Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has fixed 29 August 2008 as the time-limit for the filing by the United States of America of written observations on the Request for Interpretation of the Judgment of 31 March 2004 in the Case concerning Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. United States of America) submitted by Mexico on 5 June 2008.
A press release from the ICJ says that the Court took this decision pursuant to Article 98, paragraph 3, of the Rules of Court, after ascertaining the views of the Parties. It reserved the right, after the written observations of the United States of America have been filed, to afford the Parties the opportunity of furnishing further written explanations, as provided for in paragraph 4 of the aforementioned Article 98.
In its Order indicating provisional measures of 16 July 2008, the Court stated that it was “in the interest of both Parties that any difference of opinion as to the interpretation of the meaning and scope of their rights and obligations under paragraph 153 (9) of the Avena Judgment be resolved as early as possible." It added that it was for the Court to ensure that a final judgment on the Request for interpretation was reached “with all possible expedition."
It is not mentioned in the press release from the ICJ, but the date for written observations from the United States is after at least one scheduled execution date of individuals named in the Avena judgment. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Medellin that individuals named in the ICJ judgment had no right to enforce it, and the State of Texas has shown no willingness to defer the executions. Click here to download a background document on the Medellin case.