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Regarding to the LaGrand case, the Federal Republic of Germany declared against the United States of America based on one convention which is Art. I of the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Dispute of 24 April 1963. The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the accompanying Optional Protocol have been ratified by both the United States and Germany. According to its Art. VIII (1), the Optional Protocol entered into forced on 19 March 1967. Another two years later, it became binding upon the United States on 24 December 1969 and upon the Germany on 7 October 1971, respectively (INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE, 1999).
Importantly, under last sentence of sub-paragraph (b) of the article 36 (1) states that “those of the receiving state shall inform the person concerned without delay of its rights” (“The existence of a dispte”.1999). In this case, the United States failed to inform the German consulate of the arrest of the LaGrand brothers which based on the phrase “without delay” in the sub-paragraph (b) of article 36 (1) of the Vienna Convention.
The LaGrands were arrested on 7 January 1982, and the “delay” of ten years which Germany Consulate General in Los Angeles did not know of the arrest and the two German nationals sentenced to death were being held in prison until mid-1992. In accordance with Art. 36 (1) (b) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations stated “if he so requests, the competent authorities of the receiving state shall, without delay, inform the consular post of the sending state if, within its consular district, a national of that state is arrested or committed to prison or to custody pending trial or is detained in any other manner.
Any communication addressed to the consular post by the person arrested, in prison, custody or detention shall also be forwarded by the said authorities without delay. The said authorities shall inform the person concerned without delay of his rights under this subparagraph” (Breaches of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1999). Additionally, there is also an existence of the United States domestic law which so-called habeas jurisdiction. However, the domestic law of the United States does not effective because the United States authorities had failed to comply with their obligations under the Vienna Convention to inform them of these rights “without delay” (INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE, 1999).
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