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139- Request for Interpretation of the ICJ Case of 31 March 2004 (Mexico vs USA)

On June 5th, 2008, Mexico filed a request for interpretation before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), in which it asked the Court to interpret paragraph 153 (9) of its Judgment of 31 March 2004 in the case reference 128- Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico vs USA).

The contentious point was the obligation imposed by the ICJ to the USA to ”provide, by means of its own choosing, review and reconsideration of the convictions and sentences” of the Mexican nationals at issue in that case”. Mexico maintained that this was an obligation of result which forced the USA to suspend the execution of all mexican nationals listed in the case Avena et al. until the review of the sentences had taken place.

In the same time, Mexico filed a request for the indication of provisional measures, so as to preserve the rights of its citizens. The Court granted this request in its order of July 16th, 2008 and ordered the USA to suspend the execution of 5 Mexican nationals until the end of these proceedings.

Order of 16-07-2008.pdf

The ICJ ruled on the request for interpretation in its judgment of January 19th,2009 and found that the subject of Mexico’s request  was “the general question of the effects of a judgment of the Court in the domestic legal order of the States parties to the case in which the judgment was delivered”. Given that such analysis did not fall within the scope of Article 60 of the Statute of the Court, the ICJ concluded that it could not grant the request for interpretation made by Mexico.

Judgment of 19-01-2009.pdf

This summary is provided for informational purposes only, does not involve the responsibility of Dome and should in no way be used as a substitute for a careful reading of the judgment and order of the case.