Argument: The threat or use of nuclear weapons is illegal

Issue Report: Abolition of nuclear weapons


  • “Six Arguments for Abolishing Nuclear Weapons”. Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. 1999 – “The threat or use of nuclear weapons has been declared generally illegal by the World Court. The July 8, 1996 decision of the International Court of Justice stated that it is generally illegal to use or to threaten to use nuclear weapons. From a legal point of view, it would be virtually impossible to use nuclear weapons without violating the laws of armed conflict. The International Security and Arms Control Committee of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences concluded that ‘the inherent destructiveness of nuclear weapons, combined with the unavoidable risk that even the most restricted use of such weapons would escalate to broader attacks, makes it extremely unlikely that any contemplated threat or use of nuclear weapons would meet these [the Court’s] criteria.’ If nuclear armed nations are serious about upholding international law, they ought to immediately commence negotiations for eliminating and prohibiting all nuclear weapons.”
  • “Nuclear Weapons Illegal! World Court Issues Landmark Opinion”. Retrieved 2.11.08