Wednesday, May 10, 2017

India v. Pakistan

India's application to the International Court of Justice is now available here. It raises access issues under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, but also addresses deficiencies in Pakistan's military court system. Excerpt:
c) In a case that has created so much controversy, there is more than a reasonable apprehension that the Court of Appeal presided over by a two star general of the Army [who is subordinate to the Chief of Army Staff who has confirmed the death sentence] -- will not act independently, fairly and impartially to the standards of due process recognised in International law. There can be no faith or confidence in such a remedy, particularly in the facts and circumstances of the present case. 
d) Further, when the Government of Pakistan has publicly taken such a position, it defies credulity to believe that a Court of Appeal constituted under the Pakistan Army Act, 1952 will be so independent and free from pressures so as to constitute a real and effective remedy.
While it must be assumed that access will be the focus of the proceedings, India v. Pakistan could prove to be the rare case in which issues of judicial independence, personal jurisdiction, and due process in the administration of justice through military courts are examined in an international forum other than a human rights body.

India's May 8, 2017 Request for the Indication of Provisional Measures of Protection can be found here. The court's webpage for the case can be found here.

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