Tag Archives: ICJ

13 May 2014

A shared obligation to negotiate (and achieve?) nuclear disarmament

Every year since the International Court of Justice’s 1996 Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, the UN General Assembly has adopted by a large majority a follow-up resolution. Each resolution reiterates that ‘the continuing existence of nuclear weapons poses a threat to humanity and all life on Earth’, and underlines ‘the unanimous conclusion of the International Court of Justice that there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control’. The ICJ derived this obligation from Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which provides that

[e]ach of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.

On 24 April 2014 the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) instituted legal proceedings before the ICJ against nine nuclear weapons possessing states: France, India, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Israel, China, Russia and North Korea. (more…)

25 April 2014

The Marshall Islands files ‘unprecedented’ lawsuit against nuclear-armed states in the ICJ

On 24 April, the Republic of the Marshall Islands filed lawsuits in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against nine nuclear-armed states (the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea) for violations of international law regarding nuclear disarmament obligations according to the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and customary international law. Under Article VI of the NPT, states are required to pursue negotiations ‘in good faith’ on nuclear disarmament and ending the nuclear arms race, of which the nuclear-armed states continue to ignore. While the original five nuclear-armed states are parties to the NPT (US, Russia, Britain, France, and China), the newer nuclear-armed states (Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea) are not parties to the NPT. However, these states are still bound by the nuclear disarmament provisions under customary international law. (more…)

Source: The Guardian | Marshall Islands sues nine nuclear powers over failure to disarm
Source: The Wall Street Journal | Marshall Islands Sues Nine Nuclear-Armed Powers
Source: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation | Pacific nation challenges nine nuclear-armed states in lawsuits before the world court

11 November 2013

ICJ recalls obligation of Cambodia, Thailand and the international community to cooperate to protect the Temple of Preah Vihear

In its judgment of 11 November on the Request for Interpretation of the Judgment of 15 June 1962 in the Case concerning the Temple of Preah Vihear (Cambodia v. Thailand), the International Court of Justice, apart from deciding that Cambodia had sovereignty over the whole territory of the promontory of Preah Vihear, noted that the Temple of Preah Vihear is a site of religious and  cultural significance for the peoples of the region and is now listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site. It recalled that  under Article 6 of the World Heritage Convention, to which both states are parties, ‘Cambodia and Thailand must co-operate between themselves and with the international community in the protection of the site as a world heritage. In addition, each State is under an obligation not to “take any deliberate measures which might damage directly or indirectly” such heritage’.

Source: ICJ | Request for Interpretation of the Judgment of 15 June 1962 in the Case Concerning the Temple of Preah Vihear (Cambodia v. Thailand) | Judgment | 11 November 2013

7 February 2012

Palau reiterates call for ICJ Advisory Opinion on responsibility for climate change

After that deliberations on a possible General Assembly resolution began in New York, the President of Palau, Johnson Toribiong, said that actions by individual States are not enough to ‘stem the rising tides or the flood of global emissions’ and that an Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice is an appropriate recourse that ‘will give us the guidance we need on what all states must do.’ In the view of the Palauan President ‘the small island states are least responsible’. Palau also intends ‘to raise the consciousness of the world community to the issue of responsibility’ in the process.

Palau had announced plans in September to seek an Advisory Opinion on whether countries have a legal responsibility to ensure that any activities on their territory that emit greenhouse gases do not harm other states.

Source: UN multimedia | ICJ / Climate change

16 December 2011

Ugandan judge elected to the ICJ

Julia Sebutinde has been elected to the International Court of Justice by the General Assembly and the Security Council, thus filling the remaining vacancy on Court. The new judge will serve a nine-year term starting on 5 February 2012.

Source: UN Press Release

See also: Blogpost on EJIL:Talk!

← Older posts