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Mexico argues ICJ should stay US executions of foreign nationals

[JURIST] Mexico has asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] for assistance in stopping the Texas executions of five of its citizens, including Jose Ernesto Medellin [ASIL backgrounder; JURIST news archive], who is scheduled to be executed August 5. In hearings [schedule, PDF] scheduled for Thursday, Mexico will ask the ICJ to rule on its request for provisional measures and to clarify the 2004 ruling in which it held such executions were in violation of international law due to denial of consular assistance. Last month, a Texas court set Medellin's execution date [JURIST report] after the US Supreme Court ruled [JURIST report] in March that President George W. Bush did not have the authority to direct state courts to comply with the ICJ's order for new court hearings. Reuters has more.

Medellin, a Mexican national sentenced to death for raping and murdering two teenage girls, had appealed a Texas Court of Criminal Appeals November 2006 ruling [text; JURIST report] that Bush had "exceeded his constitutional authority" by ordering state court rehearings [JURIST report] for 51 Mexican nationals, including Medellin, convicted in US courts. The president's February 2005 memorandum [text] instructed the Texas courts to follow a March 2004 ICJ decision [materials] that held that Medellin and the other Mexican nationals tried in US courts had been denied their right under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations [PDF text] to contact the Mexican consulate for legal assistance and that the US was obligated to grant review and reconsideration of their convictions and sentences.

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