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  <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/02/bikini-atoll-nuclear-test-60-years>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 <http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/160/18888.pdf>, India
<http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/158/18884.pdf>and Pakistan <http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/159/18886.pdf>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) 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,

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 program

Date: Saturday 12 March, 2016

Venue: Humanity House,  Prinsegracht  8, The Hague, the Netherlands


Door open: 15.30 h Start: 16.00 h End:17.30 h Languague: English
Entrance: Free entrance, register on the Humanity House website


This program is organised by Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF), PAX, Soka
Gakkai International (SGI), International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear
Arms (IALANA) and Humanity House.