- Title: World Court rejects Marshall Islands suit seeking nuclear disarmament
- Date: 5th October 2016
- Summary: THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS (OCTOBER 5, 2016) (REUTERS) DOORS OPENING AS COURT SESSION ENDS (SOUNDBITE) (English) LAWYER REPRESENTING MARSHALL ISLANDS, PHON VAN DEN BIESEN, SAYING: "It is very disappointing, it's very disappointing that the World Court is not able to have a clear view on what is a dispute or not, and an eight-eight outcome in a case like this is rather hard to understand." VAN DEN BIESEN LEAVING COURTHOUSE
- Embargoed: 20th October 2016 13:19
- Keywords: nuclear testing India Pakistan United Kingdom non-proliferation
- Location: THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS
- City: THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS
- Country: Netherlands
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,International/National Security
- Reuters ID: LVA00752QBR5Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The International Court of Justice on Wednesday (October 5) rejected suits filed by the tiny Marshall Islands against the world's nuclear powers that sought to force them to do more to disarm.
Though the suits failed on procedural grounds, India, Pakistan and Britain were brought to the court to answer the complaint at public hearings in April.
In its ruling in the country's case against India, the first of the three to be decided on Wednesday, the court said it had accepted Indian arguments that the ICJ, also known as the World Court, should not have jurisdiction in the case.
Judges said that while the Marshall Islands may not be satisfied with progress on nuclear disarmament, it had failed to show that it has any ongoing legal dispute with India fit for the court to adjudicate.
It later rejected the Marshall Islands' suit against Pakistan and a third one against Britain on the same grounds.
The other nuclear powers - including declared powers China, France, Russia and the United States, as well as undeclared nuclear states Israel and North Korea - did not respond to the suit the islands filed last year.
The Marshall Islands, population 53,000, was the site of dozens of atomic-bomb tests by the United States after World War Two. It had argued that nuclear powers were failing to adhere to the 1970 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, notably by developing a new generation of "tactical" nuclear weapons.
In 1996, at the request of the U.N. General Assembly, the International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion on nuclear weapons. Besides finding them probably illegal unless possibly used in self defence, it also found that countries are obliged "to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects."
But the court ruled that given its lack of jurisdiction, it would not consider the Marshall Islands' arguments on their merits.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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