Case Concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities in and Against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States)
International Court of Justice
1986 I.C.J. 13 (January 10, 1986)
Between late 1979 and early 1981, the Nicaraguan government (plaintiff) routed supplies of arms to the Salvadoran insurgents to topple El Salvador’s current government. Further, in 1982, 1983, and 1984, a series of incursions by insurgents into Costa Rica and Honduras were conducted that were also attributed to Nicaragua. The United States (defendant), as an ally to El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Honduras, similarly encouraged and aided military and paramilitary operations by a group called the Contras to be carried out against the Nicaraguan government. Nicaragua brought a claim before the court that the United States violated international law by using force to aid the Contras’ attacks. The United States asserted that it was acting in the collective self-defense of the United States and its allies.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
Dissent (Schwebel, J.)
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