Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Press Release from the Illinois Supreme Court



The Rules Committee of the Illinois Supreme Court will hear comments at a public hearing on Monday January 26, 2009 on proposals to require consular notification for foreign nationals in criminal proceedings, and to clarify current rules dealing with expedited appeals in child custody cases.


The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. at 160 N. LaSalle Street, Room C-500, Chicago, Illinois


One of the proposals would create a new Supreme Court Rule 404 that would require a judge to advise in open court that any foreign national who is arrested has the right that his consular representatives be given notice of the arrest and that the defendant has the right to communicate with consular representatives. The rule is intended as a backup to Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations which requires the arresting authority to inform a foreign national of these rights “without delay,” usually before the national’s initial court appearance. This proposed rule requires a judge to so advise the defendant as a backstop in case the arresting or detaining authority failed to give the information or kept no record of giving it.


Honoring Article 36 helps U.S. consular representatives to similarly assist United States citizens in foreign countries, notes a committee comment to the proposed rule.

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