Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Abstract

In a case against the United States brought before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Mexico sought to protect the rights of fifty-four Mexican nationals who had been arrested in the United States for various crimes and put on trial without being informed of their rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR). These fifty-four Mexican nationals all faced the death penalty in various states of the United States. Shortly after filing its case in Avena and Other Mexican Nationals, however, Mexico dropped from the case one Mexican national who was also a citizen of the United States. The United States had argued that because the man was a national of the United States, it was not required to inform him of his rights as a Mexican national under the VCCR. This Article argues that Mexico's concession was unnecessary. Because the rights of consular notification under the VCCR belong not only to the detained or arrested individual but also to the country and its consular representatives, consular notice can and should be given even to dual nationals who are arrested or detained in a state that is a party to the VCCR.