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World Court Digest

I. Substantive International Law - First Part
8.3. Treaty Violations

¤ Military and Paramilitary Activities
(Nicaragua/United States of America)
Merits. J. 27.6.1986
I.C.J. Reports 1986, p. 14

[pp. 136-137] In other words, the Court is asked to rule that a State which enters into a treaty of friendship binds itself, for so long as the Treaty is in force, to abstain from any act toward the other party which could be classified as an unfriendly act, even if such act is not in itself the breach of an international obligation. Such a duty might of course be expressly stipulated in a treaty, or might even emerge as a necessary implication from the text; but as a matter of customary international law, it is not clear that the existence of such a far-reaching rule is evidenced in the practice of States. There must be a distinction, even in the case of a treaty of friendship, between the broad category of unfriendly acts, and the narrower category of acts tending to defeat the object and purpose of the Treaty. That object and purpose is the effective implementation of friendship in the specific fields provided for in the Treaty, not friendship in a vague general sense.