Irreconcilable Differences: How Sanchez-Llamas v. Oregon Undermines Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations

Eric Rosenfeld
2008 University of Pittsburgh law review  
For over 150 years, the principle of comity has played a crucial role in American legal jurisprudence in the arena of international law. Comity is the "practice among political entities (as nations, states, or courts of different jurisdictions), involving . . . mutual recognition of legislative, executive, and judicial acts." At the highest level of generality, comity encourages international judicial courtesy and respect for foreign legal values. With regard to interstate relations, it has
more » ... ed the uniquely American doctrine of act of state as well as the international understanding of foreign sovereign immunity. Against the backdrop of Cold War diplomacy in the 1960s, comity also fostered the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), a treaty that seeks to regulate relations between individual nations and foreign consular officials. The VCCR governs diplomatic protocol such as the establishment and conduct of consular relations and the privileges and immunities of consular officers and offices from the laws of the "receiving State" (the country where the foreign consular office has been established). Its adoption was arguably "the single most important event in the entire history of the consular institution."
doi:10.5195/lawreview.2008.100 fatcat:7grsiiohvbcmlmixf6zv6oh5fy