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The Agency of International Humanitarian Disarmament Law: The Case of Advocacy for Positive Obligations in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Abstract

The 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) not only bans nuclear weapons; it also obligates victim assistance, environmental remediation, and international cooperation and assistance. This chapter examines how these “positive obligations” were included in the TPNW, focusing on the “PosObs team” of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Critical Legal Geographers argue that law exercises agency independent of the people who enact or enforce it, shaping our thoughts, affect, and actions. ICAN PosObs mobilized the humanitarian disarmament legal tradition to convince states of the need for positive obligations. However, these same norms also put PosObs in conflict with other advocates. Humanitarian disarmament law thus exercised agency of its own in the TPNW negotiations, independent of the people who sought to use it.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-27611-9_3
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Correspondence to Matthew Breay Bolton .

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Bolton, M.B., Minor, E. (2020). The Agency of International Humanitarian Disarmament Law: The Case of Advocacy for Positive Obligations in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In: Bolton, M., Njeri, S., Benjamin-Britton, T. (eds) Global Activism and Humanitarian Disarmament. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-27611-9_3

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