February 13th, 2006

(no subject)

Excerpts from: The Peace Palace Heats Up: The World Court In Business Again?

October, 1991, 85 A.J.I.L. 646
Keith Highet

No student or practitioner of international law will have failed to observe what has been going on at the International Court of Justice in the last year: the Court in The Hague is busier than it has ever been in its entire history -- going all the way back to its predecessor in the 1920s. Its docket is crammed, the cases before it diverse. Thanks to the steady performance of its duties in the past decade, the Court has emerged yet again as one of the more viable international institutions in today's world.
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(no subject)

Excerpts from: Politics Across Borders: Nonintervention and Nonforcible Influence Over Domestic Affairs

January, 1989
83 A.J.I.L. 1
Lori Fisler Damrosch Excerpt of

Most of the scholarly literature on intervention in internal affairs has focused on forcible forms of influence. 7 Indeed, the prevailing viewpoint until well into the 20th century was that the international legal concept of intervention concerned itself only with the use or threat of force against another state and not with lesser techniques. 8 Debate continues to swirl [*4] around the legality of outside assistance to armed insurgencies, 9 and the recent decision of the International Court of Justice condemning the United States for aiding the contra forces in their armed opposition to the Nicaraguan Government has stirred, rather than stilled, the controversy. 10 By comparison, nonforcible political influence merits far more scholarly attention than it has heretofore received. 11 As traditional methods of forcible intervention wane in their attractiveness (because of increased dangers as well as legal condemnation), states will find it expedient to resort to nonforcible methods for promoting political change in other states where they believe they have interests at stake. Since the use of nonforcible techniques of influence is likely to grow rather than diminish, it becomes all the more important to examine their legality.

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Self-Defense and the Rule of Law


Schachter, Oscar* (April 1989). Self-Defense and the Rule of Law. American Journal of International Law 83: 259. 83 A.J.I.L. 259

* Of the Board of Editors.

[*259] Self-defense on the international level is generally regarded, at least by international lawyers, as a legal right defined and legitimated by international law. Governments, by and large, appear to agree. When they have used force, they have nearly always claimed self-defense as their legal justification. Governments disputing that claim have usually asserted that the legal conditions of self-defense were not met in the particular case. However, despite the apparent agreement that self-defense is governed by law, the meaning and validity of that proposition remain open to question. There are some who challenge the basic idea that the security of a state -- its self-preservation -- can and should be subjected to international law. Others question whether under present conditions the ideal of a rule of law can be applied on the international level to national security decisions. My aim in this essay is to explore some aspects of the problem raised by these challenges to the applicability of international law to claims of self-defense. It is not my intention, I should add, to consider specific interpretations of self-defense.
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Appraisals Of The ICJ's Decision: Nicaragua V. United States (Merits).


Maier, Harold G.* (January 1987). Appraisals Of The ICJ's Decision: Nicaragua V. United States (Merits). The American Society of International Law 81: 77. 81 A.J.I.L. 77

* Professor of Law, Vanderbilt University; Editor in Charge, Special Section.


The ultimate authority of the International Court of Justice flows from the same source as the ultimate authority of all other judicial bodies. Every court's decisions are an authoritative source of law in a realistic sense only because they are accepted as such by the community whose controversies the court is charged to resolve. In the case of the World Court, it is the community of nations that confers that authority and under the Court's Statute, its jurisdiction is conferred solely by the consent of the nations whose disputes it is called to adjudicate. It is for this reason that the case Nicaragua v. United States and the actions of both the Court and the United States Government in connection with it are of special importance to those who are concerned with international law.
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