What happens when a small group of islands in the Pacific Ocean take on the world’s nuclear powers by suing them at the International Court of Justice in The Hague?
In April 2015, the Republic of the Marshall Islands filed lawsuit against the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Israel, Pakistan and North-Korea – the world’s nine countries that possess nuclear weapons. According to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, these countries are failing to comply with their obligations under international law to pursue negotiations for the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons. This is why they are now trying to enforce their obligations relating to nuclear disarmament through the International Court of Justice and the U.S. Federal District Court.
Between 1946 and 1958, the Marshall Islands were used as a testing site for the American nuclear programme. To this day, the islands are faced with the consequences of these nuclear tests, including a very high cancer rate.
The first oral hearings against the UK, India and Pakistan take place at the International Court of Justicein March. Will the Marshall Islands win these cases? What’s at stake? Members of the legal team representing the Marshall Islands will be at Humanity House to share their personal stories as well as the impact these cases could have on global nuclear disarmament.
About the speakers
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Marshall Islands Tony de Brum, Phon van den Biesen (Co-Agent of the Marshall Islands, lawyer (van den Biesen Kloostra Advocaten), John Burroughs (Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy), Laurie Ashton (Keller Rohrback L.L.P.).
Moderated by Rick Wayman of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF).
About this program
This program is organized by Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF), Pax, Soka Gakkai International (SGI), International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) en Humanity House.