The 1996 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice – Looking back and ahead on nuclear disarmament

Check this superbe article published in Arms Control Today (July/Sept 2016) by  John Burroughs, executive director of the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, which is the UN office of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms. He is a member of the Marshall Islands’ international legal team in the cases currently pending before the ICJ.

The 1996 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) was the culmination of a decades-long debate on the legality of nuclear weapons. In recent years, it has shaped how international law is invoked by the initiative focused on the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons use and served as a foundation for the nuclear disarmament cases brought by the Marshall Islands in the court.

In his article, John, who was personally involved in the ICJ’s opinion, looks back on this historic moment. He also gives a comprehensive picture on the current debate on nuclear disarmament, reiterating the duty of States to negotiate in good faith towards a world without nuclear weapons.




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