 rights but given his constitutional and statutory rights, cannot establish prejudice and therefore cannot get relief."

It concludes that the available judicial remedies are thus ineffective. As for clemency procedures, Mexico contends that they cannot count for purposes of the rule of exhaustion of local remedies, because they are not a judicial remedy.

41.
The Court now turns to the question of the alleged dual nationality of certain of the Mexican nationals the subject of Mexico’s claims. This question is raised by the United States by way of an objection to the admissibility of those claims: the United States contends that in its Memorial Mexico had failed to establish that it may exercise diplomatic protection based on breaches of Mexico’s rights under the Vienna Convention with respect to those of its nationals who are also nationals of the United States. The United States regards it as an accepted principle that, when a person arrested or detained in the receiving State is a national of that State, then even if he is also a national of another State party to the Vienna Convention, Article 36 has no application, and the authorities of the receiving State are not required to proceed as laid down in that Article; and Mexico has indicated that, for the purposes of the present case it does not contest that dual nationals have no right to be advised of their rights under Article 36.
42.
It has however to be recalled that Mexico, in addition to seeking to exercise diplomatic protection of its nationals, is making a claim in its own right on the basis of the alleged breaches by the United States of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention. Seen from this standpoint, the question of dual nationality is not one of admissibility, but of merits. A claim may be made by Mexico of breach of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention in relation to any of its nationals, and the United States is thereupon free to show that, because the person concerned was also a United States national, Article 36 had no application to that person, so that no breach of treaty obligations could have occurred. Furthermore, as regards the claim to exercise diplomatic protection, the question whether Mexico is entitled to protect a person having dual Mexican and United States nationality is subordinated to the question whether, in relation to such a person, the Un ited States was under any obligation in terms of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention. It is thus in the course of its examination of the merits that the Court will have to consider whether the individuals concerned, or some of them, were dual nationals in law. Without prejudice to the outcome of such examination, the third objection of the United States to admissibility cannot therefore be upheld,
43.
The Court now turns to the fourth objection advanced by the United States to the admissibility of Mexico’s claims ; the contention that

"The Court should not permit Mexico to pursue a claim against the United States with respect to any individual case where Mexico had actual knowledge of a breach of the [Vienna Convention] but failed to bring such breach to the attention of the United States or did so only after considerable delay."

In the Counter-Memorial, the United States advances two considerations in support of this contention: that if the cases had been mentioned promptly, corrective action might have been possible; and that by inaction Mexico created an impression that it considered that the United States was meeting its obligations under the Convention, as Mexico understood them. At the hearings, the United States suggested that Mexico had in effect waived its right to claim in respect of the alleged breaches of the Convention, and to seek reparation.

44.
As the Court observed in the case of Certain Phosphate Lands in Nauru (Nauru v. Australia), "delay on the part of a claimant State may render an application inadmissible", but "international law does not lay down any specific time-limit in that regard" (7. C.J. Reports 1992, pp. 253254, para. 32). In that case the Court recognized that delay might prejudice the respondent State "with regard to both the establishment of the facts and the determination of the content of the applicable law" (ibid., p. 255, para. 36), but it has not been suggested that there is any such risk of prejudice in the present case. So far as inadmissibility might be based on an implied waiver of rights, the Court considers that only a much more prolonged and consistent inaction on the part of Mexico than any that the United States has alleged might be interpreted as implying such a waiver. Furthermore, Mexico indicated a number of ways in which it brought to the attention of the United States the breaches which it perceived of the Vienna Convention. The fourth objection of the United States to admissibility cannot therefore be upheld.
48.
Having established that it has jurisdiction to entertain Mexico’s claims and that they are admissible, the Court will now turn to the merits of those claims.

Article 36, Paragraph 1

49.
In its final submissions Mexico asks the Court to adjudge and declare that,

"the United States of America, in arresting, detaining, trying, convicting, and sentencing the 52 Mexican nationals on death row described in Mexico’s Memorial, violated its international legal obligations to Mexico, in its own right and in the exercise of its right to diplomatic protection of its nationals, by failing to inform, without delay, the 52 Mexican nationals after their arrest of their right to consular notification and access under Article 36 (1) (b) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and by depriving Mexico of its right to provide consular protection and the 52 nationals’ right to receive such protection as Mexico would provide under Article 36 (1) (a) and (c) of the Convention".

50.
The Court has already in its Judgment in the LaGrand case described Article 36, paragraph 1, as "an interrelated regime designed to facilitate the implementation of the system of consular protection" (I.C.J. Reports 2001, p. 492, para, 74). It is thus convenient to set out the entirety of that paragraph.

"With a view toward facilitating the exercise of consular functions relating to nationals of the sending State:

(a) consular officers shall be free to communicate with nationals of the sending State and to have access to them. Nationals of the sending State shall have the same freedom with respect to communication with and access to consular officers of the sending State;

(b) if he so requests, the competent authorities of the receiving State shall, without delay, inform the consular post of the sending State if, within its consular district, a national of that State is arrested or committed to prison or to custody pending trial or is detained in any other manner. Any communication addressed to the consular post by the person arrested, in prison, custody or detention shall be forwarded by the said authorities without delay. The said authorities shall inform the person concerned without delay of his rights under this subparagraph;

(c) consular officers shall have the right to visit a national of the sending State who is in prison, custody or detention, to converse and correspond with him and to arrange for his legal representation, They shall also have the right to visit any national of the sending State who is in prison, custody or detention in their district in pursuance of a judgment. 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."

51.
The United States as the receiving State does not deny its duty to perform these obligations. However, it claims that the obligations apply only to individuals shown to be of Mexican nationality alone, and not to those of dual Mexican/United States nationality. The United States further contends inter alia that it has not committed any breach of Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), upon the proper interpretation of "without delay" as used in that subparagraph.
52.
Thus two major issues under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), that are in dispute between the Parties are, first, the question of the nationality of the individuals concerned; and second, the question of the meaning to be given to the expression "without delay". The Court will examine each of these in turn.
53.
The Parties have advanced their contentions as to nationality in three different legal contexts. The United States has begun by making an objection to admissibility, which the Court has already dealt with (see paragraphs 41 and 42 above). The United States has further contended that a substantial number of the 52 persons listed in paragraph 16 above were United States nationals and that it thus had no obligation to these individuals under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b). The Court will address this aspect of the matter in the following paragraphs. Finally, the Parties disagree as to whether the requirement under Article 36, paragraph I (b), for the information to be given "without delay" becomes operative upon arrest or upon ascertainment of nationality. The Court will address this issue later (see paragraph 63 below).
54.
The Parties disagree as to what each of them must show as regards nationality in connection with the applicability of the terms of Article 36, paragraph 1, and as to how the principles of evidence have been met on the facts of the cases.
58.
Mexico asks the Court to find that

"the obligation in Article 36, paragraph I, of the Vienna Convention requires notification of consular rights and a reasonable opportunity for consular access before the competent authorities of the receiving State take any action potentially detrimental to the foreign national’s rights".

59.
Mexico contends that, in each of the 52 cases before the Court, the United States failed to provide the arrested persons with information as to their rights under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), "without delay". It alleges that in one case, Mr. Esquivel (case No. 7), the arrested person was informed, but only some 18 months after the arrest, while in another, that of Mr. Juarez (case No. 10), information was given to the arrested person of his rights some 40 hours after arrest. Mexico contends that this still constituted a violation, because "without delay" is to be understood as meaning "immediately", and in any event before any interrogation occurs. Mexico further draws the Court’s attention to the fact that in this case a United States court found that there had been a violation of Article 36, paragraph I (b), and claims that the United States cannot disavow such a determination by its own courts. In an Annex to its Memorial, Mexico mentions that, in a third case (Mr. Ayala, case No. 2), the accused was informed of his rights upon his arrival on death row, some four years after arrest. Mexico contends that in the remaining cases the Mexicans concerned were in fact never so informed by the United States authorities.
60.
The United States disputes both the facts as presented by Mexico and the legal analysis of Article 36, paragraph I (b), of the Vienna Convention offered by Mexico. The United States claims that Mr. Solache (case No. 47) was informed of his rights under the Vienna Convention some seven months after his arrest. The United States further claims that many of the persons concerned were of United States nationality and that at least seven of these individuals "appear to have affirmatively claimed to be United States citizens at the time of their arrest". These cases were said to be those of Avena (case No. 1), Ayala (case No. 2), Benavides (case No. 3), Ochoa (case No. 18), Salcido (case No. 22), Tafoya (case No. 24), and Alvarez (case No. 30). In the view of the United States no duty of consular information arose in these cases. Further, in the contention of the United States, in the cases of Mr. Ayala (case No, 2) and Mr. Salcido (case No. 22) there was no reason to believe that the arrested persons were Mexican nationals at any stage; the information in the case of Mr. Juarez (case No. 10) was given "without delay",
61.
The Court thus now turns to the interpretation of Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), having found in paragraph 57 above that it is applicable to the 52 persons listed in paragraph 16. It begins by noting that Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), contains three separate but interrelated elements: the right of the individual concerned to be informed without delay of his rights under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b) ; the right of the consular post to be notified without delay of the individual’s detention, if he so requests ; and the obligation of the receiving State to forward without delay any communication addressed to the consular post by the detained person.
62.
The third element of Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), has not been raised on the facts before the Court, The Court thus begins with the right of an arrested or detained individual to information,
64.
The United States has told the Court that millions of aliens reside, either legally or illegally, on its territory, and moreover that its laws concerning citizenship are generous. The United States has also pointed out that it is a multicultural society, with citizenship being held by persons of diverse appearance, speaking many languages. The Court appreciates that in the United States the language that a person speaks, or his appearance, does not necessarily indicate that he is a foreign national. Nevertheless, and particularly in view of the large numbers of foreign nationals living in the United States, these very circumstances suggest that it would be desirable for enquiry routinely to be made of the individual as to his nationality upon his detention, so that the obligations of the Vienna Convention may be complied with. The United States has informed the Court that some of its law enforcement authorities do routinely ask persons taken into detention whether they are United States citizens. Indeed, were each individual to be told at that time that, should he be a foreign national, he is entitled to ask for his consular post to be contacted, compliance with this requirement under Article 36, paragraph 1 (h), would be greatly enhanced. The provision of such information could parallel the reading of those rights of which any person taken into custody in connection with a criminal offence must be informed prior to interrogation by virtue of what in the United States is known as the "Miranda rule"; these rights include, inter alia, the right to remain silent, the right to have an attorney present during questioning, and the right to have an attorney appointed at government expense if the person cannot afford one. The Court notes that, according to the United States, such a practice in respect of the Vienna Convention rights is already being followed in some local jurisdictions.
65.
Bearing in mind the complexities explained by the United States, the Court now begins by examining the application of Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), of the Vienna Convention to the 52 cases. In 45 of these cases, the Court has no evidence that the arrested persons claimed United States nationality, or were reasonably thought to be United States nationals, with specific enquiries being made in timely fashion to verify such dual nationality. The Court has explained in paragraph 57 above what enquiries it would have expected to have been made, within a short time period, and what information should have been provided to the Court.
66.
Seven persons, however, are asserted by the United States to have stated at the time of arrest that they were United States citizens. Only in the case of Mr. Salcido (case No. 22) has the Court been provided by the United States with evidence of such a statement. This has been acknowledged by Mexico. Further, there has been no evidence before the Court to suggest that there were in this case at the same time also indications of Mexican nationality, which should have caused rapid enquiry by the arresting authorities and the providing of consular information "without delay". Mexico has accordingly not shown that in the case of Mr. Salcido the United States violated its obligations under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b).
67.
In the case of Mr. Ayala (case No. 2), while he was identified in a court record in 1989 (three years after his arrest) as a United States citizen, there is no evidence to show this Court that the accused did indeed claim upon his arrest to be a United States citizen. The Court has not been informed of any enquiries made by the United States to confirm these assertions of United States nationality.
68.
In the five other cases listed by the United States as cases where the individuals "appear to have affirmatively claimed to be United States citizens at the time of their arrest", no evidence has been presented that such a statement was made at the time of arrest.
69.
Mr. Avena (case No. 1) is listed in his arrest report as having been born in California. His prison records describe him as of Mexican nationality. The United States has not shown the Court that it was engaged in enquiries to confirm United States nationality.
70.
Mr. Benavides (case No. 3) was carrying an Immigration and Naturalization Service immigration card at the time of arrest in 1991, The Court has not been made aware of any reason why the arresting authorities should nonetheless have believed at the time of arrest that he was a United States national. The evidence that his defence counsel in June 1993 informed the court that Mr. Benavides had become a United States citizen is irrelevant to what was understood as to his nationality at time of arrest.
71.
So far as Mr. Ochoa is concerned (case No, 18), the Court observes that his arrest report in 1990 refers to him as having been born in Mexico, an assertion that is repeated in a second police report. Some two years later details in his court record refer to him as a United States citizen born in Mexico. The Court is not provided with any further details. The United States has not shown this Court that it was aware of, or was engaged in active enquiry as to, alleged United States nationality at the time of his arrest.
72.
Mr. Tafoya (case No. 24) was listed on the police booking sheet as having been born in Mexico. No further information is provided by the United States as to why this was done and what, if any, further enquiries were being made concerning the defendant’s nationality.
73.
Finally, the last of the seven persons referred to by the United States in this group, Mr. Alvarez (case No. 30), was arrested in Texas on 20 June 1998. Texas records identified him as a United States citizen. Within three days of his arrest, however, the Texas authorities were informed that the Immigration and Naturalization Service was holding investigations to determine whether, because of a previous conviction, Mr. Alvarez was subject to deportation as a foreign national. The Court has not been presented with evidence that rapid resolution was sought as to the question of Mr. Alvarez’s nationality.
74.
The Court concludes that Mexico has failed to prove the violation by the United States of its obligations under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), in the case of Mr. Salcido (case No. 22), and his case will not be further commented upon. On the other hand, as regards the other individuals who are alleged to have claimed United States nationality on arrest, whose cases have been considered in paragraphs 67 to 73 above, the argument of the United States cannot be upheld.
75.
The question nonetheless remains as to whether, in each of the 45 cases referred to in paragraph 65 and of the six cases mentioned in paragraphs 67 to 73, the United States did provide the required information to the arrested persons "without delay". It is to that question that the Court now turns.
77.
In four cases, namely Ayala (case No. 2), Esquivel (case No. 7), Juarez (case No. 10) and Solache (case No. 47), some doubts remain as to whether the information that was given was provided without delay. For these, some examination of the term is thus necessary.
78.
This is a matter on which the Parties have very different views. According to Mexico, the timing of the notice to the detained person "is critical to the exercise of the rights provided by Article 36" and the phrase "without delay" in paragraph 1 (b) requires "unqualified immediacy". Mexico further contends that, in view of the object and purpose of Article 36, which is to enable "meaningful consular assistance" and the safeguarding of the vulnerability of foreign nationals in custody,

"consular notification... must occur immediately upon detention and prior to any interrogation of the foreign detainee, so that the consul may offer useful advice about the foreign legal system and provide assistance in obtaining counsel before the foreign national makes any ill-informed decisions or the State takes any action potentially prejudicial to his rights".

79.
Thus, in Mexico’s view, it would follow that in any case in which a foreign national was interrogated before being informed of his rights under Article 36, there would ipso facto be a breach of that Article, however rapidly after the interrogation the information was given to the foreign national. Mexico accordingly includes the case of Mr. Juarez among those where it claims violation of Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), as he was interrogated before being informed of his consular rights, some 40 hours after arrest.
80.
Mexico has also invoked the travaux préparatoires of the Vienna Convention in support of its interpretation of the requirement that the arrested person be informed "without delay" of the right to ask that the consular post be notified. In particular, Mexico recalled that the phrase proposed to the Conference by the International Law Commission, "without undue delay", was replaced by the United Kingdom proposal to delete the word "undue". The United Kingdom representative had explained that this would avoid the implication that "some delay was permissible" and no delegate had expressed dissent with the USSR and Japanese statements that the result of the amendment would be to require information "immediately".
81.
The United States disputed this interpretation of the phrase "without delay". In its view it did not mean "immediately, and before interrogation" and such an understanding was supported neither by the terminology, nor by the object and purpose of the Vienna Conven tion, nor by its travaux préparatoires. In the booklet referred to in paragraph 63 above, the State Department explains that "without delay" means "there should be no deliberate delay" and that the required action should be taken "as soon as reasonably possible under the circumstances". It was normally to be expected that "notification to consular officers" would have been made "within 24 to 72 hours of the arrest or detention". The United States further contended that such an interpretation of the words "without delay" would be reasonable in itself and also allow a consistent interpretation of the phrase as it occurs in each of three different occasions in Article 36, paragraph 1 (b). As for the travaux préparatoires, they showed only that undue or deliberate delay had been rejected as unacceptable.
82.
According to the United States, the purpose of Article 36 was to facilitate the exercise of consular functions by a consular officer:

"The significance of giving consular information to a national is thus limited... It is a procedural device that allows the foreign national to trigger the related process of notification... [It] cannot possibly be fundamental to the criminal justice process."

84.
Article 1 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which defines certain of the terms used in the Convention, offers no definition of the phrase "without delay". Moreover, in the different language versions of the Convention various terms are employed to render the phrases "without delay" in Article 36 and "immediately" in Article 14. The Court observes that dictionary definitions, in the various languages of the Vienna Convention, offer diverse meanings of the term "without delay" (and also of "immediately"). It is therefore necessary to look elsewhere for an understanding of this term.
86.
The Court further notes that, notwithstanding the uncertainties in the travaux préparatoires, they too do not support such an interpretation. During the diplomatic conference, the conference’s expert, former Special Rapporteur of the International Law Commission, explained to the delegates that the words "without undue delay" had been introduced by the Commission, after long discussion in both the plenary and drafting committee, to allow for special circumstances which might permit information as to consular notification not to be given at once. Germany, the only one of two States to present an amendment, proposed adding "but at latest within one month". There was an extended discussion by many different delegates as to what such outer time-limit would be acceptable. During that debate no delegate proposed "immediately". The shortest specific period suggested was by the United Kingdom, namely "promptly" and no later than "48 hours" afterwards. Eventually, in the absence of agreement on a precise time period, the United Kingdom’s other proposal to delete the word "undue" was accepted as the position around which delegates could converge. It is also of interest that there is no suggestion in the travaux that the phrase "without delay" might have different meanings in each of the three sets of circumstances in which it is used in Article' 36, paragraph 1 (b).
88.
Although, by application of the usual rules of interpretation, "without delay" as regards the duty to inform an individual under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), is not to be understood as necessarily meaning "immediately upon arrest", there is nonetheless a duty upon the arresting authorities to give that information to an arrested person as soon as it is realized that the person is a foreign national, or once there are grounds to think that the person is probably a foreign national.
89.
With one exception, no information as to entitlement to consular notification was given in any of the cases cited in paragraph 77 within any of the various time periods suggested by the delegates to the Conference on the Vienna Convention, or by the United States itself (see paragraphs 81 and 86 above). Indeed, the information was given either not at all or at periods very significantly removed from the time of arrest. In the case of Mr. Juarez (case No. 10), the defendant was informed of his consular rights 40 hours after his arrest. The Court notes, however, that Mr. Juarez’s arrest report stated that he had been born in Mexico; moreover, there had been indications of his Mexican nationality from the time of his initial interrogation by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) following his arrest. It follows that Mr. Juarez’s Mexican nationality was apparent from the outset of his detention by the United States authorities. In these circumstances, in accordance with its interpretation of the expression "without delay" (see paragraph 88 above), the Court concludes that the United States violated the obligation incumbent upon it under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), to inform Mr, Juarez without delay of his consular rights. The Court notes that the same finding was reached by a California Superior Court, albeit on different grounds.
90.
The Court accordingly concludes that, with respect to each of the individuals listed in paragraph 16, with the exception of Mr. Salcido (case No. 22; see paragraph 74 above), the United States has violated its obligation under Article 36, paragraph I (b), of the Vienna Convention to provide information to the arrested person.
91.
As noted above, Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), contains three elements. Thus far, the Court has been dealing with the right of an arrested person to be informed that he may ask for his consular post to be notified. The Court now turns to another aspect of Article 36, paragraph 1 (b). The Court finds the United States is correct in observing that the fact that a Mexican consular post was not notified under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), does not of necessity show that the arrested person was not informed of his rights under that provision. He may have been informed and declined to have his consular post notified. The giving of the information is relevant, however, for satisfying the element in Article 36, paragraph 1 (A), on which the other two elements therein depend.
92.
In only two cases has the United States claimed that the arrested person was informed of his consular rights but asked for the consular post not to be notified. These arc Mr. Juarez (case No. 10) and Mr. Solache (case No. 47).
93.
The Court is satisfied that when Mr. Juarez (case No. 10) was informed of his consular rights 40 hours after his arrest (see paragraph 89) he chose not to have his consular post notified. As regards Mr. Solache (case No. 47), however, it is not sufficiently clear to the Court, on the evidence before it, that he requested that his consular post should not be notified. Indeed, the Court has not been provided with any reasons as to why, if a request of non-notification was made, the consular post was then notified some three months later.
94.
In a further three cases, the United States alleges that the consular post was formally notified of the detention of one of its Mexican nationals without prior information to the individual as to his consular rights. These are Mr. Covarrubias (case No. 6), Mr. Hernandez (case No. 34) and Mr. Reyes (case No. 54). The United States further contends that the Mexican authorities were contacted regarding the case of Mr. Loza (case No. 52).
95.
The Court notes that, in the case of Mr. Covarrubias (case No. 6), the consular authorities learned from third parties of his arrest shortly after it occurred. Some 16 months later, a court-appointed interpreter requested that the consulate intervene in the case prior to trial. It would appear doubtful whether an interpreter can be considered a competent authority for triggering the interrelated provisions of Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), of the Vienna Convention. In the case of Mr. Reyes (case No. 54), the United States has simply told the Court that an Oregon Department of Justice attorney had advised United States authorities that both the District Attorney and the arresting detective advised the Mexican consular authorities of his arrest. No information is given as to when this occurred, in relation to the date of his arrest. Mr. Reyes did receive assistance before his trial. In these two cases, the Court considers that, even on the hypothesis that the conduct of the United States had no serious consequences for the individuals concerned, it did nonetheless constitute a violation of the obligations incumbent upon the United States under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b).
96.
In the case of Mr. Loza (case No. 52), a United States Congressman from Ohio contacted the Mexican Embassy on behalf of Ohio prosecutors, some four months after the accused’s arrest, "to enquire about the procedures for obtaining a certified copy of Loza’s birth certificate". The Court has not been provided with a copy of the Congressman’s letter and is therefore unable to ascertain whether it explained that Mr. Loza had been arrested. The response from the Embassy (which is also not included in the documentation provided to the Court) was passed by the Congressman to the prosecuting attorney, who then asked the Civil Registry of Guadalajara for a copy of the birth certificate. This request made no specific mention of Mr. Loza’s arrest. Mexico contends that its consulate was never formally notified of Mr. Loza’s arrest, of which it only became aware after he had been convicted and sentenced to death, Mexico includes the case of Mr. Loza among those in which the United States was in breach of its obligation of consular notification. Taking account of all these elements, and in particular of the fact that the Embassy was contacted four months after the arrest, and that the consular post became aware of the defendant’s detention only after he had been convicted and sentenced, the Court concludes that in the case of Mr. Loza the United States violated the obligation of consular notification without delay incumbent upon it under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b).
97.
Mr. Hernandez (case No. 34) was arrested in Texas on Wednesday 15 October 1997. The United States authorities had no reason to believe he might have American citizenship. The consular post was notified the following Monday, that is five days (corresponding to only three working days) thereafter. The Court finds that, in the circumstances, the United States did notify the consular post without delay, in accordance with its obligation under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b).
98.
In the first of its final submissions, Mexico also asks the Court to find that the violations it ascribes to the United States in respect of Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), have also deprived "Mexico of its right to provide consular protection and the 52 nationals’ right to receive such protection as Mexico would provide under Article 36 (1) (a) and (c) of the Convention",
99.
The relationship between the three subparagraphs of Article 36, paragraph 1, has been described by the Court in its Judgment in the LaGrand case (I.CJ. Reports 2001, p. 492, para. 74) as "an interrelated regime". The legal conclusions to be drawn from that interrelationship necessarily depend upon the facts of each case. In the LaGrand case, the Court found that the failure for 16 years to inform the brothers of their right to have their consul notified effectively prevented the exercise of other rights that Germany might have chosen to exercise under subparagraphs (a) and (c).
100.
It is necessary to revisit the interrelationship of the three subparagraphs of Article 36, paragraph 1, in the light of the particular facts and circumstances of the present case.
101.
The Court would first recall that, in the case of Mr. Juarez (case No. 10) (see paragraph 93 above), when the defendant was informed of his rights, he declined to have his consular post notified. Thus in this case there was no violation of either subparagraph (a) or subparagraph (c) of Article 36, paragraph 1.
102.
In the remaining cases, because of the failure of the United States to act in conformity with Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), Mexico was in effect precluded (in some cases totally, and in some cases for prolonged periods of time) from exercising its right under paragraph 1 (a) to communicate with its nationals and have access to them. As the Court has already had occasion to explain, it is immaterial whether Mexico would have offered consular assistance, "or whether a different verdict would have been rendered. It is sufficient that the Convention conferred these rights" (I.C.J. Reports 2001, p. 492, para. 74), which might have been acted upon.
103.
The same is true, pari passu, of certain rights identified in subparagraph (c): "consular officers shall have the right to visit a national of the sending State who is in prison, custody or detention, and to converse and correspond with him...".
104.
On the other hand, and on the particular facts of this case, no such generalized answer can be given as regards a further entitlement mentioned in subparagraph (c), namely, the right of consular officers "to arrange for [the] legal representation" of the foreign national. Mexico has laid much emphasis in this litigation upon the importance of consular officers being able to arrange for such representation before and during trial, and especially at sentencing, in cases in which a severe penalty may be imposed. Mexico has further indicated the importance of any financial or other assistance that consular officers may provide to defence counsel, inter alia for investigation of the defendant’s family background and mental condition, when such information is relevant to the case. The Court observes that the exercise of the rights of the sending State under Article 36, paragraph 1 (c), depends upon notification by the authorities of the receiving State. It may be, however, that information drawn to the attention of the sending State by other means may still enable its consular officers to assist in arranging legal representation for its national. In the following cases, the Mexican consular authorities learned of their national’s detention in time to provide such assistance, either through notification by United States authorities (albeit belatedly in terms of Article 36, paragraph 1 (b)) or through other channels: Benavides (case No. 3); Covarrubias (case No. 6); Esquivel (case No, 7); Hoyos (case No. 9); Mendoza (case No. 17); Ramirez (case No. 20); Sanchez (case No. 23); Verano (case No. 27); Zamudio (case No. 29); Gomez (case No. 33); Hernandez (case No. 34); Ramirez (case No. 41); Rocha (case No. 42); Solache (case No. 47); Camargo (case No. 49) and Reyes (case No. 54).
105.
In relation to Mr. Manriquez (case No. 14), the Court lacks precise information as to when his consular post was notified. It is merely given to understand that it was two years prior to conviction, and that Mr. Manriquez himself had never been informed of his consular rights. There is also divergence between the Parties in regard to the case of Mr. Fuentes (case No. 15), where Mexico claims it became aware of his detention during trial and the United States says this occurred during jury selection, prior to the actual commencement of the trial. In the case of Mr, Arias (case No. 44), the Mexican authorities became aware of his detention less than one week before the commencement of the trial. In those three cases, the Court concludes that the United States violated its obligations under Article 36, paragraph I (c).
106.
On this aspect of the case, the Court thus concludes:

(1) that the United States committed breaches of the obligation incumbent upon it under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), of the Vienna Convention to inform detained Mexican nationals of their rights under that paragraph, in the case of the following 51 individuals: Avena (case No. 1), Ayala (case No. 2), Benavides (case No. 3), Carrera (case No. 4), Contreras (case No. 5), Covarrubias (case No. 6), Esquivel (case No. 7), Gomez (case No. 8), Hoy os (case No. 9), Juarez (case No. 10), Lopez (case No. 11), Lupercio (case No. 12), Maciel (case No. 13), Manriquez (case No. 14), Fuentes (case No. 15), Martinez (case No. 16), Mendoza (case No. 17), Ochoa (case No. 18), Parra (case No. 19), Ramirez (case No. 20), Salazar (case No. 21), Sanchez (case No. 23), Tafoya (case No. 24), Valdez (case No. 25), Vargas (case No. 26), Verano (case No. 27), Zamudio (case No. 29), Alvarez (case No. 30), Fierro (case No. 31), Garcia (case No. 32), Gomez (case No. 33), Hernandez (case No. 34), Ibarra (case No. 35), Leal (case No. 36), Maldonado (case No. 37), Medellin (case No. 38), Moreno (case No. 39), Plata (case No. 40), Ramirez (case No. 41), Rocha (case No. 42), Regalado (case No. 43), Arias (case No. 44), Caballero (case No. 45), Flores (case No. 46), Solache (case No. 47), Fong (case No. 48), Camargo (case No. 49), Perez (case No. 51), Loza (case No. 52), Torres (case No. 53) and Reyes (case No. 54);

(2) that the United States committed breaches of the obligation incumbent upon it under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), to notify the Mexican consular post of the detention of the Mexican nationals listed in subparagraph (1) above, except in the cases of Mr. Juarez (No. 10) and Mr. Hernandez (No. 34);

(3) that by virtue of its breaches of Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), as described in subparagraph (2) above, the United States also violated the obligation incumbent upon it under Article 36, paragraph I (a), of the Vienna Convention to enable Mexican consular officers to communicate with and have access to their nationals, as well as its obligation under paragraph 1 (c) of that Article regarding the right of consular officers to visit their detained nationals;

(4) that the United States, by virtue of these breaches of Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), also violated the obligation incumbent upon it under paragraph I (c) of that Article to enable Mexican consular officers to arrange for legal representation of their nationals in the case of the following individuals: Avena (case No. 1), Ayala (case No. 2), Carrera (case No. 4), Contreras (case No. 5), Gomez (case No. 8), Lopez (case No. 11), Lupercio (case No. 12), Maciel (case No. 13), Manriquez (case No. 14), Fuentes (case No. 15), Martinez (case No. 16), Ochoa (case No. 18), Parra (case No. 19), Salazar (case No. 21), Tafoya (case No. 24), Valdez (case No. 25), Vargas (case No. 26), Alvarez (case No. 30), Fierro (case No, 31), Garcia (case No. 32), Ibarra (case No. 35), Leal (case No. 36), Maldonado (case No. 37), Medellin (case No. 38), Moreno (case No. 39), Plata (case No. 40), Regalado (case No. 43), Arias (case No. 44), Caballero (case No. 45), Flores (case No. 46), Fong (ease No. 48), Perez (case No. 51), Loza (case No. 52) and Torres (case No. 53).

Article 36, Paragraph 2

107.
In its third final submission Mexico asks the Court to adjudge and declare that

"the United States violated its obligations under Article 36 (2) of the Vienna Convention by failing to provide meaningful and effective review and reconsideration of convictions and sentences impaired by a violation of Article 36 (1)".

108.
Article 36, paragraph 2, provides:

"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."

109.
In this connection, Mexico has argued that the United States

"By applying provisions of its municipal law to defeat or foreclose remedies for the violation of rights conferred by Article 36 — thus failing to provide meaningful review and reconsideration of severe sentences imposed in proceedings that violated Article 36 —... has violated, and continues to violate, the Vienna Convention."

More specifically, Mexico contends that:

"The United States uses several municipal legal doctrines to prevent finding any legal effect from the violations of Article 36, First, despite this Court’s clear analysis in LaGrand, US courts, at both the state and federal level, continue to invoke default doctrines to bar any review of Article 36 violations — even when the national had been unaware of his rights to consular notification and communication and thus his ability to raise their violation as an issue at trial, due to the competent authorities’ failure to comply with Article 36,"

110.
Against this contention by Mexico, the United States argues that: "the criminal justice systems of the United States address all errors

in process through both judicial and executive clemency proceedings, relying upon the latter when rules of default have closed out the possibility of the former. That is, the ‘laws and regulations’ of the United States provide for the correction of mistakes that may be relevant to a criminal defendant to occur through a combination of judicial review and clemency. These processes together, working with other competent authorities, give full effect to the purposes for which Article 36 (1) is intended, in conformity with Article 36 (2). And, insofar as a breach of Article 36 (1) has occurred, these procedures satisfy the remedial function of Article 36 (2) by allowing the United States to provide review and reconsideration of convictions and sentences consistent with LaGrand."

111.
The "procedural default" rule in United States law has already been brought to the attention of the Court in the LaGrand case. The following brief definition of the rule was provided by Mexico in its Memorial in this case and has not been challenged by the United States: "a defendant who could have raised, but fails to raise, a legal issue at trial will generally not be permitted to raise it in future proceedings, on appeal or in a petition for a writ of habeas corpus". The rule requires exhaustion of remedies, inter alia, at the state level and before a habeas corpus motion can he filed with federal courts. In the LaGrand case, the rule in question was applied by United States federal courts; in the present case, Mexico also complains of the application of the rule in certain state courts of criminal appeal.
112.
The Court has already considered the application of the "procedural default" rule, alleged by Mexico to be a hindrance to the full implementation of the international obligations of the United States under Article 36, in the LaGrand case, when the Court addressed the issue of its implications for the application of Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Vienna Convention, The Court emphasized that "a distinction must be drawn between that rule as such and its specific application in the present case". The Court stated:

"In itself, the rule does not violate Article 36 of the Vienna Convention. The problem arises when the procedural default rule does not allow the detained individual to challenge a conviction and sentence by claiming, in reliance on Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Convention, that the competent national authorities failed to comply with their obligation to provide the requisite consular information ‘without delay’, thus preventing the person from seeking and obtaining consular assistance from the sending State." (I.C.J. Reports 2001, p. 497, para. 90.)

On this basis, the Court concluded that "the procedural default rule prevented counsel for the LaGrands to effectively challenge their convictions and sentences other than on United States constitutional grounds" (I.C.J. Reports 2001, p. 497, para. 91). This statement of the Court seems equally valid in relation to the present case, where a number of Mexican nationals have been placed exactly in such a situation.

113.
The Court will return to this aspect below, in the context of Mexico’s claims as to remedies. For the moment, the Court simply notes that the procedural default rule has not been revised, nor has any provision been made to prevent its application in cases where it has been the failure of the United States itself to inform that may have precluded counsel from being in a position to have raised the question of a violation of the Vienna Convention in the initial trial. It thus remains the case that the procedural default rule may continue to prevent courts from attaching legal significance to the fact, inter alia, that the violation of the rights set forth in Article 36, paragraph 1, prevented Mexico, in a timely fashion, from retaining private counsel for certain nationals and otherwise assisting in their defence. In such cases, application of the procedural default rule would have the effect of preventing "full effect [from being] given to the purposes for which the rights accorded under this article are intended", and thus violate paragraph 2 of Article 36. The Court notes moreover that in several of the cases cited in Mexico’s final submissions the procedural default rule has already been applied, and that in others it could be applied at subsequent stages in the proceedings. However, in none of the cases, save for the three mentioned in paragraph 114 below, have the criminal proceedings against the Mexican nationals concerned already reached a stage at which there is no further possibility of judicial reexamination of those cases; that is to say, all possibility is not yet excluded of "review and reconsideration" of conviction and sentence, as called for in the LaGrand case, and as explained further in paragraphs 128 and following below. It would therefore be premature for the Court to conclude at this stage that, in those cases, there is already a violation of the obligations under Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Vienna Convention.
114.
By contrast, the Court notes that in the case of three Mexican nationals, Mr. Fierro (case No. 31), Mr. Moreno (case No. 39), and Mr. Torres (case No. 53), conviction and sentence have become final. Moreover, in the case of Mr. Torres the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has set an execution date (see paragraph 21 above, in fine). The Court must therefore conclude that, in relation to these three individuals, the United States is in breach of the obligations incumbent upon it under Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Vienna Convention.

Legal Consequences of the Breach

115.
Having concluded that in most of the cases brought before the Court by Mexico in the 52 instances, there has been a failure to observe the obligations prescribed by Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), of the Vienna Convention, the Court now proceeds to the examination of the legal consequences of such a breach and of what legal remedies should be considered for the breach.
116.
Mexico in its fourth, fifth and sixth submissions asks the Court to adjudge and declare:

"(4) that pursuant to the injuries suffered by Mexico in its own right and in the exercise of diplomatic protection of its nationals, Mexico is entitled to full reparation for these injuries in the form of restitutio in integrum;

(5) that this restitution consists of the obligation to restore the status quo ante by annulling or otherwise depriving of full force or effect the conviction and sentences of all 52 Mexican nationals; [and]

(6) that this restitution also includes the obligation to take all measures necessary to ensure that a prior violation of Article 36 shall not affect the subsequent proceedings."

117.
In support of its fourth and fifth submissions, Mexico argues that "It is well-established that the primary form of reparation available to a State injured by an internationally wrongful act is restitutio in integrum", and that "The United States is therefore obliged to take the necessary action to restore the status quo ante in respect of Mexico’s nationals detained, tried, convicted and sentenced in violation of their internationally recognized rights," To restore the status quo ante, Mexico contends that "restitution here must take the form of annulment of the convictions and sentences that resulted from the proceedings tainted by the Article 36 violations", and that "It follows from the very nature of restitutio that, when a violation of an international obligation is manifested in a judicial act, that act must be annulled and thereby deprived of any force or effect in the national legal system." Mexico therefore asks in its submissions that the convictions and sentences of the 52 Mexican nationals be annulled, and that, in any future criminal proceedings against these 52 Mexican nationals, evidence obtained in breach of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention be excluded.
118.
The United States on the other hand argues:

"LaGrand’ s holding calls for the United States to provide, in each case, ‘review and reconsideration’ that ‘takes account of the violation, not ‘review and reversal’, not across-the-board exclusions of evidence or nullification of convictions simply because a breach of Article 36 (1) occurred and without regard to its effect upon the conviction and sentence and, not... ‘a precise, concrete, stated result: to re-establish the status quo ante’".

120.
In the LaGrand ease the Court made a general statement on the principle involved as follows:

"The Court considers in this respect that if the United States, notwithstanding its commitment [to ensure implementation of the specific measures adopted in performance of its obligations under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b)], should 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 sentenced to severe penalties. In the case of such a conviction and sentence, it would be incumbent upon the United States to allow the review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence by taking account of the violation of the rights set forth in the Convention. This obligation can be carried out in various ways. The choice of means must be left to the United States." (I.C.J. Reports 2001, pp. 513-514, para. 125.)

124.
Mexico has further contended that the right to consular notification and consular communication under the Vienna Convention is a fundamental human right that constitutes part of due process in criminal proceedings and should be guaranteed in the territory of each of the Contracting Parties to the Vienna Convention; according to Mexico, this right, as such, is so fundamental that its infringement will ipso facto produce the effect of vitiating the entire process of the criminal proceedings conducted in violation of this fundamental right. Whether or not the Vienna Convention rights are human rights is not a matter that this Court need decide. The Court would, however, observe that neither the text nor the object and purpose of the Convention, nor any indication in the travaux préparatoires, support the conclusion that Mexico draws from its contention in that regard.
125.
For these reasons, Mexico’s fourth and fifth submissions cannot be upheld.
126.
The reasoning of the Court on the fifth submission of Mexico is equally valid in relation to the sixth submission of Mexico. In elaboration of its sixth submission, Mexico contends that,

"As an aspect of restitutio in integrum, Mexico is also entitled to an order that in any subsequent criminal proceedings against the nationals, statements and confessions obtained prior to notification to the national of his right to consular assistance be excluded."

Mexico argues that "The exclusionary rule applies in both common law and civil law jurisdictions and requires the exclusion of evidence that is obtained in a manner that violates due process obligations", and on this basis concludes that

"The status of the exclusionary rule as a general principle of law permits the Court to order that the United States is obligated to apply this principle in respect of statements and confessions given to United States law enforcement officials prior to the accused Mexican nationals being advised of their consular rights in any subsequent criminal proceedings against them."

127.
The Court does not consider that it is necessary to enter into an examination of the merits of the contention advanced by Mexico that the "exclusionary rule" is "a general principle of law under Article 38 (1) (c) of the... Statute" of the Court. The issue raised by Mexico in its sixth submission relates to the question of what legal consequences flow from the breach of the obligations under Article 36, paragraph 1 — a question which the Court has already sufficiently discussed above in relation to the fourth and the fifth submissions of Mexico. The Court is of the view that this question is one which has to be examined under the concrete circumstances of each case by the United States courts concerned in the process of their review and reconsideration. For this reason, the sixth submission of Mexico cannot be upheld.
128.
While the Court has rejected the fourth, fifth and sixth submissions of Mexico relating to the remedies for the breaches by the United States of its international obligations under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention, the fact remains that such breaches have been committed, as the Court has found, and it is thus incumbent upon the Court to specify what remedies are required in order to redress the injury done to Mexico and to its nationals by the United States through non-compliance with those international obligations. As has already been observed in paragraph 120, the Court in the LaGrand Judgment stated the general principle to be applied in such cases by way of a remedy to redress an injury of this kind (I.C.J. Reports 2001, pp. 513-514, para. 125).
129.
In this regard, Mexico’s seventh submission also asks the Court to adjudge and declare:

"That to the extent that any of the 52 convictions or sentences are not annulled, the United States shall provide, by means of its own choosing, meaningful and effective review and reconsideration of the convictions and sentences of the 52 nationals, and that this obligation cannot be satisfied by means of clemency proceedings or if any municipal law rule or doctrine [that fails to attach legal significance to an Article 36 (1) violation] is applied."

130.
On this question of "review and reconsideration", the United States takes the position that it has indeed conformed its conduct to the LaGrand judgment. In a further elaboration of this point, the United States argues that "[t]he Court said in LaGrand that the choice of means for allowing the review and reconsideration it called for ‘must be left’ to the United States", but that "Mexico would not leave this choice to the United States hut have the Court undertake the review instead and decide at once that the breach requires the conviction and sentence to be set aside in each case".
132.
The United States argues (1) "that the Court’s decision in LaGrand in calling for review and reconsideration called for a process to re-examine a conviction and sentence in light of a breach of Article 36"; (2) that, "in calling for a process of review, the Court necessarily implied that one legitimate result of that process might be a conclusion that the conviction and sentence should stand"; and (3) "that the relief Mexico seeks in this case is flatly inconsistent with the Judgment in LaGrand: it seeks precisely the award of a substantive outcome that the LaGrand Court declined to provide".
133.
However, the Court wishes to point out that the current situation in the United States criminal procedure, as explained by the Agent at the hearings, is that

"If the defendant alleged at trial that a failure of consular information resulted in harm to a particular right essential to a fair trial, an appeals court can review how the lower court handled that claim of prejudice",

but that

"If the foreign national did not raise his Article 36 claim at trial, he may face procedural constraints [i.e., the application of the procedural default rule] on raising that particular claim in direct or collateral judicial appeals" (emphasis added).

As a result, a claim based on the violation of Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Vienna Convention, however meritorious in itself, could be barred in the courts of the United States by the operation of the procedural default rule (see paragraph 111 above).

134.
It is not sufficient for the United States to argue that "[w]hatever label [the Mexican defendant] places on his claim, his right... must and will be vindicated if it is raised in some form at trial" (emphasis added), and that

"In that way, even though a failure to label the complaint as a breach of the Vienna Convention may mean that he has technically speaking forfeited his right to raise this issue as a Vienna Convention claim, on appeal that failure would not bar him from independently asserting a claim that he was prejudiced because he lacked this critical protection needed for a fair trial." (Emphasis added.)

The crucial point in this situation is that, by the operation of the procedural default rule as it is applied at present, the defendant is effectively barred from raising the issue of the violation of his rights under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention and is limited to seeking the vindication of his rights under the United States Constitution.

135.
Mexico, in the latter part of its seventh submission, has stated that "this obligation [of providing review and reconsideration] cannot be satisfied by means of clemency proceedings". Mexico elaborates this point by arguing first of all that "the United States’s reliance on clemency proceedings is wholly inconsistent with its obligation to provide a remedy, as that obligation was found by this Court in LaGrand". More specifically, Mexico contends:

"First, it is clear that the Court’s direction to the United States in LaGrand clearly contemplated that ‘review and reconsideration’ would be carried out by judicial procedures....

Second, the Court was fully aware that the LaGrand brothers had received a clemency hearing, during which the Arizona Pardons Board took into account the violation of their consular rights. Accordingly, the Court determined in LaGrand that clemency review alone did not constitute the required ‘review and reconsideration’...

Finally, the Court specified that the United States must ‘allow the review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence by taking account of the violation of the rights set forth in the Convention’... it is a basic matter of U.S. criminal procedural law that courts review convictions; clemency panels do not. With the rare exception of pardons based on actual innocence, the focus of capital clemency review is on the propriety of the sentence and not on the underlying conviction."

Furthermore, Mexico argues that the clemency process is in itself an ineffective remedy to satisfy the international obligations of the United States, It concludes: "clemency review is standardless, secretive, and immune from judicial oversight".

Finaliy, in support of its contention, Mexico argues that

"the failure of state clemency authorities to pay heed to the intervention of the US Department of State in cases of death-sentenced Mexican nationals refutes the [United States] contention that clemency review will provide meaningful consideration of the violations of rights conferred under Article 36".

136.
Against this contention of Mexico, the United States claims that it "gives ‘full effect’ to the ‘purposes for which the rights accorded under [Article 36, paragraph 1,] are intended’ through executive clemency". It argues that "[t]he clemency process... is well suited to the task of providing review and reconsideration". The United States explains that "Clemency... is more than a matter of grace; it is part of the overall scheme for ensuring justice and fairness in the legal process" and that "Clemency procedures are an integral part of the existing ‘laws and regulations’ of the United States through which errors are addressed".
137.
Specifically in the context of the present case, the United States contends that the following two points are particularly noteworthy:

"First, these clemency procedures allow for broad participation by advocates of clemency, including an inmate’s attorney and the sending state’s consular officer... Second, these clemency officials are not bound by principles of procedural default, finality, prejudice standards, or any other limitations on judicial review. They may consider any facts and circumstances that they deem appropriate and relevant, including specifically Vienna Convention claims,"

141.
The Court in the LaGrand case left to the United States the choice of means as to how review and reconsideration should be achieved, especially in the light of the procedural default rule. Nevertheless, the premise on which the Court proceeded in that case was that the process of review and reconsideration should occur within the overall judicial proceedings relating to the individual defendant concerned,
142.
As regards the clemency procedure, the Court notes that this performs an important function in the administration of criminal justice in the United States and is "the historic remedy for preventing miscarriages of justice where judicial process has been exhausted" (Herrera v. Collins, 506 US 390 (1993) at pp. 411-412). The Court accepts that executive clemency, while not judicial, is an integral part of the overall scheme for ensuring justice and fairness in the legal process within the United States criminal justice system. It must, however, point out that what is at issue in the present case is not whether executive clemency as an institution is or is not an integral part of the "existing laws and regulations of the United States", but whether the clemency process as practised within the criminal justice systems of different states in the United States can, in and of itself, qualify as an appropriate means for undertaking the effective "review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence by taking account of the violation of the rights set forth in the Convention", as the Court prescribed in the LaGrand Judgment (I.C.J. Reports 2001, p. 514, para. 125).
144.
Finally, the Court will consider the eighth submission of Mexico, in which it asks the Court to adjudge and declare:

"That the [United States] shall cease its violations of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention with regard to Mexico and its 52 nationals and shall provide appropriate guarantees and assurances that it shall take measures sufficient to achieve increased compliance with Article 36 (1) and to ensure compliance with Article 36 (2)."

145.
In this respect, Mexico recognizes the efforts by the United States to raise awareness of consular assistance rights, through the distribution of pamphlets and pocket cards and by the conduct of training programmes, and that the measures adopted by the United States to that end were noted by the Court in its decision in the LaGrand case (I.C.J. Reports 2001, pp. 511-513, paras. 121, 123-124). Mexico, however, notes with regret that

"the United States programme, whatever its components, has proven ineffective to prevent the regular and continuing violation by its competent authorities of consular notification and assistance rights guaranteed by Article 36".

146.
In particular, Mexico claims in relation to the violation of the obligations under Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Vienna Convention:

"First, competent authorities of the United States regularly fail to provide the timely notification required by Article 36 (1) (b) and thereby to [sic] frustrate the communication and access contemplated by Article 36 (1) (a) and the assistance contemplated by Article 36 (1) (c). These violations continue notwithstanding the Court’s judgment in LaGrand and the programme described there.

Mexico has demonstrated, moreover, that the pattern of regular non-compliance continues. During the first half of 2003, Mexico has identified at least one hundred cases in which Mexican nationals have been arrested by competent authorities of the United States for serious felonies but not timely notified of their consular notification rights."

Furthermore, in relation to the violation of the obligations under Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Vienna Convention, Mexico claims:

"Second, courts in the United States continue to apply doctrines of procedural default and non-retroactivity that prevent those courts from reaching the merits of Vienna Convention claims, and those courts that have addressed the merits of those claims (because no procedural bar applies) have repeatedly held that no remedy is available for a breach of the obligations of Article 36... Likewise, the United States’ reliance on clemency proceedings to meet LaGrand' s requirement of review and reconsideration represents a deliberate decision to allow these legal rules and doctrines to continue to have their inevitable effect. Hence, the United States continues to breach Article 36 (2) by failing to give full effect to the purposes for which the rights accorded under Article 36 are intended,"

147.
The United States contradicts this contention of Mexico by claiming that "its efforts to improve the conveyance of information about consular notification are continuing unabated and are achieving tangible results". It contends that Mexico "fails to establish a ‘regular and continuing’ pattern of breaches of Article 36 in the wake of La Grand".
148.
Mexico emphasizes the necessity of requiring the cessation of the wrongful acts because, it alleges, the violation of Article 36 with regard to Mexico and its 52 nationals still continues. The Court considers, however, that Mexico has not established a continuing violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention with respect to the 52 individuals referred to in its final submissions ; it cannot therefore uphold Mexico’s claim seeking cessation. The Court would moreover point out that, inasmuch as these 52 individual cases are at various stages of criminal proceedings before the United States courts, they are in the state of pendente lite; and the Court has already indicated in respect of them what it regards as the appropriate remedy, namely review and reconsideration by reference to the breach of the Vienna Convention.
149.
The Mexican request for guarantees of non-repetition is based on its contention that beyond these 52 cases there is a "regular and continuing" pattern of breaches by the United States of Article 36. In this respect, the Court observes that there is no evidence properly before it that would establish a general pattern. While it is a matter of concern that, even in the wake of the LaGrand Judgment, there remain a substantial number of cases of failure to carry out the obligation to furnish consular information to Mexican nationals, the Court notes that the United States has been making considerable efforts to ensure that its law enforcement authorities provide consular information to every arrested person they know or have reason to believe is a foreign national. Especially at the stage of pre-trial consular information, it is noteworthy that the United States has been making good faith efforts to implement the obligations incumbent upon it under Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Vienna Convention, through such measures as a new outreach programme launched in 1998, including the dissemination to federal, state and local authorities of the State Department booklet mentioned above in paragraph 63. The Court wishes to recall in this context what it has said in paragraph 64 about efforts in some jurisdictions to provide the information under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), in parallel with the reading of the "Miranda rights".
150.
The Court would further note in this regard that in the LaGrand case Germany sought, inter alia, "a straightforward assurance that the United States will not repeat its unlawful acts" (I.C.J. Reports 2001, p. 511, para. 120). With regard to this general demand for an assurance of non-repetition, the Court stated:

"If a State, in proceedings before this Court, repeatedly refers to substantial activities which it is carrying out in order to achieve compliance with certain obligations under a treaty, then this expresses a commitment to follow through with the efforts in this regard. The programme in question certainly cannot provide an assurance that there will never again be a failure by the United States to observe the obligations of notification under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention. But no State could give such a guarantee and Germany does not seek it. The Court considers that the commitment expressed by the United States to ensure implementation of the specific measures adopted in performance of its obligations under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b). must be regarded as meeting Germany’s request for a general assurance of non-repetition." (1. C.J. Reports 2001, pp. 512513, para. 124.)

The Court believes that as far as the request of Mexico for guarantees and assurances of non-repetition is concerned, what the Court stated in this passage of the LaGrand Judgment remains applicable, and therefore meets that request.

151.
The Court would now re-emphasize a point of importance. In the present case, it has had occasion to examine the obligations of the United States under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention in relation to Mexican nationals sentenced to death in the United States. Its findings as to the duty of review and reconsideration of convictions and sentences have been directed to the circumstance of severe penalties being imposed on foreign nationals who happen to be of Mexican nationality. To avoid any ambiguity, it should be made clear that, while what the Court has stated concerns the Mexican nationals whose cases have been brought before it by Mexico, the Court has been addressing the issues of principle raised in the course of the present proceedings from the viewpoint of the general application of the Vienna Convention, and there can be no question of making an a amtrario argument in respect of any of the Court’s findings in the present Judgment. In other words, the fact that in this case the Court’s ruling has concerned only Mexican nationals cannot be taken to imply that the conclusions reached by it in the present Judgment do not apply to other foreign nationals finding themselves in similar situations in the United States.
152.

By its Order of 5 February 2003 the Court, acting on a request by Mexico, indicated by way of provisional measure that

"The United States of America shall take all measures necessary to ensure that Mr. Cesar Roberto Fierro Reyna, Mr. Roberto Moreno Ramos and Mr. Osvaldo Torres Aguilera are not executed pending final judgment in these proceedings" (I.C.J. Reports 2003, pp. 91-92, para. 59 (1)) (see paragraph 21 above).

The Order of 5 February 2003, according to its terms and to Article 41 of the Statute, was effective pending final judgment, and the obligations of the United States in that respect are, with effect from the date of the present Judgment, replaced by those declared in this Judgment. The Court has rejected Mexico’s submission that, by way of restitutio in integrum, the United States is obliged to annul the convictions and sentences of all of the Mexican nationals the subject of its claims (see above, paragraphs 115-125). The Court has found that, in relation to these three persons (among others), the United States has committed breaches of its obligations under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), of the Vienna Convention and Article 36, paragraphs I (a) and (c), of that Convention ; moreover, in respect of those three persons alone, the United States has also committed breaches of Article 36, paragraph 2, of the said Convention. The review and reconsideration of conviction and sentence required by Article 36, paragraph 2, which is the appropriate remedy for breaches of Article 36, paragraph 1, has not been carried out. The Court considers that in these three cases it is for the United States to find an appropriate remedy having the nature of review and reconsideration according to the criteria indicated in paragraphs 138 et seq. of the present Judgment.

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