Priorities for International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) for the next 5-10 years

Written by Daniel Rietiker, Phon van den Biesen (IALANA co-presidents), in cooperation with John Burroughs, director of the UN office of IALANA and with input from Aotearoa Lawyers for Peace, German IALANA, Japan Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (JALANA), Lawyers for Social Responsibility (Canada), and from a few individual members.


Climate change and the threat and use of nuclear weapons as well as the current Covid-19 pandemic must be considered to be among the most serious threats that humankind faces today. They have at least two features in common, namely that they are global in nature and that they can only be eliminated through global cooperation and leadership supported and assisted by the expertise and experience of civil society. It is likely that the current Covid-19 pandemic is only a first example of different forms of global pandemics that humanity will face more frequently in the near future. Two of those threats, nuclear weapons and climate change, are part of IALANA’s policy in the near future and are, therefore, covered in the present paper.

This paper is intended to summarize the near future of IALANA’s policy and to come up with projects that keep it relevant in the field. It lays out the organization’s priorities for the next 5 to 10 years. It is to be used for fund raising. It shall also allow IALANA members to decide whether, and to what extent, they want to be actively involved in our organization. They can sign up to certain projects and commit to their realization. Moreover, it may also help to involve a more diverse, new generation of lawyers. IALANA should seek to better connect with other civil society organizations dealing with nuclear weapons and/or human rights, climate change and development.

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Journal of International Law and Comity

Ladies and Gentlemen,

please find below a link to a new international law journal by Weeramantry Centre for Peace, Justice and International Law of which Vol. I was dedicated to the role of India and its civil society in the fight for a world free of nuclear weapons. For the time being, the journal is available online only. The introduction has been written by Daniel Rietiker, who is a member of the advisory board of the journal, and the articles have been selected within a students’ competition among many submissions received.

The main editors of the new journal belong to a newly created Weeramantry Centre in New Delhi.

Please feel free to circulate and spread these informations in your circles.

Best wishes,

Daniel Rietiker

View Volume 1

Russian Nuclear Weapons Policy and the Right to Life

List of Issues Submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee During its Periodic Review of the Russian Federation

29 JUNE TO 30 JULY 2020

Submitted 1 June 2020 by:

220 E. 49th St., New York, NY 10017 USA

Founded in 1981, LCNP is a nonprofit educational association of lawyers and legalscholars that engages in research and advocacy in support of the global elimination of nuclear weapons and a more just and peaceful world through respect for domestic and international law. LCNP serves as the United Nations office of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms.

655 13th Street, Suite 201, Oakland, CA 94612 USA

Founded in 1982, WSLF is a nonprofit organization that seeks to abolish nuclear weapons as an essential step in making possible a more secure, just, and environmentally sustainable world. Grounded in commitments to nonviolence and international law, WSLF provides independent information and analysis to a wide range of audiences. WSLF is an affiliateof the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms.

1. In paragraph 66 of General Comment No. 36[1] on the right to life set out in Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the United Nations Human Rights Committee stated (endnotes omitted):

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Michael Adams Lecture and Conversation at the United Nations by Peter Weiss

On November 21, LCNP and IALANA President Emeritus Peter Weiss delivered the J. Michael Adams Lecture and Conversation at the United Nations. He covered a range of topics, from decartelization to decolonization to human rights to the illegality of nuclear weapons, and more. In the Q&A, in response to a question from LCNP Board member Jonathan Granoff, he recalled that the 1981 founding of the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy was inspired by a paper on international law and nuclear weapons whose lead author was Professor Richard Falk, a member of the LCNP Board. 

A webcast of the event is linked at and is at:

JALANA Statement on the 2nd US-DPRK Summit

April 1, 2019

Takeya Sassaki,

President, Japan Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (JALANA)

Japan Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (JALANA) hereby expresses its views on the Hanoi Summit between Donald Trump, the president of the United States, and Kim Jong Un, the chairman of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held on February 27 and 28 as follows:

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UNHRC about Nuclear Weapons in General Comment No. 36

UNHRC about Nuclear Weapons: The Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy analyses the Comment about Nuclear Weapons by the Human Rights Committee in 2018. The general comment No. 36 considers the threat and use of nuclear weapons incompatible with the right to life.

The statement in the General Comment by the UNHRC about nuclear weapons was found in paragraph 66, stating “the threat or use of weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons, which are indiscriminate in effect and are of a nature to cause destruction of human life on a catastrophic scale is incompatible with respect for the right to life and may amount to a crime under international law. States parties must take all necessary measures to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including measures to prevent their acquisition by non-state actors, to refrain from developing, producing, testing, acquiring, stockpiling, selling, transferring and using them, to destroy existing stockpiles, and to take adequate measures of protection against accidental use, all in accordance with their international obligations. They must also respect their international obligations to pursue in good faith negotiations in order to achieve the aim of nuclear disarmament under strict and effective international control. And to afford adequate reparation to victims whose right to life has been or is being adversely affected by the testing or use of weapons of mass destruction, in accordance with principles of international responsibility.”

View the video of the discussion with the title “The Right to Life versus Nuclear Weapons: A Bold Intervention by the UN Human Rights Committee”

Chaired by Dr. John Burroughs (Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy), speakers were Dr. Roger S. Clark (Rutgers Law), Ariana Smith (CUNY School of Law), and Peter Weiss (Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights).

Learn more about the threat of Nuclear weapons here.IALANA Logo

Threat and use of nuclear weapons contrary to right to life, says UN Human Rights Committee

On 30 October 2018, the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC), which is in charge of the implementation of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), has adopted its General Comment (GC) no. 36 relating to the right to life (Article 6 ICCPR). It is in many respects a remarkable document and a new example for bridge-building between nuclear arms control and human rights. In para. 66, the HRC considers the threat and use of WMD, in particular nuclear weapons, incompatible with the right to life and reiterates the duties of the States Parties in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

Continute reading Daniel Rietiker’s text:

Threat and use of nuclear weapons contrary to right to life, says UN Human Rights Committee

Japanese Translation by JALANA:

Read more about the HRC statement here

Renew Nuclear Arms Control, Don’t Destroy It

By Andrew Lichterman and John Burroughs

A hard-earned lesson of the Cold War is that arms control reduces the risk of nuclear war by limiting dangerous deployments and, even more important, by creating channels of communication and understanding. But President Donald Trump and his National Security Advisor John Bolton appear to have forgotten, or never learned, that lesson.

In late October, Trump announced an intent to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo subsequently stated that the US will suspend implementation of the treaty in early February. While US signals have been mixed, initiation of withdrawal at that point or soon thereafter appears likely.

Agreed to in 1987 by the United States and the Soviet Union, the INF Treaty prohibits the two countries from deploying both nuclear and conventional missiles with ranges between 310 and 3420 miles.

The main reason cited for withdrawal is that Russia has tested and deployed ground-launched cruise missiles the treaty prohibits. Russia denies that the missiles violate the treaty and has made its own accusations, foremost that US ballistic missile defense launchers installed in Eastern Europe could be used to house treaty-prohibited cruise missiles.

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Presentation at United Nations First Committee

On October 17, Jackie Cabasso spoke to the United Nations First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) in New York, as part of a segment dedicated to statements by civil society organizations.

The statement, entitled Creating the Conditions for International Peace and Human Security”, was presented on behalf of Western States Legal Foundation and Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, members of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms and the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons.

Read the full statement