Yes, in fact, India has brought a case against Pakistan before the International Court of Justice on precisely these same provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. There's an Indian national on death row in Pakistan who was accused and convicted of espionage. Pakistan used the fact that this person was an accused spy as justification for not granting consular access. India's argument is that there is no such exception under international law, certainly not anything in the Vienna convention. That case has now proceeded to the stage of written proceedings. In other words, we'll probably have a decision relatively soon, perhaps within a year or so.
On the Avena front, there have been a number of attempts.... Is there anyone here who isn't familiar with the case? It's a decision of the International Court of Justice in favour of Mexico and against the United States in which the court found that, in cases where a foreign national—a Mexican national, particularly—has been sentenced to death without timely access to consular assistance, the domestic courts must review and reconsider the case. The clear implication here is that, if there's a finding of actual prejudice, that will require the case to be reconsidered in the truly meaningful sense.
There have been a number of attempts to implement Avena in U.S. law. In fact, the 2018 budget proposal, which I suppose is now defunct, included just such a provision in the Department of State section. It's not sufficient, I think, so many years after the fact, for this still to be an issue of discourse and discussion. It's clear, I believe, at least, that the United States is paying a heavy price for not practising what it preaches when it comes to consular access and consular remedies.
However, individual states in the United States are now starting to take note. For example, the State of Illinois recently passed a consular provision whereby foreign nationals, upon their first appearance in court, will be readvised, one hopes, of their consular rights and the presiding judge will have the authority to ensure that it has, in fact, taken place.