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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua Case (Nicaragua v United States of America)

James Crawford†

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 03 June 2023

Armed conflict, international — Self-defence — Principle of distinction — Collective security — Responsibility of states — Treaties, reservations and declarations — Armed attack

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 This was perhaps the most complex and intractable instance of serial litigation yet brought before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). It arose from the activities of the contras, opponents of the Nicaraguan (Sandinista) government, who in 1981 commenced a guerrilla insurgency movement, operating from bases in neighbouring States and funded and assisted, covertly and overtly, by the United States of America (‘US’). One aspect of this assistance was the mining by CIA personnel of several Nicaraguan harbours. Nicaragua claimed that the US support for the...
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