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093- Legality of a Use by a State of Nuclear Weapons in Armed Conflicts

In a letter dated August 27th, 1993, the World Health Organization (WHO) requested that International Court of Justice (ICJ) issue an advisory opinion on the following question: “In view of the health and environmental effects, would the use of nuclear weapons by a State in war or other armed conflict be a breach of its obligations under international law including the WHO Constitution ?”

In its opinion delivered on July 8th, 1996, the Court ruled that it could not examine the proposed question. Indeed, the Court bases its jurisdiction on three cumulative criteria:

  1. The agency requesting the opinion had to be duly authorized, under the Charter, to request opinions of the Court ;
  2. The opinion requested had to be on a legal question ;
  3. That question had to be one arising within the scope of the activities of the requesting agency. This last condition was not met according to the ICJ

Advisory Opinion of 08-07-1996.pdf

This summary is provided for informational purposes only, does not involve the responsibility of Dome and should in no way be used as a substitute for a careful reading of the judgment and order of the case.