IRRC No. 316

Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the use of nuclear weapons under international law - A few thoughts on its strengths and weaknesses

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On 8 July 1996, the International Court of Justice finally rendered its Advisory Opinion on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons. The procedure had been dragging on since the start of the public sittings on 30 October 1995. Several deadlines set by the Court for reaching a decision came and went, ultimately giving rise to the fear that there would be no decisive majority to affirm the basic unlawfulness of the use of nuclear weapons. This would have been a bitter setback for the initiators of the Advisory Opinion proceeding and for the development of international law

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