Nicaragua v. United States

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The Republic of Nicaragua v. The United States of America[1] was a 1984 case of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in which the ICJ ruled in favor of Nicaragua and against the United States and awarded reparations to Nicaragua. The ICJ held that the U.S. had violated international law by supporting Contra guerrillas in their rebellion against the Nicaraguan government and by mining Nicaragua's harbors. The United States refused to participate in the proceedings after the Court rejected its argument that the ICJ lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. The U.S. later blocked enforcement of the judgment by the United Nations Security Council and thereby prevented Nicaragua from obtaining any actual compensation.[2] The Nicaraguan government finally withdrew the complaint from the court in September 1991, following a repeal of the law requiring the country to seek compensation, thus settling the matter.[3]

The Court found in its verdict that the United States was "in breach of its obligations under customary international law not to use force against another State", "not to intervene in its affairs", "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 upon which it voted. In Statement 9, the Court stated that the U.S. encouraged human rights violations by the Contras by the manual entitled Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare. However, this did not make such acts attributable to the U.S.[4]

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