Marshall Islands begins world court nuclear disarmament case

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The tiny South Pacific state of the Marshall Islands began legal proceedings Monday against India at the United Nations' highest court, as part of cases against three of the world's nuclear powers aimed at breathing new life into disarmament negotiations.

See Full Article

The preliminary hearings focus on whether the International Court of Justice can accept cases filed by the Marshall Islands, home to the Bikini Atoll nuclear testing site, against India, Pakistan and Britain - urging those powers to resume negotiations to eradicate the world's nuclear weapons stockpile.

Monday's hearing came on the day that North Korea warned of an indiscriminate "pre-emptive nuclear strike of justice" on Washington and Seoul, in reaction to the start of huge U.S.-South Korean military drills.

Marshall Islands representative Tony deBrum said he watched one of the U.S. nuclear tests in his home country as a 9-year-old boy while fishing with his grandfather.

"The entire sky turned blood red," he told judges. He said some of his country's islands were "vaporized" by the tests.

The Marshall Islands filed cases against all nine nations that have declared or are believed to possess nuclear weapons: The U.S., Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. But only the cases against Britain, India and Pakistan got to this preliminary stage of proceedings, because the other six declined to take part, the Marshall Islands' legal team said.

Cases against Pakistan and Britain start Tuesday and Wednesday. India will argue on Thursday that the court has no jurisdiction. A decision on whether the case can go ahead will likely take weeks or months.

The Marshall Islands argues that the nuclear powers are legally obliged to negotiate disarmament, but deBrum said that instead, India is working on "quantitative buildup and qualitative improvement of its nuclear arsenal."

It is not the first time the world court has been asked to rule on the issue of nuclear weapons. In a landmark 1996 advisory opinion, the court said that using or threatening to use nuclear arms would "generally be contrary to" the laws of war and humanitarian law.

But it added that it could not definitively rule on whether the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be legal "in an extreme circumstance of self-defence, in which the very survival of a state would be at stake."

The judges in 1996 also unanimously stated that there is a legal obligation "to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Treyvonne Willis denied new trial

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Manitoba's highest court has denied a new trial for a man who claimed he carried out a contract killing under duress after he was threatened with death himself over a drug debt. Treyvonne Willis, 24, was convicted by a jury in April 2015 of first-degree murder for the stabbing death of 26-year-old Kaila Tran outside her St. Source
  • Hawaii summits could get more than 2 feet of snow

    World News CTV News
    HONOLULU -- The summits of Hawaii's Big Island could get more than two feet of snow, with a winter storm warning in effect through Saturday. Yes, it snows in Hawaii, Matthew Foster, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said he had to explain to some surprised out-of-state callers Friday. Source
  • Toronto-area doctor charged with first-degree murder in wife's death

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Police say a Toronto neurosurgeon is to appear in court Saturday facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of his wife. The body of Elana Fric Shamji, 40, was found Thursday in Vaughan, Ont. Source
  • Military advances fight against sexual misconduct

    Canada News CTV News
    Days after victims of military sexual assault raised concerns about lenient sentences, CTV News has learned of a new directive from Canada’s top soldier to remove from their jobs anyone who has committed sexual misconduct. Source
  • What U.S. presidents said about ties with China and Taiwan

    World News CTV News
    President-elect Donald Trump spoke Friday with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, a highly unusual and probably unprecedented move since the U.S. broke diplomatic ties with the self-governing island in 1979 and shifted to diplomatic recognition of China under a so-called "one-China" policy. Source
  • 21 Chinese miners trapped for 4 days confirmed dead

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING -- Twenty-one miners who were trapped for four days after an explosion hit their unlicensed coal mine have been confirmed dead, and four people have been arrested in connection with the disaster, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday. Source
  • Possible faculty member fatally stabbed at USC

    World News CTV News
    Los Angeles officials say a possible faculty member has been fatally stabbed at the University of Southern California. Los Angeles police Officer Drake Madison says the stabbing happened Friday afternoon and that the victim was a possible faculty member. Source
  • Professor fatally stabbed on USC campus, student arrested

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- A professor was stabbed to death on the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles on Friday and a suspect arrested in his death is a male student, a police spokeswoman said. Source
  • Amber Alert issued for Layla Sabry, 9, last seen in Welland, Ont.

    Canada News CBC News
    Police in Ontario have issued an Amber alert for a missing nine-year-old girl. Niagara Regional Police say Layla Sabry is believed to have been abducted. They describe Layla as white, about four-foot-two, with a thin build, brown hair, and brown eyes. Source
  • Ontario police cancel Amber Alert, 9-year-old girl still not found

    Canada News CBC News
    Police in Ontario have ended an Amber Alert that was issued Friday for a nine-year-old girl. The Niagara Regional Police Service said it cancelled the alert early Saturday morning, even though the girl had still not been located. Source