Details

Title

The Nicaragua Judgment and the Use of Force – 30 Years Later

Journal title

Polish Yearbook of International Law

Yearbook

2016

Numer

No XXXVI

Publication authors

Keywords

armed attack ; counter-measures ; customary international law ; Nicaragua judgment ; non-State actors ; self-defence ; UN Charter ; use of force

Divisions of PAS

Nauki Humanistyczne i Społeczne

Abstract

In light of contemporary circumstances, on the 30th anniversary of the Nicaragua judgment it is worth revisiting and considering again certain legal problems decided by – and raised by – the ICJ judgment. This article addresses the importance of the judgment in terms of international legal regulations on the use of force. First and foremost, the article examines the concept of armed attack based on the “gravity” criterion elaborated by the Court and the exercise of the right of self-defence. Moreover, the relationship between customary international law and treaty law, as well as forcible counter-measures and military actions against non-State actors are also discussed in the article. It is argued that the “gravity” criterion used by the ICJ seems controversial and, consequently, may limit the right of self-defence. On the other hand, however, the judgment established a strong barrier to the realization of individual political interests by militarily powerful States. This is the Nicaragua judgment’s long-lasting legacy. In this sense the judgment has stood the test of time.

Publisher

Institute of Law Studies PAS ; Committee on Legal Sciences PAS

Date

2017.01.01

Type

Artykuły / Articles

Identifier

ISSN 0554-498X

DOI

10.7420/pyil2016b

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