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Nicaragua and International Law: The “Academic” and the “Real”

  • Anthony D’Amato



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1 President’s News Conference, N.Y. Times, Feb. 22, 1985, at A10, cols. 1, 3.

2 Counter-Memorial of the United States of America (Nicar. v. U.S.) 220, para. 517 (submitted by the U.S. Government to the Court Aug. 17, 1984).

3 Robinson, Davis R., Letter to the Editor in Chief, 79 AJIL 423 (1985).

4 Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicar. v. U.S.), Jurisdiction and Admissibility, 1984 ICJ Rep., para. 95 (Judgment of Nov. 26).

5 United States Diplomatic and Consular Staff in Tehran (U.S. v. Iran), 1980 ICJ Rep. 3, para. 37 (Judgment of May 24).

6 News Conference, supra note 1.

7 Brinkley, , Vote on Nicaraguan Rebels: Either Way, a Turning Point, N.Y. Times, Mar. 17, 1985, at A1, col.

8 Id. at 6, col. 3.

9 This is how Nicaragua characterized the legal issues in its complaint. See Application Instituting Proceedings, Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicar. v. U.S.) (submitted by the Nicaraguan Government to the Court Apr. 9, 1984).

10 Reisman, , Coercion and Self-Determination: Construing Charter Article 2(4), 78 AJIL 642, 643 (1984).

11 For an expansion of the argument that human rights predated positivist conceptions reflected in the UN Charter, see D’Amato, , Judge Bork’s Concept of the Law of Nations Is Seriously Mistaken, 79 AJIL 92, 101-04 (1985). For an expansion of the argument that the law of human rights postdates the Charter and stems from the impact of treaties upon customary law, see D’Amato, , The Concept of Human Rights in International Law [hereinafter cited as Human Rights], 82 Colum. L. Rev. 1110 (1982).

12 Reisman, supra note 10, at 643.

13 Schachter, , The Legality of Pro-Democratic Invasion, 78 AJIL 645, 646 (1984).

14 For a defense of this proposition, with citations to other writers, see D’Amato, Human Rights, supra note 11, at 1128-29.

15 D’Amato, , Intervention in Grenada: Right or Wrong?, N.Y. Times, Oct. 30, 1983, at E18, col. 3.

16 When visiting King Juan Carlos of Spain, President Reagan referred to the “undemocratic governments” in Latin America of Paraguay, Chile, Cuba and Nicaragua, a statement which lumped together authoritarian and totalitarian regimes. CBS-TV Evening News, May 7, 1985.

17 For an expansion of the argument that the best form of national security for the United States in the foreseeable future is the security that comes from having its citizens travel and trade abroad in countries that are committed to respecting human rights, see D’Amato, , Are Human Rights Good for International Business?, 1 Nw. J. Int’l L. & Bus. 22 (1979).

18 D’Amato, supra note 15.

19 Akehurst, , Custom as a Source of International Law, 47 Brit. Y.B. Int’l L. 1 (1974-75).

20 D’Amato, Human Rights, supra note 11, at 1135-47.

21 Indeed, protest may have the counterproductive effect of articulating the very norm that the protesting government objects to. See D’Amato, A., The Concept of Custom in International Law 101-02 (1971).

22 See Weston, B., Falk, R. & D’Amato, A., International Law and World Order 96-101, 102-05 (1980).

23 I have previously argued that this may have been the Security Council’s attitude when it condemned Israel for its aerial attack upon the Iraqi nuclear reactor. See D’Amato, , Israel’s Air Strike upon the Iraqi Nuclear Reactor, 77 AJIL 584, 586 (1983).

24 Franck, , Who Killed Article 2(4)?, 64 AJIL 809 (1970).


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