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ICJ supporters encouraged by Medellin ruling

[JURIST] Supporters of the International Court of Justice and international law have been mildly encouraged by showings of at least mild deference to the ICJ by most members of the US Supreme Court Court in its closely watched Medellin ruling [JURIST report, Duke Law backgrounder] on Monday. In Medellin, the Court dismissed the case after the International Court of Justice [official website] had ordered new hearings for Mexican nationals sentenced to death in the US without the benefit of consular assistance because the Bush administration said it would have state courts "give effect" to the ICJ ruling. The ICJ had ordered the new hearings because local police had neglected to inform the defendants of their rights to seek help from the Mexican consulate, a violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations [text]. In its unsigned opinion the Supreme Court said, "The state court proceeding may provide Mendellin with the very reconsideration of his Vienna Convention claims that he now seeks in the present proceeding." Legal Times has more.

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