Lex Rex Ph

The Asylum Case (Columbia v. Peru) Digest

[on custom] For custom (CIHL) to be definitely proven, it must be continuously and uniformly executed. Uniformity and generality of practice need not be complete, but it must be substantial. Here, Colombia failed to prove the existence of a constant and uniform practice that the State of refuge has the right to grant refuge and the territorial State has the obligation to respect such right.

The Asylum Case (Colombia v. Peru) was a dispute between Colombia and Peru that was brought to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 1948. The case arose when Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre, a Peruvian citizen and a prominent political figure in Peru, was granted asylum by the Colombian embassy in Lima, Peru. Haya de la Torre had been involved in political activities against the Peruvian government and sought refuge in the Colombian embassy to avoid prosecution.

Peru took the position that the grant of asylum by the Colombian embassy was a violation of its sovereignty and demanded that Haya de la Torre be handed over. Colombia argued that it had the right to grant asylum under the principle of diplomatic immunity and that Peru had no jurisdiction over the embassy.

The case was brought to the ICJ for a resolution, and the court’s main task was to determine whether the Colombian Embassy’s act of granting asylum to Haya de la Torre was in compliance with international law, particularly with the principle of diplomatic asylum. 

The ICJ, in its judgment, ruled that the treaties submitted by Colombia were not ratified by Peru, and it was not found that the custom of Asylum was uniformly or continuously executed to demonstrate that the custom was of a generally applicable character.

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