The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has submitted its report on the case of self-admitted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel to the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.
In the report, the President Judge of the ICJ, Abduylqawi Yusuf has observed that on August 1, Pakistan extended a message to confirm its commitment towards implementing the ICJ verdict issued on July 17 in full.n
Pakistan in Compliance with ICJ Verdict
The ICJ report stated, “In particular, Pakistan stated that Mr. Jadhav had been immediately informed of his rights under the Vienna Convention and that the consular post of the High Commission of India in Islamabad had been invited to visit him on 2 August 2019.”
The ICJ President stated that he now wants to examine the main features of the ICJ verdict, wherein the court had examined the solutions and amends that can be granted after discovering that the rights to consular access were violated.
— Times of lsIamabad (@TimesofIslambad) October 29, 2019
As per the jurisprudence exercised in other cases involving violations of the Vienna Convention, the ICJ observed that the most appropriate solution was an effective review and reconsideration of Jadhav’s conviction and sentence.
The statement read, “The Court moreover clarified what it considered to be the requirements of effective review and reconsideration. It stressed that Pakistan must ensure that full weight is given to the effect of the violation of the rights set forth in the Vienna Convention and guarantee that the violation and the possible prejudice caused by the violation are fully examined.”
“While the Court left the choice of means to provide effective review and reconsideration to Pakistan, it noted that effective review and reconsideration presupposes the existence of a procedure that is suitable for this purpose and observed that it is normally the judicial process that is suited to this task.”
As per the regulations of the ICJ, the President is required to submit a report to the UN Secretary-General, who holds the authority to contemplate the compliance of the ICJ verdicts. In the instance Pakistan fails to implement the verdict, the UN Security Council reserves the right to pass a resolution.
Reviewing Jadhav’s Sentence
Since the ICJ verdict of July 17, Pakistan had allowed Jadhav consular access on one occasion, however, no steps have been taken to conduct an “effective review” of his conviction. Analysts and opinion-makers agree that this will prove to be a challenge for the country.
On July 17, the ICJ ruled that under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention spies must be provided consular access. The 42-page verdict of the UN court stated that Pakistan is under an obligation to comply with the guidelines outlined by the Vienna Convention.
The judgment of the ICJ stated, “Consequently, Pakistan must inform Mr. Jadhav without further delay of his rights under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), and allow Indian consular officers to have access to him and to arrange for his legal representation, as provided by Article 36, paragraph 1 (a) and (c).”
— Dunya News (@DunyaNews) October 31, 2019
The ICJ verdict stated that consular officers have the freedom to communicate with the nationals of the sending state, while the nationals of the sending state have the freedom of accessing and communicating with the consular officers of the sending state.
The judgment further adds that consular officers of the sending state have the right to visit a national who is imprisoned, detained or in custody, and to communicate with the individual and provide legal representation. However, consular officers must refrain from taking any action on behalf of the imprisoned or detained an individual if he opposes any such action.
The ICJ verdict has directed Islamabad to take all measures required for an “effective review and reconsideration” by deploying appropriate legislation. The verdict stated that the manner and choice of means to be used to undertake this effective review and reconsideration have been left to Pakistan.
Sources reveal that the Imran Khan government has deployed several imminent lawyers and legal experts to consider various courses and options that would aid in fulfilling the directives of the ICJ verdict. In the past, the Indian embassy had gotten in touch with several lawyers to fight the Kulbhushan case, but there have been no recent updates on whether the convict with a challenge his conviction in the High Court.
The ICJ has directed Pakistan to undertake an effective review and reconsideration of Mr. Jadhav’s sentence and conviction, and the ICJ has also maintained a stay on his execution until an effective review has been conducted.
The court highlighted that for any review and reconsideration, it is crucial to uphold the principles of conducting a fair trial, and stated that as per the violations of right stated in Article 36, paragraph 1 of the Vienna Convention, a fair trial must be ensured by fully examining and adequately addressing all aspects during the process of review and reconsideration.