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Nuclear Weapons in the 21th Century - A Legal Examination of the Possession of Unmodern Nuclear Weapons and International Law

Klingberg, Jacob LU (2019) JURM02 20191
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract
In its Advisory Opinion: Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, the ICJ affirmed that the principles and rules of IHL and international environmental law are applicable to the question of nuclear weapons.
Further, the effects of a nuclear weapon explosion are undoubtedly disastrous, it is however not the effects of a detonation that separates unmodern nuclear weapons from modern nuclear weapons, it is their respective level of security. Modern nuclear weapons are equipped with Permissive Action Links and tamper resistance, which makes them practically impossible to detonate, even under the most optimum circumstances, without an authorizing code. Unmodern nuclear weapons do not have these modern security features which makes an... (More)
In its Advisory Opinion: Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, the ICJ affirmed that the principles and rules of IHL and international environmental law are applicable to the question of nuclear weapons.
Further, the effects of a nuclear weapon explosion are undoubtedly disastrous, it is however not the effects of a detonation that separates unmodern nuclear weapons from modern nuclear weapons, it is their respective level of security. Modern nuclear weapons are equipped with Permissive Action Links and tamper resistance, which makes them practically impossible to detonate, even under the most optimum circumstances, without an authorizing code. Unmodern nuclear weapons do not have these modern security features which makes an unauthorized detonation practically possible.
In the fields of IHL and international environmental law there are two rules that have direct legal consequences for the possession of unmodern nuclear weapons: Article 58, paragraph B of Additional Protocol I and Draft Articles on the Prevention of Transboundary Harm from Hazardous Activities, Article 3.
Article 58, paragraph B of Additional Protocol I, limits the possibilities of placements for nuclear weapons (both modern and unmodern). States are not allowed to place nuclear weapons in, or in the near proximity of, densely populated areas. The restriction in question derives from the threat that nuclear weapons pose to the public by their destructive capabilities.
In the field of international environmental law, Draft Articles on the Prevention of Transboundary Harm from Hazardous Activities, Article 3, prescribes that all States shall take all appropriate measures to prevent significant transboundary harm or at any event to minimize the risk thereof. The obligation to act preventive is limited to hazardous activities a category which nuclear activities is a part of. Draft Article 3 could be interpreted as prohibiting the existence of unmodern nuclear weapons, or at least prescribing States to keep them in safe locations. Nevertheless, does Draft Article 3 constitute the most influential part of international law regarding the legal relationship between the possession of unmodern nuclear weapons and international law. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
I sitt rådgivande yttrande: Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, bekräftade den Internationella domstolen att reglerna och principerna inom den internationella humanitära rätten och den internationella miljörätten är tillämpliga gällande kärnvapen.

Vidare, skulle effekterna av en kärnvapenexplosion otvivelaktigt vara förödande, det är dock inte effekterna av en detonation som särskiljer omoderna kärnvapen från moderna kärnvapen, det är deras respektive säkerhetsnivå. Moderna kärnvapen är utrustade med Permissive Action Links och tamper resistance, vilket gör dem, även vid de mest optimala förutsättningarna, praktiskt omöjliga att detonera utan en auktoriserande kod. Omoderna kärnvapen är inte utrustade med sådana moderna... (More)
I sitt rådgivande yttrande: Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, bekräftade den Internationella domstolen att reglerna och principerna inom den internationella humanitära rätten och den internationella miljörätten är tillämpliga gällande kärnvapen.

Vidare, skulle effekterna av en kärnvapenexplosion otvivelaktigt vara förödande, det är dock inte effekterna av en detonation som särskiljer omoderna kärnvapen från moderna kärnvapen, det är deras respektive säkerhetsnivå. Moderna kärnvapen är utrustade med Permissive Action Links och tamper resistance, vilket gör dem, även vid de mest optimala förutsättningarna, praktiskt omöjliga att detonera utan en auktoriserande kod. Omoderna kärnvapen är inte utrustade med sådana moderna säkerhetsfunktioner vilket gör dem praktiskt möjliga att detonera utan de auktoriserande koderna.

Det finns två regler inom den internationella humanitära rätten och den internationella miljörätten som har direkta rättsliga konsekvenser för innehavet av omoderna kärnvapen: Artikel 58, paragraf B i Additional Protocol I och Draft Articles on the Prevention of Transboundary Harm from Hazardous Activities, Artikel 3.

Artikel 58, paragraf B i Additional Protocol I, begränsar placeringsmöjligheterna för kärnvapen (både moderna och omoderna). Stater är inte tillåtna att placera kärnvapen i, eller i närheten av tätbefolkade områden. Denna restriktion har sin grund i det hot som kärnvapnens destruktiva kapacitet utgör för allmänheten.

Inom den internationella miljörätten föreskriver, Draft Articles on the Prevention of Transboundary Harm from Hazardous Activities, Artikel 3, att alla stater ska vidta alla lämpliga åtgärder för att förhindra betydande gränsöverskridande skada eller åtminstone minimera sådan risk. Skyldigheten att agera preventivt är dock begränsat till verksamhet av särskilt farligt slag en kategori som kärnvapen ingår i. Artikel 3 i Draft Articles kan tolkas innebära ett förbud av omoderna kärnvapen, eller i vart fall ett föreläggande om en statsskyldighet att förvara dessa vapen under säkra förhållanden. Oavsett, utgör Artikel 3 i Draft Articles den mest betydande delen av internationell rätt rörande det rättsliga förhållandet mellan innehavet av omoderna kärnvapen och internationell rätt. (Less)
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author
Klingberg, Jacob LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20191
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Public international law, Nuclear weapons
language
English
id
8977340
date added to LUP
2019-06-17 14:37:43
date last changed
2019-06-17 14:37:43
@misc{8977340,
  abstract     = {In its Advisory Opinion: Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, the ICJ affirmed that the principles and rules of IHL and international environmental law are applicable to the question of nuclear weapons.
Further, the effects of a nuclear weapon explosion are undoubtedly disastrous, it is however not the effects of a detonation that separates unmodern nuclear weapons from modern nuclear weapons, it is their respective level of security. Modern nuclear weapons are equipped with Permissive Action Links and tamper resistance, which makes them practically impossible to detonate, even under the most optimum circumstances, without an authorizing code. Unmodern nuclear weapons do not have these modern security features which makes an unauthorized detonation practically possible. 
In the fields of IHL and international environmental law there are two rules that have direct legal consequences for the possession of unmodern nuclear weapons: Article 58, paragraph B of Additional Protocol I and Draft Articles on the Prevention of Transboundary Harm from Hazardous Activities, Article 3. 
Article 58, paragraph B of Additional Protocol I, limits the possibilities of placements for nuclear weapons (both modern and unmodern). States are not allowed to place nuclear weapons in, or in the near proximity of, densely populated areas. The restriction in question derives from the threat that nuclear weapons pose to the public by their destructive capabilities. 
In the field of international environmental law, Draft Articles on the Prevention of Transboundary Harm from Hazardous Activities, Article 3, prescribes that all States shall take all appropriate measures to prevent significant transboundary harm or at any event to minimize the risk thereof. The obligation to act preventive is limited to hazardous activities a category which nuclear activities is a part of. Draft Article 3 could be interpreted as prohibiting the existence of unmodern nuclear weapons, or at least prescribing States to keep them in safe locations. Nevertheless, does Draft Article 3 constitute the most influential part of international law regarding the legal relationship between the possession of unmodern nuclear weapons and international law.},
  author       = {Klingberg, Jacob},
  keyword      = {Public international law,Nuclear weapons},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Nuclear Weapons in the 21th Century - A Legal Examination of the Possession of Unmodern Nuclear Weapons and International Law},
  year         = {2019},
}