Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"Avena Case Implementation Act of 2008" Introduced

On Monday, Representative Howard L. Berman, chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, introduced (for himself and Representative Zoe Lofgren) the "Avena Case Implementation Act of 2008" (H.R. 6481). It was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. Here's the bill:


To create a civil action to provide judicial remedies to carry out certain treaty obligations of the United States under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled


This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Avena Case Implementation Act of 2008’’.


(a) CIVIL ACTION.—Any person whose rights are infringed by a violation by any nonforeign governmental authority of article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations may in a civil action obtain appropriate relief.

(b) NATURE OF RELIEF.—Appropriate relief for the purposes of this section means—

(1) any declaratory or equitable relief necessary to secure the rights; and

(2) in any case where the plaintiff is convicted of a criminal offense where the violation occurs during and in relation to the investigation or prosecution of that offense, any relief required to remedy the harm done by the violation, including the vitiation of the conviction or sentence where appropriate.

(c) APPLICATION.—This Act applies with respect to violations occurring before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act.