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Today in legal history...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

ICJ decides LaGrand Case, Germany v. U.S.
Andrew Morgan at 12:00 AM ET

On June 27, 2001, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in the LaGrand case that foreign-nationals must be informed of their right to contact the embassy of their home country after arrest. Brothers Karl and Walter LaGrand were arrested in 1982 for murder and armed robbery in Arizona. However, authorities did not inform the men of their right to assistance from the German consulate under the terms of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 1999 upheld the convictions in Germany v. U.S. Germany then brought the issue before the ICJ, which issued a provisional order to stay the executions. Arizona nonetheless executed the LaGrand brothers in 1999. Two years later, the ICJ held that the U.S. had violated both the provisional order and the Vienna Convention.

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