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THE US government will have to reconsider the fate of foreign nationals on death row after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that it had breached its obligations under the Vienna Convention on consular relations by failing to inform 51 Mexican convicts of their right to contact diplomats “without delay” after arrest. The court also censured the US for failing to allow Mexican consular officials to arrange legal representation in 34 cases.
Although The Hague-based ICJ rejected Mexico’s request that the convictions be totally or partially annulled, it ruled that the US should review the convictions and sentences. This also applies to other foreign nationals.
But the court found no evidence that the US had committed “regular and contin- uing” breaches of the convention, noting that it “was now trying to meet its obligations”.