ND law scholar supports World Court order to halt executions

Author: Melanie McDonald


An international law scholar at the University of Notre Dame Law School praisedyesterdays World Court order that the United States halt the imminent executions of five Mexican nationals on death row in Texas.

The Mexicans have all been convicted of murders inside the U.S., but the Mexican government has argued that the five men were denied their rights under the Vienna Convention.

The World Court order is fully consistent with U.S. international law obligations that support fundamental norms, especially the right to life,said Mary Ellen OConnell, Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law.If the United States executes these individuals in defiance of the court, it will be that much harder for the next president to rebuild the standing of the U.S. in the world, especially as a state committed to the rule of law and fundamental human rights.

OConnells scholarship and teaching largely concern the enforcement of international law and the promise of a classical revival in international law, and she has written and lectured specifically on the enforcement of past World Court judgments.

According to OConnell,The negative impact of defying the court in this case will be particularly strong because the U.S. itself went to the World Court and cited the very treaties at issue here when Americans were taken hostage in Iran in November 1979.The courts order in favor of the U.S. then was instrumental in securing the hostagesrelease.We need the World Court and the law it implements, which means we also need to respect the court and international law.

% _ Contact: {mso-spacerun: yes} _ % Professor OConnell at 574-631-7953 or " MaryEllenOConnell@nd.edu ":mailto:MaryEllenOConnell@nd.edu

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