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The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: A Further Confirmation of the Human- and Victim-Centred Trend in Arms Control Law

  • Daniel RietikerEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

It is not exaggerated to consider the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), adopted on 7 July 2017, a paradigm shift in arms control law. The reasons for this suggestion not only lies in the fact that it is the first potentially universal treaty dealing with nuclear weapons that has been adopted since the 1997 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, but even more in its nature and logic that are deeply inspired by humanitarian principles, aiming at protecting the human being and future generations, much more than States’ security. It therefore follows the path of the 1996 Ottawa Convention on the prohibition of anti-personnel mines and the 2008 Oslo Convention on cluster munitions. The author will demonstrate the human- and victim-centred approach of the TPNW based on several elements, namely the preparatory work leading to the new treaty, the preamble expressing its object and purpose, the prohibition of use of nuclear weapons, the duty to assist victims of use and testing of nuclear weapons and the duty to provide for environmental remediation. In the section dealing with the prohibition on use of nuclear weapons, one of the key clauses of the new treaty, the legality of such use will be assessed under international humanitarian law and human rights law. More than previous authors having conducted research in this field, the author pays due attention to the relevant human rights law, a body of law that offers, from his point of view, certain advantages for victims of nuclear weapons by, inter alia, establishing specialized courts and by singling out particularly vulnerable groups of people, such as women, children and indigenous peoples.

Keywords

International humanitarian law human rights law Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) preamble victim assistance Environmental Remediation Use of Nuclear Weapons Testing of Nuclear Weapons Indigenous Peoples Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines Oslo Convention on Cluster Munitions 

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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser press and the authors 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Law, Criminal Sciences and Public AdministrationUniversity of LausanneLausanne-DorignySwitzerland

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