Seventh Circuit Holds That Alien Has A Private Right of Action to Enforce Right to Be Told of Option to Seek Consular Help
A citizen from India brought an action against county law enforcement officials under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) for failing to inform him of his right under Vienna Convention on Consular Relations to notify his consulate of his arrest. On appeal of the district court's dismissal of the action, the Seventh Circuit, in Jogi v. Voges, --- F.3d ----, 2005 WL 2347846 (7th Cir. Sep 27, 2005), held that a foreign national has an implied private right of action under Article 36 of Vienna Convention (21 U.S.T. 77, T.I.A.S. No. 6820, 596 U.N.T.S. 261), which instructs authorities of a receiving state to notify an arrested foreign national of "his rights" under the Convention "without delay." The Court reasoned that because drafters of the treaty intended to make that particular part of treaty privately enforceable, a damages action was the only avenue left to vindicate that right.