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Beyond Breard

48 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2006  

Erik Luna

Washington and Lee University - School of Law

Douglas J. Sylvester

Arizona State University - College of Law


In this article, we examine the legal and political controversy arising out of the execution of a Paraguayan national, Angel Breard, by the United States in violation of his rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. We examine the source, status, and judicial remedies of the Vienna Convention. We then place these treatments within the broader context of international individual rights in general. In this context, we conclude that the treatment of consular rights claims is consistent with American courts' international law jurisprudece of the last thirty years.

We also seek to place the Vienna Convention within the narrower context of criminal procedure doctrine and again demonstrate that the treatment of such claims is entirely consistent with prior case law. Despite our general rejection of scholarly criticism of Breard, we do conclude that the decision poses grave dangers for individual American citizens.

Keywords: international law, criminal procedure, vienna convention, consular, death penalty, world court

Suggested Citation

Luna, Erik and Sylvester, Douglas J., Beyond Breard. Berkeley Journal of International Law (BJIL), Vol. 17, p. 147, 1999. Available at SSRN:

Erik G. Luna

Washington and Lee University - School of Law ( email )

Lexington, VA 24450
United States

Douglas J. Sylvester (Contact Author)

Arizona State University - College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

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