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Transboundary Use of Force, Article 18 of the OAS Charter, Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, U.S. Intervention in Panama 1989-1990

Subject Categories

Conflict of Laws | International Law | Law


The Grenada and Panama interventions contributed to the momentum of popular sovereignty. Not only did the United States remove tyrannical leaders from those two countries, but more importantly it set an example that has undoubtedly shaken other ruling elites that enjoy tyrannical control in their own countries. For even if some of those entrenched elites regard themselves as secure against popular uprising in their own countries (usually by the application of torture and brutality against political dissidents), they cannot now feel totally insulated against foreign humanitarian intervention. Thus, Grenada and Panama may very well act as catalysts in the current global revolution of popular sovereignty. In this respect, as well as on their own merits, the two interventions underscore the unraveling of statist conceptions of international law. The arguments of Professors Farer and Nanda, struggling to conform to the tautological jargon of statism, already seem anachronistic.