What is Consular Access? What are the recent issues associated with
Consular Access is the right of citizens of a country to
have access, physical or via communication, with the consular officials of
their own country while in a foreign country.
Pakistan had denied consular access to India despite several
attempts. It also refused to give any details of Jadhav’s arrest and trial
until the death sentence was passed. Later, India approached ICJ on the same
issue. International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that India was entitled to
seek consular access in Kulbushhan Jadhav Case.
Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963:
The Vienna Convention
on Consular Relations of 1963 is an international treaty that defines a
framework for consular relations between independent countries. A consul, who
is not a diplomat, is a representative of a foreign state in a country and
works for the interests of his countrymen in the host country.
Article 36 of Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of
1963 states that “foreign nationals who are arrested or detained be given
notice without delay of their right to have their embassy or consulate notified
of that arrest.”
2008 India-Pakistan Agreement on consular access
Govt of India and
Pakistan considering that the humane treatment of the nationals of either
country, under arrest, detention and imprisonment agreed to reciprocate the
consular facilities as follows-
Each Govt shall
maintain a comprehensive list of the nationals of other country under its
arrest, detention and imprisonment.
notification of any arrest, detention or imprisonment of any person of other
country shall be provided to the respective high commission.
shall provide consular access within 3 months to nationals of one country under
arrest, detention, Imprisonment of other country.
Both sides agree to
release and repatriate persons within one month of confirmation of their