In the case of Germany v. U.S. (526 U.S. 111 (1999)), two German nationals (the LaGrand brothers) were in an Arizona prison facing the death penalty. The German government went to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which made a provisional ruling that the LaGrands were not to be executed until the ICJ could rule on whether they had been denied their rights to contact the German Embassy, as required by the Vienna Convention on Consular Rights.

  • The US Supreme Court found that the LaGrands' had waived their rights due to a procedural default, and so they executed the LaGrand brothers anyway.
    • The US State Department had forwarded the provisional ICJ order to the governor of Arizona, but did not ask for a stay.
  • Afterwards, Germany pressed the issue at the ICJ, who issued a ruling saying that provisional ICJ decisions are binding and create a legal obligation under international law.