Title
ICJ Nicaragua v Honduras, Rec. 1998, 69
Content
69

INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE

20. December 1988

CASE CONCERNING BORDER AND TRANSBORDER ARMED ACTIONS

(Nicaragua v. Honduras)

[...]

105

94"The Court has also to deal with the contention of Honduras that Nicaragua is precluded not only by Article IV of the Pact of Bogota but also "by elementary considerations of good faith" from commencing any other procedure for pacific settlement until such time as the Contadora process has been concluded. The principle of good faith is, as the Court has observed, "one of the basic principles governing the creation and performance of legal obligations" (Nuclear Tests, L CJ. Reports 1974, p. 268, para. 46; p. 473, para. 49); it is not in itself a source of obligation where none would otherwise exist. In this case however the contention of Honduras is that, on the basis of successive acts by Nicaragua culminating in 106 the Esquipulas Declaration of 25 May 1986 (paragraph 81 above), Nicaragua has entered into a "commitment to the Contadora process"; it argues that by virtue of that Declaration, "Nicaragua entered into a commitment with which its present unilateral Application to the Court is plainly incompatible". The Court considers that whether or not the conduct of Nicaragua or the Esquipulas Declaration created any such commitment, the events of June/July 1986 constituted a "conclusion" of the initial procedure both for purposes of Article IV of the Pact and in relation to any other obligation to exhaust that procedure which might have existed independently of the Pact.

Referring Principles
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