LOOKING BACK AND LOOKING AHEAD: the 25th anniversary of the 1996 ICJ Advisory Opinion on the Legality of Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons!

On 8 July 1996, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) handed down its Advisory Opinion on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons. It was the first authoritative international judicial opinion on nuclear weapons since their development in the 1940s. Moreover, it is generally considered one of the most important opinions that the ICJ has delivered.

In spite of the, sometimes, controversial conclusions drawn by the, lowest possible, majority of Judges, it functions as an important reference for civil society in its work towards the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Leading international lawyers and activists, professors of international law and experts on arms control and disarmament law will discuss the importance of the Opinion and its relevance for the present day struggle towards nuclear disarmament.  The webinar will also address more recent developments, such as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the General Comment no. 36 on the right to life of the UN Human Rights Committee. Finally, it will address the question of what lessons can be drawn from the opinion regarding achievement of a world without nuclear weapons.

Program 8 July 2021:

1st Session
Looking Back: General Discussion of the Advisory Opinion

5 pm CEST
Opening and Introductory Remarks
Phon van den Biesen, Attorney at Law in Amsterdam, Co-President IALANA

UK Nuclear Policy and the Nuclear Weapons Advisory Opinion
Christine Chinkin, Emeritus Professor of International Law, London School of Economics (LSE)

Q and A

The Legal Effect of Advisory Opinions
Paolo Palchetti, Professor of International Law, Université de Paris (Sorbonne 1)

Q and A

General Observations
Peter Weiss, President Emeritus IALANA

The World Court Project
Alyn Ware, Former Executive Director, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy; Global Coordinator, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament

Video Message from Hiroshima
Takeya Sasaki, Co-president IALANA


2nd Session
Looking Ahead: Current and Future Trends

6.45 CEST
Opening and Introductory Remarks
John Burroughs, Senior Analyst, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, and Vice President IALANA

Nuclear Weapons and Human Rights
Daniel Rietiker, International Law Lecturer, Lausanne University, Co-President IALANA

Observations re Previous Presentation
Manfred Mohr, Professor of International Law, Board Member IALANA Germany

Q and A

Video Message from JALANA
Kenichi Okubo, President JALANA

Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
Amela Skiljan, Vice-chair of IALANA Germany, PhD candidate

Q and A

Closing Remarks
Phon van den Biesen

8.00 CEST
End of Webinar

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

Basel Declaration on human rights and trans-generational crimes resulting from nuclear weapons and nuclear energy

The participants in the international conference Human Rights, Future Generations and Crimes in the Nuclear Age, held in Basel from September 14-17, 2017, affirm that the risks and impacts of nuclear weapons, depleted uranium weapons and nuclear energy, which are both transnational and trans-generational, constitute a violation of human rights, a transgression of international humanitarian and environmental law, and a crime against future generations. Continue reading “Basel Declaration on human rights and trans-generational crimes resulting from nuclear weapons and nuclear energy”