The International Court of Justice was due to rule yesterday on a complaint that the US defied the court when it executed a Mexican convicted rapist and murderer last year.
But the US State Department’s chief advocate said on Sunday the ruling would not help other inmates on death row because Washington cannot force individual states to comply.
Mexico has asked the UN’s highest court to affirm its ruling that death sentences for more than 50 Mexican citizens should be reviewed because they were denied consular access when they were arrested.
They were entitled to the consulate’s help according to an international treaty, but they were never informed of that right, Mexico said.
The US has asked the court to dismiss the Mexican complaint, saying it agreed with Mexico but was powerless to act because the prison system is in the hands of the states.
US President George W. Bush issued a directive to the states in 2005 to comply with the order of the UN court in The Hague, also known as the World Court. But Texas refused, and the US Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision last year that Bush lacked the authority to overrule the state legal process in Texas.
Three weeks after the World Court issued an emergency ruling intended to halt pending executions last July, Texas gave a lethal injection to Jose Medellin, convicted of the rape and murder of two teenage girls.
State Department legal adviser John Bellinger III said Bush had done all he could, and it was up to Congress to enact legislation giving precedence to international law over US state law.
“A further ruling reaffirming its decision cannot give more power to the president,” Bellinger said.
Mexico has asked the international tribunal to rule that “the United States breached the court’s order” by executing Medellin.
If the court rules for the US, Bellinger said, it would simply acknowledge that the Bush administration did its best to carry out the court’s order, but it would have no immediate practical effect for other death row prisoners.
A ruling for Mexico would not amount to a rebuke, he said.
“The court has no enforcement powers,” he told a small group of reporters. “It is not the role of the court” to issue a reprimand.
Mexico has asked the court to spell out the meaning of its earlier ruling, arguing that the US must take practical measures to fulfill the court’s demand that the death sentences should undergo judicial review. It said international law must apply not only to the US, but also to its individual states.
‘OBVIOUS DIFFERENCE’: The Wuhan Institute of Virology has been researching bat coronaviruses to trace the SARS pathogen, which is 80 percent similar to SARS-CoV-2 The Chinese virology institute in the city where COVID-19 first emerged has three live strains of bat coronavirus on-site, but none match the new contagion wreaking havoc around the world, its director has said. Scientists think COVID-19 — which first emerged in Wuhan and has killed more than 340,000 people worldwide — originated in bats and could have been transmitted to people via another mammal. However, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology told state broadcaster China Global Television Network that claims made by US President Donald Trump and others that the novel coronavirus could have escaped from the facility were
SPACE RACE: The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp mission aims to land a robotic rover and put a probe into orbit around the planet China is targeting a July launch for its ambitious Mars mission, which includes landing a remote-controlled robot on the surface of the Red Planet, the company in charge of the project has said. Beijing has invested billions of dollars in its space program in an effort to catch up with its rival, the US, and affirm its status as a major world power. The Mars mission is among a number of new space projects China is pursuing, including putting Chinese astronauts on the moon and having a space station by 2022. Beijing had been planning the Mars mission for some time this year,
India has moved additional troops along its northern border as it prepares for an extended conflict with China, after several rounds of talks failed to ease tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals. China has already placed about 5,000 soldiers and armored vehicles within its side of the disputed border in the Ladakh region, an Indian government official said, asking not to be identified, citing rules. India is adding a similar number of troops as well as artillery guns along the border to fend off the continuing incursions by the Chinese army, the official said. The standoff began on May 5, when troops clashed
China is poised to enshrine individuals’ rights to privacy and personal data for the first time, a symbolic first step as more of the country of 1.4 billion people becomes digitized — and more vulnerable to leaks and hacks. The legislation is part of China’s first civil code, a sweeping package of laws that is being deliberated during the annual meeting of China’s National People’s Congress, which began on Friday after a delay of more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent draft, an individual has a right to privacy and to have their personal information protected. Data