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  • Pakistan violated its obligations under Vienna Convention in Jadhav’s case: ICJ Prez tells UNGA

    Published on October 31, 2019

    International Court of Justice (ICJ) President Judge Abduylqawi Yusuf told the United Nations General Assembly that Pakistan violated its obligations under the Vienna Convention in the case of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav. Presenting the report of the International Court of Justice to the 193-member General Assembly yesterday, he said, in its judgement of July 17, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations found that Pakistan had violated its obligations under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention and that appropriate remedies were due in this case.

    In a major victory for India, the ICJ had ruled that Pakistan must review the death sentence awarded to Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer who was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism after a closed trial in April 2017. India had argued that consular access was being denied to its national in violation of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

    The bench led by Judge Yusuf had ordered an effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav. He elaborated on several aspects of the Court’s ruling in Jadhav’s case while presenting his report to the General Assembly.

    He said, one of the issues that the Court had to examine was the question of whether the rights relating to consular access, set out in Article 36 of the Vienna Convention, were in any manner to be excluded in a situation where the individual concerned was suspected of carrying out acts of espionage. The Court noted in that regard that there is no provision in the Vienna Convention containing a reference to cases of espionage; nor does the Article concerning consular access, Article 36, exclude from its scope certain categories of persons, such as those suspected of espionage. Therefore, the Court concluded that Article 36 of the Vienna Convention was applicable in full to the case at hand, he said.

    The Court was also called upon to interpret the meaning of the expression without delay in the notification requirements of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention. The Court considered the reparation and remedies to be granted, after it had found that the rights to consular access had been violated. Judge Yusuf said that following its ruling, the Court received a communication dated 1st of August this year from Pakistan confirming its commitment to implementing the July 17 judgment in full.

    India had welcomed the verdict of the International Court of Justice, saying that the ruling of the court by a vote of 15-1 upheld India’s position in the case.