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ICJ stays Jadhav execution

ICJ stays Jadhav execution

The international court of justice stayed the execution of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav. The International court of justice(ICJ) ordered Pakistan to take all measures at its disposal to prevent execution, till it pronounces a final judgement in the case.

Pakistan has rejected the jurisdiction of the court in national security matters.

The judgement can create a tussle between the government and the Army in Pakistan. The Army Generals can either go ahead with the execution and marginalize Pakistan at the international level or defer it and anger its own constituency of hardline nationalists.

India also need to analyze that by approaching the ICJ it has opened the door for Pakistan to take various bilateral issues (including the Kashmir issue) at the international level.

Jurisdiction of the ICJ over the issue:

  • India and Pakistan are both signatories to the Vienna convention on consular relations
  • The convention gives foreign nationals the right to access their diplomatic missions in case of an arrest
  • Also, the court will adjudicate in case of a dispute in interpreting the provisions of the convention

Difference between India and Pakistan over the issue:

  • India and Pakistan differed on the question of consular access for Kulbhushan Jadhav under the Vienna convention
  • Thus, they differed in the interpretation of the provisions of the Vienna convention
  • India has categorically stated that he was not directly or indirectly employed with R&AW (India’s external intelligence agency)
  • Pakistan claimed that he is a terrorist and was involved in subversive activities in Pakistan

What the court observed:

  • The obligation of the detaining state to inform a detained person about his right to consular access and to allow the execution of this right are recognized under Article 36, Paragraph 1 of the Vienna convention
  • Pakistan has assured that Jadhav will not be executed before August 2017, which essentially means that he could be executed before a final decision on the case is taken. Under these circumstances the court was satisfied of an urgency in the case
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