Thursday, June 5, 2008
Following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Medellin v. Texas, which held that the 2004 judgment of the International Court of Justice in Avena was not directly enforceable as domestic law in the United States, Mexico has filed a request today with the International Court of Justice to interpret the Avena judgment. Mexico also asked for the urgent indication of provisional measures.
Mexico invoked article 60 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, which allows the ICJ--upon request of any party--to construe the meaning or scope of a judgment. "In the event of dispute as to the meaning or scope of the judgment, the Court shall construe it upon the request of any party."
Mexico asked for urgent preliminary measures because the State of Texas has set an execution date of August 5, 2008 for Jose Ernesto Medellin Rojas. Mexico is seeking to prevent his execution, and the execution of others named in the request.
The U.S. Supreme Court judgment in Medellin found that neither the Avena judgment nor a presidential memorandum to the U.S. Attorney General constituted binding law that would displace state procedural default rules.
Volume 47 of International Legal Materials will include an introductory note to the Medellin case. Click here.