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Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons

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    Bloomberg Law

    Citation. I.C.J. Advisory Opinion, 1996 I.C.J. 226

    Brief Fact Summary. A request of advisory opinions from the International Court of Justice regarding the legality of nuclear weapons was made by the General assembly and World Health Organization.


    Synopsis of Rule of Law. At the request of whatever body which may be authorized by or in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations to make such a request, the international Court of Justice may give an advisory opinion on any legal question.


    Issue. At the request of whatever body which may be authorized by or in accordance with the charter of the United Nations to make such a request, can the International Court of Justice give an advisory opinion on any legal question?


    Held. Yes. At the request of whatever body which may be authorized by or in accordance with the charter of the United Nations to make such a request, the International Court of Justice may give an advisory opinion on any legal question.
    The refusal to grant such an advisory opinion is based only compelling reasons. The General Assembly makes such a request only on the recommendation of the Charter of the United States, however, the Court cannot grant such an opinion to the World Health Organization because it lacks jurisdiction.


    Discussion. The argument that the Court should not be involved in rendering advisory opinion on the basis that such a reply might negatively affect disarmament negotiation was rejected by the Court. The Court also rejected the arguments that it would be exceeding its authority and acting in a law-making capacity. The reason why the Court did not concur with this later argument was that it simply stated the existing law and does not legislate, even if it must at times specify the application and extent of such law.



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