Legal resolution of nuclear non-proliferation disputes

Legal resolution of nuclear non-proliferation disputes 14 February 2013

Legal resolution can handle politically sensitive issues such as the resolution of inter alia nuclear non-proliferation disputes.

The challenge to use legal resolution in nuclear non-proliferation disputes proposes to explore the viability of resolution of nuclear non-proliferation disputes through the International Court of Justice and international arbitration. The IAEA Statute, IAEA Safeguards Agreements and the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material contain compromissory clauses that give jurisdiction to these fora.

Moreover, justiciability should not prove much of a barrier either, as recent jurisprudence shows how legal resolution can handle such politically sensitive disputes, inter alia. The impartiality and procedural safeguards of legal resolution should make it an acceptable option for target States and the international community, especially via-à-vis the procedural shortcomings and general heavy-handedness of Security Council involvement under UN Charter Chapter VII in this area. While legal resolution is not necessarily the panacea to the world’s problems with nuclear proliferation, it nevertheless represents an option that States and commentators all too often have ignored.

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