The United States of America is using armed force against Nicaragua and intervening in Nicaragua's internal affairs on a daily basis. Since 1981, the U.S. has been waging a "covert" war against Nicaragua both in violation of Nicaragua's sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence, and in violation of the most fundamental and universally accepted principles of international law. From a legal standpoint, at the minimum, the U.S. war against Nicaragua violates Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter, which outlaws the use of force as an instrument of national policy in international relations. Article 2(4) provides as follows: "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations." This prohibition was the Charter's great departure from previous efforts to establish an international rule of law. It is the cornerstone of the normative and institutional system established by the Charter. It has come to be recognized as ius cogens-an overriding and unmodifiable prohibitory norm.
Carlos T. Bernheim,
United States Armed Intervention in Nicaragua and Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter,
Yale J. Int'l L.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjil/vol11/iss1/8