Current Developments, Public International Law, Part I
International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Vol. 60, Page 209 (January, 2011)
18 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2012
Date Written: January 2011
This article examines a number of major developments in international law and State policy regarding nuclear weapons which have occurred over the past two years. However, in order to understand the context and significance of these developments, I must first very briefly address what has gone on previously in this area of international relations.
I have argued elsewhere that over the course of the decade ending in 2008 the original balance of principles underlying the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which comprises the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation legal regime, has been distorted, particularly by nuclear-weapon-possessing governments, led by the United States, in favor of a disproportionate prioritization of non-proliferation principles, and an unwarranted under-prioritization of peaceful use and disarmament principles. I also argue that this distortion of principled balance by nuclear weapon states has resulted in a number of erroneous legal interpretations of the NPT’s provisions. These misinterpretations, in turn, have been used to form the legal basis for NPT Nuclear Weapon States’ (NWS) policies relevant to the NPT regime, a number of which have unlawfully prejudiced the legitimate legal interests of NPT Non-nuclear Weapon States (NNWS), pursuant to the NPT’s grand bargain.
Keywords: international law, arms control, nuclear, non-proliferation
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