Medellín v. Texas (03/25/08)
In the 2008 case of Medellin v. Texas, a five-person majority of the U.S. Supreme Court asserted: “while treaties ‘may comprise international commitments . . . they are not domestic law unless Congress has either enacted implementing statutes or the treaty itself conveys an intention that it be ‘self-executing’ and is ratified on these terms.'" Medellin v. Texas, 128 S.Ct. 1346, 1356 (2008), quoting Igartúa-De La Rosa v. United States, 417 F. 3d 145, 150 (CA1 2005) (en banc) (Boudin, C. J.). As Professor Curtis Bradley notes, the Medellin Court “implicitly rejected the argument, made by the Restatement (Third) of Foreign Relations Law and some commentators, that there should be a strong presumption in favor of treaty self-execution.” Curtis A. Bradley, Intent, Presumptions, and Non-Self-Executing Treaties, 102 Am. J. Int'l L. 540 (2008).
In 102 American Journal of International Law no. 3, the AJIL Board of Editors discussed the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Medellin v. Texas. Their analysis included a review of the domestic status of non-self-executing treaties. Below are links to the editors' articles in Westlaw (a subscription database).
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