ASIL Presidents Ask Congress to Step in to Resolve ICJ Medellin Stand Off

by Peggy McGuinness

Past and current presidents of the American Society of International Law today urged leaders in Congress to take legislative action to comply with the ICJ decision in Avena and halt the executions of Jose Medellin and the other affected death row inmates until the review required by the ICJ has been carried out.  Full text of the letter is here. So, readers, is Peter Spiro right in predicting that Jose Medellin will live out his days in prison (but also wrong in predicting that it won’t be because of congressional action)?

2 Responses

  1. Mr. Spiro is wrong. Texas fully intends to execute Medellin on August 5th. See Houston Chronicle,

    On a tangential note, the fact that Anne-Marie “New World Order” Slaughter is one of the named signatories to the ASIL letter make me view its underpinnings with suspicion.

  2. Rather than damn them, I would prefer to salute them for taking a stand of this kind. The next thing they could do is pass a resolution on the point, though I would like to see the report prepared for that resolution and see if it is ruled admissible.

    Obviously, the point they make is an important point but it should not be lost upon any of us that the principal advocate for Mexico is a person of great stature in that organization. Taking stands on international law – no matter how important – should not depend on who you know. Rather, the membership should be allowed to generate and have discussed resolutions (as permitted by the constitution of the organization) on a broad range of international law topics and without an arbitrary veto on “admissibility” under severely tightened rules by a small claque of 5 or 6 persons at the top.

    This action suggests that some wind is entering into the top of the organization. I just hope that the organization responds to other efforts by its members who feel strongly about diverse issues – whether Democrats or Republicans are in office.


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