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The right of self- defense in international law - Essay Example

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International law is the primary governing rules of all nations.These rules direct the activities of countries and territories,helping ensure that the proper rights which relate to statehood and state protection are in place and are respected by all nations…
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The right of self- defense in international law
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Download file to see previous pages The right to self-defence is specified under Article 51 of the UN Charter. It basically states that “nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of collective or individual self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to maintain international peace and security”1. Other details on the exercise of the right are further specified in the article which includes the need for members exercising self-defence to immediately report to the Security Council – actions which do not prevent the Council from taking the necessary action to maintain and restore peace and security. Based on this Charter, this paper shall discuss the following issue: Does international law adequately address the right to self-defence? This paper seeks to provide a critical analysis of the use of this right in international law. This paper is being carried out in order to establish a comprehensive analysis of this right, as well as its actual applications in relation to nation states. Discussion Article 51 of the UN Charter as cited above provides an acknowledgment of a nation’s right to self-defence. There is however an issue on whether or not, the international laws as a whole adequately addresses such right. The Nicaragua case is one of the landmark cases which set forth a discussion on this matter. In 1909, President Taft ordered that Nicaraguan President Jose Santos Zelaya be deposed from power. This ushered in very unstably times for Nicaragua which saw a huge contingent of marines landing in their country and occupying the railway line to Granada2. During this time, a pro-US government group was formed and in 1914, and the Bryan-Chamorro Treaty was signed. This treaty effectively granted to the US perpetual rights to the canal. This agreement prevented anyone else from building a canal in Nicaragua unless permitted by the US3. A peasant apprising led by Sandino was seen in 1927 against US occupation and against Nicaraguan authorities as well. This prompted the US Marines to withdraw, leaving the National Guard to handle internal security issues and the elections. The head of the Guards, Somoza Garcia ordered his troops to capture Sandino4. Somoza eventually became its President, staying in power as a dictator until 1979. His regime eventually fell with the embezzlement of million in dollars of foreign aid which were directed to the country as a result of the 1972 earthquake5. The Socialist Sandinista (FLSN) movement was against this corruption and started expanding their influence over the country, seeking support from all those interested. The US did not favour this socialist movement and under President Carter’s rule, they established support for the Somocistas, providing material and financial aid to them6. Reagan further continued this aid, also providing support to the Contras or the anti-Sandinista group. Financial and military support was provided to the group by Reagan, despite protests from Congress. This persisted despite the fact that no Nicaraguan armed attempts against the US were ever reported. Nicaragua argued before the international court that the US essentially supported military and paramilitary actions against Nicaragua, and as such violated Article 2(4) of the UN Charter; Articles 18 and 20 of the Charter of the Organization of American States; Article 8 of the Convention on Rights and Duties of States; Article I, Third of the Convention concerning Duties and Rights of States in the Event of Civil Strife7. Nicaragua demanded reparations for the acts of the US in terms of damage to ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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