New essay in AJIL, on International Court of Justice nuclear weapons rulings

Pleased to note my most recent publication, which appears in the latest edition of the American Journal of International Law, in the section that analyzes recent judgments. Entitled “International Decisions: Obligations Concerning Negotiations Relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament,” it may be found at 111 AJIL 439 (2017).

The essay sets forth key aspects of 3 judgments (available here) that the International Court of Justice issued in October 2016 – as well as the response to those rulings by one party, the United Kingdom. It offers thoughts on potential future nuclear disarmament efforts. (It went to press before adoption of one such effort, the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which at this writing has 3 states parties and 53 signatories, none of them nuclear weapons states.)

My article, which also forms part of Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center Research Paper Series at SSRN, may be downloaded at this SSRN link.

Here’s the abstract:

“In a trio of decisions, the International Court of Justice rejected the applications in which the Republic of the Marshall Islands claimed that three large states known to possess nuclear weapons, India, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom, had breached their international obligations to undertake and conclude negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament. This essay discusses those decisions, as well as the United Kingdom’s subsequent limitation of the circumstances under which it will accept the ICJ’s jurisdiction over such complaints. This development, coupled with the Court’s own narrowing of circumstances in which such an application will be accepted, make the likelihood of an eventual ruling on the nuclear disarmament issue quite remote.”

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