Brief Amicus Curiae for the European Union and Other Countries of the International Community in Roper v. Simmons, United States Supreme Court
Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005)
62 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2014
Date Written: 2004
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005), struck down the death penalty for juveniles below the age of 18 at the time of their offenses. The author served as counsel of record for what were then the 25 member countries of the European Union, as well as the then-45 members Council of Europe and seven other individual countries, a total of 52 in all, who filed their brief amicus curiae on behalf of the Respondent, Christopher Simmons. The brief relies on evidence of worldwide law and practice constituting what is referred to as “agreement among the international community,” otherwise stated as either customary international law or general principles of international law. The brief draws on treaties, declarations and other sources from the United Nations, regional human rights bodies, non-governmental organizations and other scholarship to argue that the death penalty had been effectively abolished in all but a very few countries of the world: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, Pakistan, China and the United States. The majority makes mention of this brief in its opinion.
Keywords: customary international law
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