- Pakistan has offered India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been in jail in Pakistan on charges of espionage and terrorism.India has said that it was evaluating the Pakistani proposal.
- The International Court of Justice(ICJ) had ordered on July 17 that Pakistan must undertake an effective review and reconsideration of Jadhav’s conviction and sentencing and grant consular access to India.
- Consular access simply means that a diplomat or an official will have a meeting with the prisoner who is in the custody of another country. Usually,during the meeting,the diplomat will first confirm the identity of the person and will then ask some basic questions on how he/she is being treated in custody and what he/she wants.
- Depending on the response,the diplomat will report back to his/her government and the next steps will be initiated.
- The principle of consular access was agreed to in the 1950s and 60s. The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) was framed in 1963 at the height of the Cold War.
- All countries have agreed to the principle and more than 170 have ratified the Vienna Convention, making it one of the most universally recognised treaties in the world.
- The Vienna Convention of 1961 is an international treaty that defines a framework for diplomatic relations between independent countries. Article 36 of this treaty states that foreign nationals who are arrested should have the right to inform about their arrest at its consulate.
- The ICJ was established in 1945 at Hague,Netherlands.It is composed of 15 judges elected to nine-year terms of office by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council.Its objective is to settle legal disputes submitted to it by (a)states (b) duly authorized international branches and (c) UN General Assembly
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