The Law of Consular Access: A Documentary Guide, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Law of Consular Access

A Documentary Guide, 1st Edition

By John Quigley, William J. Aceves, Adele Shank


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Over the past decade, there has been an explosion of litigation at the international and domestic levels concerning consular access for foreign nationals charged with a criminal offence. The issue has complicated relations between countries, with the majority of litigation involving the United States, which has adopted a restrictive view of the consular access obligation.

This book brings together for the first time relevant documentary sources on the law of consular access. The book includes significant excerpts alongside commentary on the documents, allowing readers to draw their own conclusions. While presenting information on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the book presents other sources, including bilateral consular agreements, multilateral treaties, and key court cases from various jurisdictions. Many of these sources are not readily accessible.

The Law of Consular Access will be of interest to scholars of international law, human rights, and international relations. It will also be of interest to private and government lawyers, as well as diplomats and consuls.


"In a globalised world, in which foreign citizens are increasingly subject to criminal proceedings in other states and are demanding ever greater levels of protection by their national state, this book offers an indispensable and up to date compendium on the law and practice of consular access." Dr Tim Stephens, University of Sydney, Australia

"In just a few years, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations has gone from being almost entirely unknown to being the subject of complicated and significant litigation around the world.This book describes the developments that have taken place, collects the most important materials (many of which are hard to find), and offers analysis to guide all those attempting to untangle the VCCR." John Cary Sims, Professor of Law, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law Sacramento, California, USA

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction to Consular Access 1. Overview of Consular Access 2. Role of Consuls in Assisting a National Part 2: Consular Access Obligations of a Receiving State 3. Situations Requiring Advice about Consular Access 4. Individuals who must be Advised 5. Timing of Consular Access 6. Confidentiality of Communication 7. Automatic Notification under Bilateral Treaties Part 3: The Rights of a Foreign National 8. Rights Assertable Against the Receiving State 9. Consular Access as a due Process Right 10. Statutor Right to Sending State Protection 11. Non-Statutory Right to Sending State Protection Part 4: Consular Access in Domestic Law 12. Incorporation into Domestic Law 13. Subsidiary Regulation and Legislation 14. Availability of a Judicial Remedy 15. Domestic Effect of International Decisions Part 5: Remedies at the Domestic Level 16. Prejudice as a Prerequisite for a Judicial Remedy 17. Suppression of Evidence as a Judicial Remedy 18. Procedural Default as Barring Remedy 19. Consular Access Violation as Grounds for Sentence Reduction or Clemency 20. Monetary Damages for a Foreign National 21. Intervention in Court by a Sending State 22. Civil Suit by a Sending State Part 6: Remedies at the International Level 23. Diplomatic Protest by a Sending State 24. Jurisdiction in the International Court of Justice 25. Jurisdiction in Inter-American Human Rights Organs Part 7: An Overview of Consular Access Litigation 26. Proceedings in the International Court of Justice 27. Proceedings in the Inter-American System

About the Authors

John Quigley is the President's Club Professor of Law at the Michael E. Moritz College of Law, the Ohio State University, USA.

William J. Aceves is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at California Western School of Law, USA.

S. Adele Shank is a criminal law practitioner specializing in the defense of capital cases, and has represented the European Union in its amicus briefs to the Supreme Court of the United States, regarding consular access.

About the Series

Routledge Research in International Law

The series offers a space for new and emerging scholars of international law to publish original arguments, as well as presenting alternative perspectives from more established names in international legal research.  Works cover both the theory and practice of international law, presenting innovative analyses of the nature and state of international law itself as well as more specific studies within particular disciplines. The series will explore topics such as the changes to the international legal order, the processes of law-making and law-enforcement, as well as the range of actors in public international law. The books will take a variety of different methodological approaches to the subject including interdisciplinary, critical legal studies, feminist, and Third World approaches, as well as the sociology of international law. Looking at the past, present and future of international law the series reflects the current vitality and diversity of international legal scholarship.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / International
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy