Vienna Convention

36 Volume 22, April–June 2016 international law update
© 2016 International Law Group, LLC. All rights reserved. ISSN 1089-5450, ISSN 1943-1287 (on-line) |
hardly in dispute. As the majority acknowledges,
the statute ‘sweeps away ... any ... federal or state
law impediments that might otherwise exist’ to bar
respondents from obtaining Bank Markazi’s assets.
Ante, at 1321 (quoting App. to Pet. for Cert. 73a).
In the District Court, Bank Markazi had invoked
sovereign immunity under the Foreign Sovereign
Immunities Act of 1976, 28 U.S.C. § 1611(b)
(1). Brief for Petitioner 28. Section 8772(a)(1)
eliminates that immunity. Bank Markazi had
argued that its status as a separate juridical entity
under federal common law and international *1333
law freed it from liability for Iran’s debts. See First
Nat. City Bank v. Banco Para el Comercio Exterior
de Cuba, 462 U.S. 611, 624-627, 103 S.Ct. 2591,
77 L.Ed.2d 46 (1983); Brief for Petitioner 27-28.
Section 8772(d)(3) ensures that the Bank is liable.
Bank Markazi had argued that New York law did
not allow respondents to execute their judgments
against the Bank’s assets. See N.Y.U.C.C. Law Ann.
§ 8-112(c) (West 2002); see also App. to Pet. for
Cert. 126a (agreeing with this argument). Section
8772(a)(1) makes those assets subject to execution.
See id., at 97a.”
“Section 8772 authorized attachment,
moreover, only for the ‘nancial assets that are
identied in and the subject of proceedings in
the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York in Peterson et al. v. Islamic
Republic of Iran et al., Case No. 10 Civ. 4518(BSJ)
(GWG), that were restrained by restraining
notices and levies secured by the plaintis in those
proceedings....’ § 8772(b).”
“And lest there be any doubt that Congress’s
sole concern was deciding this particular case, rather
than establishing any generally applicable rules, §
8772 provided that nothing in the statute “shall be
construed... to aect the availability, or lack thereof,
of a right to satisfy a judgment in any other action
against a terrorist party in any proceedings other
than” these. § 8772(c).
“*1338 At issue here is a basic principle, not
a technical rule. Section 8772 decides this case no
less certainly than if Congress had directed entry
of judgment for respondents. As a result, the
potential of the decision today ‘to eect important
change in the equilibrium of power’ is ‘immediately
evident.’ Morrison v. Olson, 487 U.S. 654, 699,
108 S.Ct. 2597, 101 L.Ed.2d 569 (1988) (Scalia,
J., dissenting). Hereafter, with this Court’s seal
of approval, Congress can unabashedly pick the
winners and losers in particular pending cases.
Today’s decision will indeed become a ‘blueprint
for extensive expansion of the legislative power’ at
the Judiciary’s expense, Metropolitan Washington
Airports Authority v. Citizens for Abatement of
Aircraft Noise, Inc., 501 U.S. 252, 277, 111 S.Ct.
2298, 115 L.Ed.2d 236 (1991), feeding Congress’s
tendency to ‘extend[] the sphere of its activity and
draw[] all power into its impetuous vortex,’ e
Federalist No. 48, at 309 (J. Madison).
: Bank Markazi v. Peterson, 136 S.Ct.
1310 (S.Ct. 2016).
F C  C 
A    M 
      T
    
      
 V C  C
R;  C  
   
In 1997, Ruben Ramirez Cardenas, a Mexican
national, broke into his fteen-year-old cousin
Mayra Laguna’s bedroom, in Texas, taped her
mouth shut, tied her hands, and forced her into
a car. He drove her then to a secluded area, raped
her, beat her to death and left her body in a ditch.
Cardenas later confessed all of his crimes to police.
After his arrest, Texas law enforcement ocers did
not inform him of his rights as a Mexican national
under the Vienna Convention on Consular
Relations (“VCCR”).

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