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In the face of an adverse decision at the jurisdictional phase of Nicaragua v. United States, the United States withdrew from any further participation in the proceedings before the International Court of Justice ("I.C.J."). In walking out of the Court, the United States effectively walked out on the system of international law that emerged in the post-World War II period.

Although the United States thereby declined to make a formal submission on the merits of the dispute, it has become clear what the U.S. position is, or would have been, before the Court. A consistent position has emerged in submissions to the Court at the jurisdictional phase, publications of the State Department, statements of the Legal Adviser to the State Department, and, most important, in two lengthy articles published by attorneys associated with the case.

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