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Re: two questions

[ the rest of this message is actaully from Hugh Stevens
<>.  For those who don't know, Ramsey Clark is a
former US Attorney General. ]

Seb wrote:
"I don't personally know of any cases where actual states (rather than
opposition parties or other organisations) have challenged the legality of
sanctions (as opposed to air stikes). ... maybe someone else can help you?"

Reply from Hugh:
The nearest anyone got to a successful action through the instituions of
international law was the case brought by Nicaragua to the International
Court of Justice during the US blockade of that country; Nicaragua
effectively won, but at that moment the Sandinista government fell and the
question became obsolete.
Since that time Ramsey Clark has been hoping another country might take up a
similar case; this was one of the aims of our establishment of the
International Commission of Inquiry on Eocnomic Sanctions, one of whose
co-Presidents was Father Miguel D'Escoto, who was Foreign Minister of
Nicaragua at the time of the blockade and led the ICJ case.
We invited Father Miguel over to Britain on two occasions, once with Ramsey
Clark, and made some headway in laying a basis for such a campaign.  We had
representatives of Libya, Cuba, North Korea, etc., with us, and of course
discussed it with Iraqis too, and Sudanese.   But we ran out of money,
particularly as no country (and hence state funding) could be found to bring
a case.  Anyone got a suitable country with a few bucks?  If so, we'll have
another go -- Ramsey, Father Miguel and Co. would undoubtedly all swing
straight back into action.  I have been to Iraq three times, North Korea
five times, Libya eight times, Sudan once, and have discussed it with
Justice Ministers, Foreign Ministers, etc., etc., but somehow nobody yet
seems to think the time has come for another such major legal project at
state level.
We still have some of the legal documentation we did, including an
international appeal, drafted by myself and some legal academics, based on
some of Ramsey's work.  Also, there was very valuable work done by
equivalent campaigns at around the same time (1995-7) in Madrid, Rome and
Nice to have a new batch of people asking about these things.
Hugh Stephens

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