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The Republic of Nicaragua V

The Republic of Nicaragua V

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Published by jbiko24

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Published by: jbiko24 on Nov 24, 2009
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The Republic of Nicaragua v. The United States of America
was a case heard in 1986 by theInternational Court of Justicewhich ruled in favor of   Nicaraguaand against the United States. As part of its judgment, theInternational Court of Justiceawardedreparations to Nicaragua. The International Court of Justicefound that the U.S. had violatedinternational lawby supportingContraguerrillas in their war against the  Nicaraguan government and byminingNicaragua's harbors. The United States refused to  participate after the Court rejected its argument that the ICJ lacked jurisdiction to hear thecase. The US later blocked enforcement by the Security Council, making Nicaraguanattempts at obtaining compliance futile.
The Nicaraguan government finally withdrewthe complaint from the court in September 1991, following a repeal of the law requiringthe country to seek compensation, thus settling the matter.
The court found in its verdict that the US was "in breach of its obligations under customary international law not to use force against another State", "not to intervene in itsaffairs", "not to violate its sovereignty", "not to interrupt peaceful maritime commerce",and "in breach of its obligations under Article XIX of the Treaty of Friendship,Commerce and Navigation between the Parties signed at Managua on 21 January 1956." The court had 16 final decisions which it voted upon. In Statement 9, the court stated thatthe U.S. encouraged human rights violations by the Contras by the manual entitled
. However, this did not make such actsattributable to the U.S.
1. Prior to the hearings
The United States had already submitted Maricela Plasencia to the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) pursuant to the Declaration of PresidentHarry S Truman of August 14, 1946. However, in anticipation of the outcome of the Court case, in 1984 the United States deposited with theSecretary-General of theUnited Nationsa notification stating that the United States was temporarily modifying the1946 Declaration. The 1984 notification provided that the 1946 Declaration "shall notapply to disputes with any Central American State or arising out of or related to events inCentral America", and that the notification would "take effect immediately and shallremain in force for two years." Some academics have noted that the modification of the
1946 Declaration by the President acting alone raises serious constitutional problems andthat some form of congressional concurrence was required.
Historian WilliamLeogrande argues that the U.S. decision to withdraw from the World Court jurisdiction"was of dubious legality." "When the Senate ratified President Harry S. Truman'sdeclaration accepting compulsory jurisdiction before the court in 1946, it added a passagerequiring six months advance notice before the United States could temporarily suspendthe court's jurisdiction. The Senate intended to proscribe any suspension designed toavoid specific litigation- which is just what the State Department had in mind in the Nicaraguan case. By acting without the requisite six month's notice, the administrationwas violating a duly ratified treaty which constitutionally had the force of domestic law."
2. Arguments2. 1. Nicaragua
 Nicaragua charged that(a) That the United States, in recruiting, training, arming, equipping, financing,supplying and otherwise encouraging, supporting, aiding, and directing militaryand  paramilitaryactions in and against Nicaragua, had violated its treaty obligations to Nicaragua under:Article 2 (4) of theUnited Nations Charter ;Articles 18 and 20 of theCharter of the Organization of American States;Article 8 of theConvention on Rights and Duties of States;Article I, Third, of the Convention concerning the Duties and Rights of States inthe Event of Civil Strife.(b) That the United States had breached international lawby 1. violating thesovereignty of Nicaragua by: armed attacks against Nicaragua by air, land and sea;incursions into Nicaraguan territorial waters;aerial trespass into Nicaraguan airspace;efforts by direct and indirect means to coerce and intimidate the Government of  Nicaragua.2. using force and the threat of force against Nicaragua.3. intervening in the internal affairs of Nicaragua.4. infringing upon the freedom of the high seas and interrupting peaceful maritimecommerce.5. killing, wounding and kidnapping citizens of Nicaragua. Nicaragua furthermore demanded that all such actions cease and that the United Stateshad an obligation to pay reparations to the government for damage to their people, property, and economy.
2. 2. United States
The U.S. argued that its actions were "primarily for the benefit of El Salvador , and tohelp it to respond to an alleged armed attack by Nicaragua, that the United States claimsto be exercising a right of collective self-defense, which it regards as a justification of itsown conduct towards Nicaragua. El Salvador, joined the U.S. in their Declaration of Intervention which it submitted on 15 August 1984, where it alleged itself the victim of an armed attack by Nicaragua, and that it had asked the United States to exercise for its benefit the right of collective self-defence."[1]TheCIA claimed that the purpose of the manual was to "moderate" activities already  being done by the Contras.
The United States argued that the Court did not have jurisdiction, with U.S. ambassador to theUnited Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick dismissing the Court as a "semi-legal, semi-  juridical, semi-political body, which nations sometimes accept and sometimes don't."
It is noteworthy that the United States, the defaulting party, was the only Member that putforward arguments against the validity of the judgment of the Court arguing that it has passed a decision that it `had neither the jurisdiction nor the competence to render'. Other Members who sided with the United States in opposing Nicaragua's claims, did notchallenge the Court's findings either as to its jurisdiction, or on the substantive merits of the case.
3. Judgment
The very long judgment first listed 291 points. Among them that the United States had been involved in the "unlawful use of force". The alleged violations included attacks on Nicaraguan facilities and naval vessels, the mining of Nicaraguan ports, the invasion of  Nicaraguan air space, and the training, arming, equipping, financing and supplying of forces (the "Contras") and seeking to overthrow Nicaragua's Sandinista government. Thiswas followed by the statements that the judges voted on.
3. 1. Findings
The court found evidence for an arms flow between Nicaragua and to the insurgents in ElSalvador in 1979-81. However, there was not enough evidence to show that the Nicaraguan government was imputable for this or that the US response was proportional.The court also found established that certain transborder incursions into the territory of Guatemala and Costa Rica, in 1982, 1983 and 1984, were imputable to the Governmentof Nicaragua. However, neither Guatemala and Costa Rica made any request for intervention by the US and El Salvador only in 1984, well after the US interventionstarted.[2]"As regards El Salvador, the Court considers that in customary international law the provision of arms to the opposition in another State does not constitute an armed attack on that State. As regards Honduras and Costa Rica, the Court states that, in the absence of sufficient information as to the transborder incursions into the territory of those two

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