UPDATE: Researching the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations Notification Requirements
By Cindy G. Buys
Cindy G. Buys is a Professor and Director of International Law Programs at Southern Illinois University School of Law. She holds an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center, a Juris Doctorate and a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the State University of New York at Albany.
Published January/February 2023
(Previously updated by Barbara H. Bean in June/July 2007; and by Cindy G. Buys in October 2015 and in July/August 2018)
Table of Contents
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Treaty Sources
- 2.1. Citations
- 2.2.Subscription Databases
- 3. Ratification Information
- 4. Preparatory Works/Legislative History
- 4.1. United Nations
- 4.2. United States
- 5. State Department Resources
- 6. President’s Memorandum Directing Compliance with ICJ Decisions
- 7. U.S. Withdrawal from Optional Protocol/ICJ Jurisdiction
- 8. Selected Cases from the United States
- 9. U.S. Federal Regulations on Consular Notification in Federal Arrests
- 10. U.S. State Statutes That Address Consular Notification in Case of Arrest or Detention of a Foreign National
- 11. International Materials
- 11.1. International Court of Justice
- 11.2. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
- 11.3. United Nations Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council
- 11.4. African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights
- 11.5. Selected Cases from Foreign Nations
- 11.6. Further International Research
- 12. Secondary Sources
Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), to which 182 States are party (including the United States), requires a State arresting or detaining a foreign national to afford the detainee access to his or her consulate and to notify the foreign national of the right of consular access. In several U.S. cases involving foreign nationals, defendants have asserted that the arresting or detaining authorities have failed to make the necessary notifications. Many of these cases have involved the death penalty. A series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions has underscored the difficulty of this issue, especially for a federalist State like the United States. The federal government negotiates and accepts treaties obligations on behalf of the United States, while arrests and prosecutions often are made at the state or local level. Although the principle of U.S. compliance with the treaty obligations is accepted, compliance has been inconsistent, and there has been no meaningful penalty for non-compliance with consular notice obligations.
Between 1998 and 2004, Paraguay, Germany, and Mexico brought challenges against the United States at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the United States’ failure to ensure consular notification rights. In the most recent case of Avena involving 52 Mexicans who had been convicted of capital crimes in the United States, the ICJ ruled against the United States and requested it to review and reconsider the convictions and sentences of the foreign defendants, all of whom had not received their consular notification rights. Following the ICJ ruling, then U.S. President Bush attempted to implement the ICJ decision, but was prevented from doing so by the U.S. Supreme Court which held the President did not have the unilateral authority to implement an ICJ judgment in a case named Medellín v. Texas, after one of the defendants. At the same time, the Bush Administration withdrew from the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations thereby depriving the ICJ of jurisdiction over the United States in future cases involving the VCCR.
As of this 2022 update, there remain several outstanding legal issues relating to consular notification rights in the United States. While the VCCR Article 36 requires that both consular notification and access be given “without delay”, different legal authorities have reached different conclusions as to the meaning of that phrase. In addition, U.S. legal authorities have split regarding whether consular notification rights are individually enforceable in U.S. courts and the U.S. Supreme Court has not definitively ruled on whether Article 36 is a self-executing treaty provision. Additionally, there is no agreed upon remedy for a violation of consular notification rights.
This guide describes sources required to research the issue of compliance with the VCCR consular notification obligations with a focus on the United States, whether the need is of a practical or scholarly nature. Some foreign and international sources are also included for reference and comparison.
- Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (596 UNTS 261, TIAS 6820, 21 UST 77).
- Optional Protocol to the Convention on Consular Relations Concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes (596 UNTS 487, TIAS 6820, 21 UST 325).
- The United States is also party to a number of bilateral treaties with individual countries that address the conduct of consular relations. Obligations under these treaties may supplement or replace obligations under the Vienna Convention. Information regarding these treaties (including citation information) may be found on the State Department website – Bilateral Consular Conventions.
- LexisNexis - International
- Westlaw - International Materials
- HeinOnline - Treaties and Agreements Library
- United Nations Treaty Collection
- Status of multilateral treaties deposited with the U.N. Secretary General
United States Department of State Office of Treaty Affairs – Treaties in Force (2020)
Preparatory Works/Legislative History
- International Law Commission – Summaries of the Work of the International Law Commission – Consular Intercourse and Immunities
- United Nations Conference on Consular Relations, Official Records
- Volume I: Summary Records of Plenary Meetings and of the Meetings of the First and Second Committees
- Volume II: Annexes; Vienna Convention on Consular Relations; Final Act; Optional Protocols; Resolutions
- Congress.gov – treaties
- Library of Congress – Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
- USA.gov – Consular Notification
- U. S. Department of State (Treaty Excerpts)
- Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, S. Exec. Rep. No. 91-9, 91st Cong., 1st Sess. (1969) (Committee on Foreign Relations Hearing)
- Congressional Information Service, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations: Overview of U.S. Implementation and International Court of Justice (ICJ) Interpretation of Consular Notification Requirements (2004) – by Michael John Garcia.
- President Richard Nixon’s Message to the Senate Transmitting the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the Optional Protocol Concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes (1969) (Section 185, pg. 349 in document).
- Treaties and other International Agreements: The Role of the United States Senate: A Study Prepared for the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate by the Congressional Research Service (1984) (Lengthy study on international treaties generally and the United States’ [particularly the Senate’s] treatment of such treaties and involvement therewith; not specifically tailored to VCCR Article 36 and the issue of consular notification).
U.S. State Department Resources
- The U.S. State Dept. publishes many useful materials on consular notification, including a manual and training material for law enforcement on consular notification.
- Consular Notification and Access Manual, Fifth Edition (September 2018).
- Countries and Jurisdictions with Mandatory Notifications.
President’s Memorandum Directing Compliance with ICJ Decisions
- President Bush’s Memorandum for Attorney General on February 28, 2005.
U.S. Withdrawal from Optional Protocol/ICJ Jurisdiction
- United Nations Treaty Collection – Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes – Scroll down to “End Note” #1.
Selected Cases from the United States
The most important United States Supreme Court case to date regarding consular notification as required by VCCR Article 36 is Medellín v. Texas. See 552 U.S. 491 (2008). Jose Ernesto Medellín was a Mexican national who the ICJ (in Case Concerning Avena and 51 Other Mexican Nationals (Mex. v. U.S.), 2004 I.C.J. 12) determined was entitled to U.S. state court review of his murder conviction and death penalty sentence. On February 28, 2005, President George W. Bush issued a Memorandum establishing that state courts within the United States must follow and give effect to Avena. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari on Medellín’s second habeas corpus petition, which he filed after President Bush’s Memorandum. The Court determined that the Avena judgment did not establish self-executing and binding domestic law applicable to the states in the absence of federal legislation, which did not exist (and still does not to this day). Only through such Congressional action could Avena become the supreme law of the land, trumping state limitations on habeas petitions. The Court further held that the states were not beholden to President Bush’s Memorandum, since the President had no power stemming from the Constitution or from Congress to bind the states in such a way. Medellín was thereby denied habeas corpus and executed in 2008.
Additional United States Supreme Court Cases and Resources
- Sanchez-Llamas v. Or., 548 U.S. 331 (2006) (Suppression of evidence is not an appropriate remedy for a violation of Article 36; states may apply rules of procedural default to VCCR claims).
- Fed. Republic of Ger. v. U.S., 526 U.S. 111 (1999) (ICJ: LaGrand) (Germany’s ability to assert a claim against the state of Arizona to prevent the execution of a German citizen was without support from the VCCR).
- Breard v. Greene, 523 U.S. 371 (1998) (ICJ: Paraguay v. United States) (Failure to raise a VCCR claim at state court will bar federal habeas review).
- U.S. Supreme Court – opinions, oral arguments, briefs.
- Federal Courts – Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts – Pacer - electronic access to U.S. District, Bankruptcy, and Appellate court records (subscription database).
U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals Cases
- United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit
- United States v. Ademaj, 170 F.3d 58 (1st Cir. 1999) (Failure to notify Albanian national of his right to assistance from Albanian Consul was not a “plain error” where defendant did not allege any material due process right infringed nor indicate how the Albian Consul could have aided his defense).
- United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
- Mora v. N.Y., 524 F.3d 183 (2d Cir. 2008) (The failure of law enforcement to inform detained aliens of right to consular notification under Article 36 cannot be vindicated by private action for damages).
- U.S. v. De La Pava, 268 F.3d 157 (2d Cir. 2001) (Government’s failure to comply with the consular notification provision of the VCCR was not grounds for dismissal of indictment).
- United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- NOTE: All cases from this circuit listed below are unreported. Currently, there are no reported cases from the Third Circuit concerning VCCR Article 36. Thus, the following Third Circuit cases may be used as persuasive authority only.
- U.S. v. Castillo, 742 F. App'x 610 (3d Cir. 2018) (Even when it is assumed that VCCR Article 36 gives a foreign national an individually enforceable right, dismissal of indictment is not warranted and failure to provide consular notification is not de facto prejudicial).
- McPherson v. U.S., 392 F. App'x 938 (3d Cir. 2010) (Even assuming that law enforcement actively misled Jamaican foreign national regarding his right to consular notification, this did not justify equitable tolling of the statute of limitations for suits under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 28 U.S.C. § 1350).
- Robinson v. Warden, 250 F. App'x 462 (3d Cir. 2007) (Arguable right of a foreign national to consular notification under VCCR Article 36 does not apply to a charge of violation of prison rules).
- United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
- Murphy v. Netherland, 116 F.3d 97 (4th Cir. 1997) (Mexican national’s failure to raise VCCR Article 36 violation in state court was procedural bar to his VCCR claim in federal court; said Mexican national’s failure to indicate contact with Mexican consulate would have changed his guilty plea or sentence resulted in failure to establish prejudice from alleged VCCR Article 36 violation; even assuming VCCR Article 36 created an individual right for said Mexican national, no constitutional right existed).
- United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
- Cardenas v. Stephens, 820 F.3d 197 (5th Cir. 2016) (VCCR does not give rise to judicially enforceable individual rights cognizable on federal habeas review under AEDPA).
- Cardenas v. Dretke, 405 F.3d 244 (5th Cir. 2005) (Since Mexican national was read his Miranda rights, advised of his right to legal representation prior to confession, voluntarily waived said right, was eventually provided with legal representation upon his request, and Mexican consulate knew of his detention in enough time to aid but chose not to do so, said Mexican national failed to establish that he was prejudiced by Texas’ failure to inform him of his right to consular assistance).
- U.S. v. Jimenez-Nava, 243 F.3d 192 (5th Cir. 2001) (Violation of VCCR does not warrant exclusion of incriminating statements to immigration agents made by defendant).
- Faulder v. Johnson, 81 F.3d 515 (5th Cir. 1996) (Failure of Texas officials to inform prisoner of rights under VCCR did not merit reversal of the district court’s denial of habeas corpus relief from prisoner’s death sentence).
- United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
- U.S. v. Emuegbunam, 268 F.3d 377 (6th Cir. 2001) (VCCR does not create rights that are privately enforceable in federal court).
- United States v. Page, 232 F.3d 536 (6th Cir. 2000) (Even if a private right is created under VCCR Article 36, said right is not a constitutional right that may be protected by judicially created remedies).
- United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
- Miranda v. Cnty. of Lake, 900 F.3d 335 (7th Cir. 2018) (Article 36 of the VCCR requires “competent authorities” to notify detained foreign nationals of their right to consular notification; booking officers fall within “competent authorities” language and have a duty to inform foreign-national arrestee of said right; who else should be considered a competent authority is unclear).
- Mordi v. Zeigler, 770 F.3d 1161 (7th Cir. 2014) (No clearly established rule requiring arresting/interviewing officers to inform a foreign-national arrestee of his rights under Article 36 of the VCCR currently exists; however, the court leaves the door open that said duty may exist for booking officers).
- Sandoval v. U.S., 574 F.3d 847 (7th Cir. 2009) (The rules of procedural default apply to the VCCR; defendant failed to prove that he was prejudiced by not being in contact with the Mexican consulate and that assistance from the consulate would have helped in his case).
- Sobitan v. Glud, 589 F.3d 379 (7th Cir. 2009) (Claims under the VCCR do not fall within the Westfall Act exceptions for violations of a “statutes of the United States;” thus, proper defendant is U.S. government).
- Osageide v. U.S., 543 F.3d 399 (7th Cir. 2008) (In order for a defendant to bring an ineffective legal assistance claim arising from counsel’s failure to inform him of his VCCR Article 36 rights, a defendant must provide sufficient evidence to prove he was prejudiced by his counsel’s failure to inform him of his Article 36 rights).
- Jogi v. Voges, 480 F.3d 822 (7th Cir. 2007) (Jogi II) (Violation of VCCR art. 36 creates right of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983); vacating Jogi v. Voges, 425 F.3d 367 (7th Cir. 2005) (Jogi I) (Article 36 of the VCCR grants private rights to aliens from countries which are parties to the Convention and are in the United States).
- United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
- U.S. v. Santos, 235 F.3d 1105 (8th Cir. 2000) (Government’s four-day delay in informing defendant of his VCCR Article 36 rights did not require reversal of conviction because of overwhelming evidence against defendant).
- United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- Cornejo v. Cnty. of San Diego, 504 F.3d 853 (9th Cir. 2007) (Article 36 is intended to facilitate the exercise of consular functions, it is not intended to confer individual rights).
- U.S. v. Villa-Fabela, 882 F.2d 434 (9th Cir. 1989) (Immigration and Naturalization Service’s breach of its duty to inform foreign national of his rights under Article 36 in deportation proceeding was not prejudicial under the circumstances; said failure did not prevent the use of prior deportation to support foreign national’s reentry conviction), overruled on other grounds by United States v. Proa-Tovar, 975 F.2d 592 (9th Cir. 1992).
- U.S. v. Rangel-Gonzalez, 617 F.2d 529 (9th Cir. 1980) (Appellant met his burden of proof with respect to demonstrating prejudice due to lack of consular notification).
- United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
- United States v. Chanthadara, 230 F.3d 1237 (10th Cir. 2000) (Even if it is presumed that VCCR Article 36 creates an individually enforceable right of consular notification, suppression of evidence is not an appropriate remedy, and Laotian foreign national failed to show that denial of such a right caused him prejudice; thereby, said foreign national could not show reversible error).
- United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
- Gandara v. Bennett, 528 F.3d 823 (11th Cir. 2008) (Article 36 of the VCCR does not confer individual rights that can be judicially enforced in domestic courts).
- United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
- Earle v. D.C., 707 F.3d 299 (D.C. Cir. 2012) (Assuming that VCCR Article 36’s notice obligation is ongoing, said obligation ceased at the time when Jamaican foreign national escaped from custody, and did not toll applicable statute of limitations period).
- State court website – online resources vary by state, e.g., Texas
- Also, on subscription databases such as Westlaw and Lexis
Notable U.S. State Court Cases
- Gutierrez v. State, CR94-1795B (Nev. Second Judicial District Court, County of Washoe, Aug. 21, 2017) (Nevada district court analogized the case at hand to Torres v. State (below) and held that failure to notify the Mexican Consulate of the arrest of Mexican national (Gutierrez) constituted prejudice, which overcomes procedural default; had Mexican consul been timely notified, mitigating evidence would have been presented at Gutierrez’s sentencing; death sentence vacated), affirmed by State v. Gutierrez, 477 P.3d 342 (Nev. 2020).
- Torres v. State, 2005 OK CR 17, 120 P.3d 1184 (Okla. Crim. App. 2005) (A presumption of prejudice exists when a foreign national’s VCCR Article 36 rights have been violated and foreign national lacked knowledge of the right, would have taken advantage of the right had he known, and if it is probable that respective consulate would provide assistance).
U.S. Federal Regulations on Consular Notification in Federal Arrests
- 28 C.F.R.§ 50.5 (2022) – Notification of Consular Officers Upon the Arrest of Foreign Nationals.
- 8 C.F.R. § 236.1(e) (2022) – Apprehension, Custody, and Detention.
- Fed. R. Crim. P. 5 – Initial Appearance.
- Fed. R. Crim. P. 58(b)(2)(H) – Petty Offenses and Misdemeanors.
U.S. State Statutes That Address Consular Notification in Case of Arrest or Detention of a Foreign National
- District of Columbia: D.C. Super. Ct. R. Crim. P. 5(b)(5) (open “Superior Court Rules of Criminal Procedure” tab and download “Criminal Rule 5. Initial Appearance”).
- Florida: Fla. Stat. Ann. § 901.26 (for additional research, see Fla. Jur. 2d. Criminal Law § 274 (2018)).
- Georgia: Ga. Code Ann. § 42-4-14 (2011).
- Nevada: Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 228.135 (2013).
- North Carolina: N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 122C-344.
- Washington: Wash. Rev. Code § 10.93.160 (2019).
International Court of Justice
- Jadhav Case (India v. Pakistan), Provisional Measures, Order of 18 May 2017, I.C.J. Reports 2017, p. 231 (Pakistan’s failure to notify Indian consulate of the arrest of Indian foreign national until some three weeks had passed was a breach of the VCCR Article 36 obligation to inform the consulate “without delay”; though Pakistan’s actions were violations of Article 36, paragraph 1, (a), (b), and (c), this did not warrant reversal of the Indian foreign national’s conviction, but only reconsideration in light of the violation of his rights) (This case resulted in Pakistan’s adoption of a statute in 2020 that permits convicted foreigners to raise VCCR Article 36 violations in petitions with the High Court; said provision overrides anything contrary in any other law).
- Case Concerning Avena and 51 Other Mexican Nationals (Mex. v. U.S.), 2004 I.C.J. 12 (Mar. 31) (United States violated its obligations under the VCCR by failing to inform 51 Mexican nationals of their right to consular notification and failing to contact the Mexican consulate “without delay” after arrests; ICJ stated that the proper reparation for said violations is review and reconsideration by United States courts of each case where a violation occurred).
- LaGrand Case (F.R.G. v. U.S.), 2001 I.C.J. 466 (Jun. 27) (VCCR Article 36 creates an individual right in detained foreign nationals of member states to be notified “without delay” of their rights under the convention; United States violated said individual right both by its failure to contact German consulate of two German foreign nationals’ arrest and its refusal to allow a challenge of the conviction due to “procedural default”).
- Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (Para. v. U.S.), 1998 I.C.J. 248 (Apr. 9) (First allegation of a violation of VCCR Article 36 to be brought before the ICJ; the ICJ ordered the indication of provisional measures requiring the United States to stay the execution of the Paraguayan foreign national concerned until the ICJ issued a decision on the matter; within the same year, Paraguay informed the ICJ that it wished to discontinue the proceedings with prejudice and the United States concurred).
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
- Report N° 99/03 – Case 11.331, Merits, Cesar Fierro, United States (December 29, 2003) (Mexican foreign national’s lack of consular assistance was a material factor in causing his coerced murder confession; this violation of Article 36(b)(1) of the VCCR was a “fundamental component’ of the due process standards to which [foreign national] was entitled under [the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man]”; since the United States breached its requirement under Article 36(b)(1) of the VCCR, it violated foreign national’s fundamental right to due process and a fair trial under the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man).
- The Commission also released several recent merits decisions treating VCCR Article 36 violations by the United States similarly to Fierro (above):
- IACHR, Report No. 333/21. Case 12.871. Merits (Publication). Virgilio Maldonado Rodriguez. United States of America. November 22, 2021.
- IACHR, Report No. 456/21. Case 13.829. Admissibility and Merits (Publication). Ramiro Ibarra Rubi. United States of America. December 31, 2021.
- IACHR, Report No. 453/21. Case 13.339. Admissibility and Merits (Publication). Manuel Valle. United States of America. December 31, 2021.
- IACHR, Report No. 454/21. Case 13.478. Admissibility and Merits (Publication). José Trinidad Loza Ventura. United States of America. December 31, 2021.
United Nations Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council
- Report of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions: Application of the Death Penalty to Foreign Nationals and the Provision of Consular Assistance by the Home State, A/74/318 (Aug. 2019) (Arguing that providing consular access to a foreign national facing the death penalty is a human right and, just as the prosecuting State is obligated to provide said detainee with notice of their right to consular access and to provide that access, the home state has a duty to provide consular assistance so as not to violate its duty to protect the universally recognized right to life).
African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights
- Armand Guehi v. United Republic of Tanzania, Application No. 001/2015 (Because violations of rights under VCCR Article 36 are protected under Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, the Court has jurisdiction to consider such violations within the context of Article 7).
Selected Cases from Foreign Nations
- Australia – Supreme Court of Western Australia: R. v. Tan  WASC 275 (5 October 2001) (If notification of rights under VCCR Article 36 is not provided prior to interrogation of a foreign national, suppression of evidence may be warranted).
- Brazil – Supreme Federal Court of Brazil: Ext. n. 1126, Request of extradition, Federal Republic of Germany, Rapporteur Justice Joaquim Barbosa, opinion of Justice Celso de Mello, published on 12/11/2009 (Foreigners arrested in Brazil have the indispensable right to be notified of the option to contact their consulate for assistance under VCCR Article 36).
- Canada – Federal Court of Canada: Khadr v. Canada (Minister of Foreign Affairs), 2004 FC 1145, at paras. 26, 27 (VCCR Article 36 creates individual rights for arrested foreigners).
- Germany – Federal Constitutional Court of Germany: Case Nos. 2 BvR 2115/01, 2 BvR 2132/01, 2 BvR 348/03 (Order of 19 September 2006) (Foreigners who have been arrested must be informed, without delay, about their right to have the consular office of their country notified of their arrest; courts are obliged to treat Article 36 of the VCCR in the same way as a domestic statute regarding criminal procedure).
- Republic v. Lameck Bandawe Phiri (No. 25), High Court of Malawi (June 23, 2017) (Foreign national’s death sentence vacated because of a finding of prejudice resulting from a violation of his VCCR Article 36 rights).
- Republic v. Mabvuto Alumeta (No. 26), High Court of Malawi (June 23, 2017) (Foreign national’s death sentence vacated and immediate release from custody ordered because of finding of prejudice resulting from a violation of his VCCR Article 36 rights).
- Both cases are discussed in the African Human Rights Yearbook in the context of an analysis of the African Court on Human and People's Rights decision in Armand Guehi v. United Republic of Tanzania (listed above in Section 10.4).
- Mexic0 – Supreme Court of Mexico: Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, Amparo Directo en Revisión 517/2011, Primera Sala, Min. Olga Sánchez Cordero De García Villegas. Sentencia de 23 de enero de 2013, México (Finding that the rights contained in VCCR Article 36 are crucial aspects to an adequate defense largely due to the disadvantages that foreign nationals face in legal proceedings such as the language barrier and unfamiliarity with the legal system) (English translation not available).
- South Africa – Constitutional Court of South Africa: S v. Okah  ZACC 3 (Court compared consular notification requirement in Article 7(3) of the Terrorist Bombings Convention to that in VCCR Article 36; the fact that a foreign national does not know of or utilize the assistance of his consular representative is not prejudicial when the consular representative is conspicuously present and readily accessible in court; prejudice is required for such a rights violation).
- NOTE – This list is not comprehensive of all international materials concerning Article 36 of the VCCR.
Further International Research
- To locate cases, laws and secondary sources involving the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations in non-U.S. jurisdictions, use databases of foreign cases and legislation, using the title of the treaty in the language of the country searched, e.g., Convention de Vienne sur les Relations Consulaires, Convencion de Viena sobre Relaciones Consulares. (Foreign titles can be found by looking in the United Nations Treaty Series).
- A collection of foreign statutes, constitutional requirements, and court decisions implementing Article 36 rights and remedies, see Individual Consular Rights: Foreign Law and Practice (last updated in September 2020).
Selected Research Guides
- United Nations Treaty Collection: Treaty Reference Guide
- United Nations Glossary of Treaty Terms
- Marci Hoffman, Researching U.S. Treaties and Agreements (May 2001)
- Mark Warren, Consular Rights, Foreign Nationals and the Death Penalty | Death Penalty Information Center.
- Treaty research guides may also be located on law school library websites.
American Law Reports / Encyclopedia Entries
- George L. Blum, Annotation, What Constitutes "Custodial Interrogation" Within Rule of Miranda v. Arizona Requiring that Suspect Be Informed of His or Her Federal Constitutional Rights Before Custodial Interrogation – At Border or Functional Equivalent of Border, 68 A.L.R.6th 607 (2011).
- Barron M. Helgoe, Esq., The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, W. Va. Law., September/October 2008, at 54.
- Beverly L. Jacklin, Annotation, Service of Process by Mail in International Civil Action as Permissible Under Hague Convention, 112 A.L.R. Fed. 241 (1993).
- Ann K. Wooster, Annotation, Construction and Application of Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), Requiring that Foreign Consulate be Notified When One of its Nationals is Arrested, 175 A.L.R. Fed. 243 (2002).
American Society of International Law (ASIL) Insights (Subscription Only)
- World Court Consular Notification and Death Penalty Challenge Revisited: Mexico v. United States, vol. 8, issue 1 (2003) – by Pieter H.F. Bekker.
- Consular Notification and the Death Penalty: The World Court’s Provisional Measures in Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. United States), vol. 8, issue 10 (2003) – by Pieter H.F. Bekker.
- Consular Notification and the Death Penalty: The ICJ’s Judgment in Avena, vol. 8, issue 6 (2004) – by William Aceves.
- President Bush's Determination Regarding Mexican Nationals and Consular Convention Rights, vol. 9, issue 9 (2005) – by Frederic L. Kirgis.
- The Supreme Court Backs Away from a Consular Convention Case, vol. 9, issue 17 (2005) – by Frederic L. Kirgis.
- The Supreme Court Decides a Consular Convention Case, vol. 10, issue 16 (2006) – by Frederic L. Kirgis.
- The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Decides Medellin’s Consular Convention Case, 10 ASIL Insights (Nov. 8, 2006) – by Frederic L. Kirgis.
- The Seventh Circuit Again Finds Jurisdiction for Private Remedies for Violations of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, vol. 11, issue 14 (2007) – by Chimène I. Keitner and Kenneth C. Randall.
- Medellin v. Texas: Supreme Court Holds ICJ Decisions under the Consular Convention Not Binding Federal Law, Rejects Presidential Enforcement of ICJ Judgments over State Proceedings, vol. 12, issue 6 (2008) – by Margaret E. McGuinness.
- John Quigley, Foreigners on America’s Death Rows (2018).
- John Quigley et al., The Law of Consular Access: A Documentary Guide (1st ed. 2011).
- John Quigley and Luke T. Lee, Consular Law and Practice (3d ed. 2008).
- Luke T. Lee, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, with Texts and Commentaries on Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961, United States-Soviet Consular Convention, 1964 [and] Draft European Convention on Consular Functions (1966).
- Anne James & Joanne Cecil comps., Equal Protection: Consular Assistance and Criminal Justice Procedures in the USA: An Introductory Guide for Consulates (2d ed. 2005).
Selected Law Review Articles
- William J. Aceves, International Decisions: Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. United States) Provisional Measures Order, 97 Am. J. Int'l L. 923 (2003).
- William J. Aceves, International Decisions: LaGrand (Germany v. United States), 96 Am. J. Int'l L. 210 (2002).
- William J. Aceves, International Decisions: Case Concerning the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (Federal Republic of Germany v. United States), 93 Am. J. Int'l L. 924 (1999).
- William J. Aceves, International Decisions: Application of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (Paraguay v. United States), 92 Am. J. Int'l L. 517 (1998).
- William J. Aceves, The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations: A Study of Rights, Wrongs, and Remedies, 31 Vand. J. Transnat'l L. 257 (1998).
- Louis Antonacci, Lessons from LaGrand: An Argument for the Domestic Enforceability of Treaty-Based Rights Under International Prisoner Transfer Treaties, 3 Santa Clara J. Int’l L. 22 (2005).
- Curtis A. Bradley & Jack L. Goldsmith, The Abiding Relevance of Federalism to U.S. Foreign Relations, 92 Am. J. Int'l L. 675 (1998).
- Roger P. Alford, Federal Courts, International Tribunals, and the Continuum of Deference, 43 Va. J. Int'l L. 675 (2003).
- Sandra Babcock, The Limits of International Law: Efforts to Enforce Rulings of The International Court of Justice in U.S. Death Penalty Cases, 62 Syracuse L. Rev. 183 (2012).
- Paul Schiff Berman, Federalism and International Law Through the Lens of Legal Pluralism, 73 Mo. L. Rev. 1151 (2008).
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