Friday, January 16, 2009
The Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee will hold a public hearing on Monday, January 26, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. at 160 N. LaSalle Street, Room C-500, Chicago, Illinois. One of the rules up for consideration that day is a proposal designed to provide a back-up mechanism for ensuring that the United States (or at least this small part of it in Illinois) complies with U.S. treaty obligations under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and various bilateral treaties that require notice to be given (without delay) to foreign nationals who are arrested or detained in the United States.
Among those testifying at that public hearing will be . . . (drum roll please) . . . Professors Mark Wojcik of The John Marshall Law School (who will testify on behalf of the Illinois State Bar Association) and Cindy Buys of Southern Illinois University School of Law (who drafted the proposed rule on consular notice).
If Illinois passes the proposed rule, it may be a good model for other states to adopt. The proposed rule is not meant to replace consular notice at the arrest or detention stage; it is merely a proposed backup measure to ensure that the U.S. is in compliance with its international law obligations.