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For the third time in the past five years, the International Court of Justice (the "World Court") has ordered the United States to stay the executions of foreign nationals on death row in the U.S. This time, the condemned men are three Mexican citizens.

The orders are call temporary or "provisional measures," because they impose only a temporary, not a permanent, stay of the executions, pending the ultimate outcome of the case. Nevertheless, they are intended to have the force of law for the stay's duration. The Court's authority to impose the order flows from the United Nations Chater, which is a treaty signed and ratified by the U.S.