Commentary and Analysis regarding UN Human Rights Committee General Comment no. 36; the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons; Human Rights, Democracy, and Nuclear Weapons
Available as download below
We are witnessing a resurgence of interest in the application of international human rights law to one of the principal threats to the human future: nuclear weapons. A general comment issued by the UN Human Rights Committee in 2018 finds the threat or use of nuclear weapons to be incompatible with respect for the right to life. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted a year earlier is suffused with a humanitarian perspective, protects the rights of victims of testing and use of nuclear arms, and cites human rights law and the principles of humanity in its preamble.
Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy (LCNP) twice brought together leading lawyers, law professors, and analysts to reflect on these developments, in December 2018 and in May 2019. This publication collects papers based on the speakers’ remarks.
- Prof. Roger Clark of Rutgers Law, LCNP Executive Director Ariana Smith, LCNP President Emeritus Peter Weiss, and Dr. Daniel Rietiker of the University of Lausanne examine and reflect upon the significance and implications of the finding of the UN Human Rights Committee.
- Bonnie Docherty of the Harvard Law International Human Rights Clinic addresses human rights aspects of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
- Andrew Lichterman of Western States Legal Foundation explores how human rights discourse could be a terrain for making connections between disarmament movements and other movements for a more fair, democratic, and ecologically sustainable society.
This publication is highly recommended reading for anyone seeking to understand how a human rights approach can contribute to the abolition of nuclear weapons.
List of Issues Submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee During its Periodic Review of the Russian Federation
129th SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE,
29 JUNE TO 30 JULY 2020
Submitted 1 June 2020 by:
LAWYERS COMMITTEE ON NUCLEAR POLICY
www.lcnp.org; johnburroughs [at] lcnp.org
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.
WESTERN STATES LEGAL FOUNDATION
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 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): Continue reading “Russian Nuclear Weapons Policy and the Right to Life”
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.
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:
Click on the button to load the content from safna.org.
Japanese Translation by JALANA:
Read more about the HRC statement here