IALANA Bids Farewell to Judge Weeramantry
A giant of the law, Christopher Gregory Weeramantry, died peacefully at his home in Sri Lanka on January 5, 2017.
He was everything a lawyer could be: barrister, professor, judge. From 1967 to 1972 he served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and then as a judge of the highest tribunal on matters of international law in the world, the International Court of Justice in The Hague, from 1991 to 2000, the last three of those years as its Vice-President.
From 1972 to 1991 he taught at Monash University, Australia, and he was a frequent lecturer elsewhere, including Harvard and universities in Stellenbosch, Tokyo and Hong Kong. He was the recipient of numerous prizes and awards.
Renowned though he was as a legal scholar par excellence, he was more than that. He was an activist. The law, for him, was a guide to a better world and he was not afraid to speak and write with unacademic passion about areas of society where the law could remedy injustice or avert catastrophe. Human rights, peace, the environment, technology and nuclear weapons were such areas, the last perhaps even more than the others.
In his majestic 127 page dissent in the ICJ’s nuclear weapons case, he set out to demonstrate that the court’s opinion holding that threat and use of nuclear weapons are generally illegal under international law did not go far enough: he insisted that such threat and use are illegal under any circumstance whatsoever and just to make sure that everyone got his point he put these words in italics.
After the end of his term on the ICJ Judge Weeramantry – Christie to his friends – was active in IALANA, the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms, for some years as its Co-President. To say that he will be missed in the advocacy for a nuclear weapons free world is a gross understatement. We will miss his razor sharp mind and his warm friendship.
We extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife Rosemary and his entire family.
Peter Weiss, Peter Becker, and Takeya Sasaki
January 5, 2017
IALANA deeply regrets that the International Court of Justice, in the Marshall Islands’ three nuclear disarmament cases, failed to demonstrate that it is, truly, the World Court.
A Legal Instrument for the Prohibition and Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
Working Paper submitted by the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms to the Open-ended Working Group taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations
"Good Thinking" is a documentary on those who tried to push back on nuclear weapons, four plus years in the making. Imperfect, and perhaps nothing new, and a thousand more stories to be told, but for the general public it may be another tool that helps to introduce the concern, to widen the perspective, deepen the knowledge base and history, and encourage us all forward.
Please watch and share and check out the offical website: www.GoodThinkingTheDocumentary.net
- Instead of a Prologue
- Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Nuclear Zero law suits
- Liberty or Death? The Marshall Islands vs. the Nuclear-Armed States by Jacqueline Cabasso
- Q&A: The Marshall Islands’ Nuclear Disarmament Cases at the ICJ
- Report by Rick Wayman on the RMI Law Cases
- Opening Statement of the Republic of the Marshall Islands in „RMI vs Pakistan“ by Tony de Brum
- Nuclear weapons
- 2016 Open Ended Working Group by Alyn Ware
- IALANA statement to the OEWG
- Strange Spectacle: Nuclear Security Summit 2016
- Vancouver Declaration, February 11, 2011
- Stop Trident Report by Kate Hudson
- Speech by Reiner Braun, Co-President of the International Peace Bureau IPB,on the Manifestation of the Stop Trident Demonstration
- Stopp Ramstein
- Ramstein Campaign Appeal
- IPB Congress: “Disarm! For a Climate of Peace”
- World Congress Programme
- Programme NATO Counter Summit, July 2016
Public Event: Marshall Islands Fights Back in Nuclear Zero Lawsuit, 12 March, The Hague
12 March at Humanity House: Why is the Marshall Islands suing the nuclear weapon states at the International Court of Justice at The Hague? Meet the international legal team representing the Republic of the Marshall Islands and find out more about the story behind the lawsuits:
On March 1st, 1954, the United States exploded a hydrogen bomb, code-named ‘Bravo’, on Bikini Atoll. It spread radioactive fallout across the northern Marshall Islands, reaching other islands nearly 3,000 miles to the west. The Marshall Islands was used as a test ground for the US nuclear programme from 1946-1958. The country, once called the most contaminated place on earth, continues to be burdened with some of the highest cancer rates in the region following the 12 year of nuclear tests.
In April 2014, the Republic of the Marshall Islands filed lawsuits at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, bringing actions against all nine nuclear-armed states for failing to comply with their obligations under international law to pursue negotiations for the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons. The initial oral hearings in the cases against the United Kingdom, India and Pakistan will take place at the ICJ in March 2016.
The year 2016 also marks the 20th anniversary of the ICJ’s Advisory Opinion on nuclear weapons. The legal team will discuss how the ICJ’s 1996 ruling impacts the current cases against the nuclear-armed nations.
About the speakers
The legal team representing the Marshall Islands will come together in the Humanity House to share their expectations and individual motivation to work on this case.
A representative of the Marshall Islands (Tony de Brum, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, to be confirmed) will explain the current (health) situation in the Marshall Islands, Dutch lawyer Phon van den Biesen (International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms) will clarify the lawsuit and oral hearings procedures, John Burroughs (Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy) will discuss the lawsuits against India and Pakistan, and Laurie Ashton (Keller Rohrback L.L.P.) will talk about the case against the UK. Moderator is Rick Wayman from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF).
About the programme
Date: Saturday 12 March, 2016
Venue: Humanity House, Prinsegracht 8, The Hague, the Netherlands
Door open: 15.30 h
Start: 16.00 h
Einde: 17.30 h
Entrance: Free entrance, register on the Humanity House website
This programme is organised by Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF), PAX, Soka Gakkai International (SGI), International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) and Humanity House.
Implementing the legal norm for abolition
Presentation to the United Nations Open-ended Working Group on
Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations
Delivered by Dr Daniel Rietiker PhD
President of the Association of Swiss Lawyers for Nuclear Disarmament
(Swiss affiliate of IALANA)
CND and supporting organisations are working hard to build the biggest mobilisation against nuclear weapons in a generation. The Stop Trident demo on the 27th February 2016 could well prove to be a vital intervention ahead of the Parliamentary decision on whether to replace Trident, the UK's nuclear weapons system.
P5 Unity on the Iran Deal and the Fate of the NPT
Below is a letter that Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy sent on July 23 to New York Senators Schumer and Gillibrand urging support for the Iran agreement. If you are in the United States and have not done so already, it's definitely worth getting in touch with your senators and representatives on this extremely important matter.
The Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, a New York City-based nonprofit association of lawyers and legal scholars devoted to analyzing nuclear weapons policy in the framework of national and international law, submits this letter to urge your support for the agreement curbing Iran's nuclear program. It would be disastrous for the United States now to reject a carefully negotiated agreement supported by an overwhelming majority of the world's nations, including the Permanent Five members of the Security Council and all of our European allies. If the United States were now to walk away from the deal, unity among the world's major powers on crucial issues of nuclear nonproliferation would be unlikely ever to be achieved again.
Ami Ayalon, a former commander of the Israeli navy and a former director of the Shin Bet security service, stated in an interview last week that the agreement with Iran is "the best possible alternative for Israel, given the other available alternatives." He is right, and it is also the best available alternative for the United States. Rejection of the deal would cause the international sanctions regime to collapse, leaving Iran free to resume its nuclear program without restrictions. Even if deemed wise and lawful in the abstract, there is in practice no good military option: air strikes would at best set back the Iranian program for a few years, while risking another prolonged war in the Middle East, a war which would be opposed by most of our allies and by the United Nations. This would be a tragic mistake.
It receives little emphasis in the flood of commentary, but the agreement with Iran aims to ensure Iran's compliance with its obligation not to acquire nuclear weapons under a multilateral agreement, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Thus the agreement does not concern Iran only, but also the fate of a global treaty central to international peace and security, and more particularly future US-Russian cooperation on control and elimination of nuclear weapons.
And it's hardly mentioned at all that under Article VI of the same treaty, the United States and other members of the Permanent Five are obligated to negotiate in good faith the elimination of their nuclear arsenals - an obligation they are very far from fulfilling. For more on the Article VI requirement of good-faith negotiations, see the amicus brief LCNP just filed in the Marshall Islands' appeal of the dismissal of its Nuclear Zero case in US federal court.
- John Burroughs, Executive Director
Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy
contact [at] lcnp.org
A Revealing NPT Review Conference
There's a lot to unpack regarding the recently concluded NPT Review Conference. Despite the failure to reach agreement, there are some encouraging trends. See below for a concise guide! Plus the latest developments in the Marshall Islands Nuclear Zero cases in the International Court of Justice and more.
Activities at the NPT Review Conference 2015
Presentations Side Event: Nuclear Weapons in Europe
- Jean-Marie Collin (PNND, France) will come soon!
For the NPT Review Conference 2015 IALANA prepared a special newspaper. Among others, it includes articles on the RMI Nuclear Zero Cases, 70 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and recommendations for the NPTR2015
Read the full letter here
>> The principal judicial organ of the United Nations, which is responsible for binding interpretation of international law, decided that “the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of international humanitarian law” (ius in bello).<<
Words for George Farebrother
George was always there. Even before any of us oldtimers. Frederick Douglas said nothing happens without struggle. George would say nothing happens without organization, which is the implementation of struggle. He went about it calmly, methodically, dependably. History teacher that he was, he made sure the struggle was based on truth, a weapon more powerful than even the atom bomb.
It is doubtful that nearly four million declarations of public conscience could have been collected without him and Jean for the ICJ nuclear weapons case. They not only helped to collect them for the movement. They were the public conscience of the movement. .
Unlike other social scientists, who tend to be skeptical of the role of law in promoting progress, George had a deep abiding faith in law as necessary to progress. Which made it such a joy for us lawyers to work with him.
George was always there and he will continue to be. If he were a hero of the Latin American struggle, rather than the somewhat more staid British one, we would be shouting “George Farebrother, presente!” from the rooftops.
Peter Weiss, for the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy
February 19, 2015
The historic US nuclear testing site is taking its case for disarmament to the International Court of Justice.
Article by Peter Weiss in the Nation, January 26, 2015
Public Event: Back to the International Court of Justice: The Marshall Islands’ Nuclear Zero Lawsuits
Watch the videos here:
Friday, 5 December 2014, 2 – 5:30 pm, Vienna University of Technology, Karlsplatz 13, Vienna
Sponsored by the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
The world as we now know and inhabit it is imperiled by both nuclear weapons and global warming. No country better illustrates the twin existential threats than the Marshall Islands. LCNP is on the legal team representing the Marshall Islands in its Nuclear Zero cases in the International Court of Justice. And with Foreign Minister Tony deBrum we examined the two threats and what to do about them at a September 20 Climate Convergence workshop held in connection with the Peoples Climate March and the UN Climate Summit. See this eNews for more about these and other LCNP activities.
On Sep 26, we asked people around the world: How many nuclear weapons do you think are in the world? And how many should there be?
Check the videos here:
Check here a compliation video of actions:
NGO Activities at NPT Review Conference 2015
CALL TO ACTION: SPRING 2015 MOBILIZATION for a nuclear free, fair, democratic, ecologically sustainable and peaceful future
PRESS RELEASE, Sept 26 2014: International NGO Network Launches Plans for 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference - Demands Fulfillment of NPT through Commencement of Negotiations for Complete Abolition of Nuclear Weapons - Highlights Links to Climate Change and “Move the Money” Organizing Campaigns
Deadly Connections: Challenging Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power, and Climate Change
Workshop, September 20 2014
Nuclear weapons and climate change are the two existential threats that face humanity, and the military is one of the largest contributors to climate change. Part one of this workshop will consider the ways that climate change will intensify conflicts and war risks generated by a system based on competition among immense organizations and endless growth. It also will explore the role in the global economy of state-dependent high-tech enclaves, including the nuclear energy sector and the military-industrial complex. The second part of the workshop will provide perspectives from people working on a variety of initiatives from the local to the global aimed at finding ways to make progress when the politics in national capitals is locked up.
For more information click here
Report of the 69th anniversary of the dropping of the first nuclear bombs World Conference against A and H Bombs, Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Read the report by Reiner Braun here
News on the Republic of Marshall Islands Law Case
On August 21, the Marshall Islands will submit its 15-page response to the U.S. Motion to Dismiss. The U.S. will have the opportunity to reply to the RMI response on September 8, and there is a hearing scheduled at the Federal Court in Oakland on September 12.
The International Peace Bureau (IPB) will award the Sean MacBride Peace Prize to the people and government of the Marshall Islands. The prize recognizes RMI's courageous action in filing the Nuclear Zero Lawsuits against the nine nuclear-armed nations.
Newsweek has published a substantial article about the Nuclear Zero Lawsuits and the legacy of U.S. nuclear weapons testing in the Marshall Islands.
By Takeya Sasaki, Attorney at Law, President of the Japan Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms
On April 24, 2014, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) filed applications in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to hold the nine nuclear-armed states accountable for violations of international law with respect to their nuclear disarmament obligations under the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and customary international law. The respondent nuclear-armed states are the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel.
On May 3, 2014, peace and justice activists gathered to mark the 100 year anniversary of World War I, and to explore the state of peace, war, and international affairs today. The conference featured esteemed speakers from organizations and universities around the world.
On April 2 2014 a reception celebrated the contributions of Peter Weiss, LCNP President Emeritus and Co-President of the international IALANA, to nuclear disarmament and the international rule of law.