Islands’ Lawsuit Against Nuclear Powers Elicits Muted Response

Global Security Newswire Staff
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
April 25, 2014, 9:28 a.m.

The United States had no im­me­di­ate re­ac­tion to a law­suit filed by a na­tion where it staged nuc­le­ar tests early in the Cold War, Re­u­ters re­ports.

The Mar­shall Is­lands on Thursday an­nounced leg­al ac­tions against Wash­ing­ton and eight oth­er gov­ern­ments it charged with “flag­rant vi­ol­a­tion of in­ter­na­tion­al law,” and de­man­ded ac­tion by the coun­tries to com­ply with in­ter­na­tion­al dis­arm­a­ment com­mit­ments.

The plaintiff coun­try pur­sued leg­al steps spe­cific­ally against Wash­ing­ton at the Fed­er­al Dis­trict Court in San Fran­cisco, and against all nine known and pre­sumed nuc­le­ar-cap­able na­tions at the In­ter­na­tion­al Court of Justice in The Hag­ue, Neth­er­lands.

The Mar­shall Is­lands provided no ad­vance warn­ing to the gov­ern­ments it is su­ing, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­por­ted. U.S. State De­part­ment spokes­wo­man Jen Psaki did not re­spond on Thursday to a ques­tion on the leg­al steps, ac­cord­ing to Re­u­ters.

The 46-year-old Nuc­le­ar Non­pro­lif­er­a­tion Treaty re­quires sig­nat­or­ies in pos­ses­sion of atom­ic ar­sen­als — China, France, Rus­sia, the United King­dom and the United States — to pur­sue “good faith” talks on nuc­le­ar dis­arm­a­ment.

In its case against the United States, the is­land re­pub­lic called on Wash­ing­ton to act with­in 12 months of a pos­sible fa­vor­able rul­ing “to com­ply with its ob­lig­a­tions … in­clud­ing by call­ing for and con­ven­ing ne­go­ti­ations for nuc­le­ar dis­arm­a­ment in all its as­pects.”

The com­plain­ant said Is­rael, In­dia, Pakistan and North Korea also are “bound by [the treaty’s] nuc­le­ar dis­arm­a­ment pro­vi­sions un­der cus­tom­ary law,” even though they are not part of the non­pro­lif­er­a­tion re­gime.

The case promp­ted a skep­tic­al ini­tial re­ac­tion from Is­rael, which has neither con­firmed nor denied pos­sess­ing nuc­le­ar weapons.

Is­raeli for­eign min­istry spokes­man Paul Hirschson said he had not re­viewed de­tails about the is­land na­tion’s leg­al ac­tions, but sug­ges­ted that its case against coun­tries out­side the Non­pro­lif­er­a­tion Treaty “doesn’t have any leg­al legs.”

What We're Following See More »
FIRST CHANGE IN FOUR DECADES
Congress Passes Chemical Regulations Overhaul
15 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

The House on Tuesday voted 403-12 "to pass an overhaul to the nation’s chemical safety standards for the first time in four decades. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act aims to answer years of complaints that the Environmental Protection Agency lacks the necessary authority to oversee and control the thousands of chemicals being produced and sold in the United States. It also significantly clamps down on states’ authorities, in an effort to stop a nationwide patchwork of chemical laws that industry says is difficult to deal with."

Source:
NO MORE INDEPENDENT VOTERS?
GOP Could Double Number of Early Primaries
52 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"Leaders of the Republican Party have begun internal deliberations over making fundamental changes to the way its presidential nominees are chosen, a recognition that the chaotic process that played out this year is seriously flawed and helped exacerbate tensions within the party." Among the possible changes: forbidding independent voters to cast ballots in Republican primaries, and "doubling the number of early states to eight."

Source:
LEVERAGE
Kasich Tells His Delegates to Remain Pledged to Him
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

Citing the unpredictable nature of this primary season and the possible leverage they could bring at the convention, John Kasich is hanging onto his 161 delegates. "Kasich sent personal letters Monday to Republican officials in the 16 states and the District of Columbia where he won delegates, requesting that they stay bound to him in accordance with party rules."

Source:
EFFECTIVE NEXT MONTH
House GOP Changes Rules for Spending Measures
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Speaker Paul Ryan is changing the rules of how the House will consider spending measures to try to prevent Democrats from offering surprise amendments that have recently put the GOP on defense. ... Ryan announced at a House GOP conference meeting Tuesday morning that members will now have to submit their amendments ahead of time so that they are pre-printed in the Congressional Record, according to leadership aides." The change will take effect after the Memorial Day recess.

Source:
LOST BY HALF A PERCENTAGE POINT
Sanders Wants a Recount in Kentucky
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

Bernie Sanders "signed a letter Tuesday morning requesting a full and complete check and recanvass of the election results in Kentucky ... where he trails Hillary Clinton by less than one-half of 1 percent of the vote. The Sanders campaign said it has asked the Kentucky secretary of state to have election officials review electronic voting machines and absentee ballots from last week's primary in each of the state's 120 counties.

Source:
×