Nuclear weapons under international law

ILPI Publications

ILPI’s Senior Partner Gro Nystuen together with Stuart Casey-Maslen and Annie Bersagel, edited a book titled Nuclear Weapons Under International Law which was published at Cambridge University Press in September 2014

Edited by Gro NystuenStuart Casey-Maslen, & Annie Bersagel
5 October 2014

KV book publication

A comprehensive treatment of nuclear weapons under key international law regimes, t
his book is a comprehensive treatment of nuclear weapons under key international law regimes.

Unique in its approach, the book draws upon contributions from expert legal scholars and international law practitioners who have worked with conventional and non-conventional arms control and disarmament issues. As a result, this book embraces academic consideration of legal questions within the context of broader political debates about the status of nuclear weapons under international law.

It critically reviews international law governing nuclear weapons with regard to the inter-state use of force, international humanitarian law, human rights law, disarmament law, and environmental law, and discusses where relevant the International Court of Justice’s 1996 Advisory Opinion.

Table of contents


Part I. Nuclear weapons and jus ad bellum Gro Nystuen and Stuart Casey-Maslen
1. Using force by means of nuclear weapons and requirements of necessity and proportionality ad bellum (Nobuo Hayashi)
2. Legality under jus ad bellum of the threat of use of nuclear weapons (Nobuo Hayashi)
3. Nuclear weapons and the separation of jus ad bellum and jus in bello (Jasmine Moussa)

Part II. Nuclear weapons and international humanitarian law:
4. The use of nuclear weapons under rules governing the conduct of hostilities (Stuart Casey-Maslen)
5. Nuclear weapons and the unnecessary suffering rule (Simon O’Connor)
6. Threats of use of nuclear weapons and international humanitarian law (Gro Nystuen)
7. The use of nuclear weapons as a reprisal under international humanitarian law (Stuart Casey-Maslen)

Part III. International criminal law:
8. Use of nuclear weapons as genocide, a crime against humanity, or a war crime (Stuart Casey-Maslen)
9. Use of nuclear weapons as an international crime and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Annie Golden Bersagel)

Part IV. International Environmental Law:
10. Use of nuclear weapons and protection of the environment during international armed conflict (Erik V. Koppe)
11. Environmental approaches to nuclear weapons (Martina Kunz and Jorge E. Viñuales)
12. The testing of nuclear weapons under international law (Don MacKay)

Part V. International Disarmament Law:
13. International law, nuclear weapon-free zones, and the proposed zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East (Marco Roscini)
14. Nuclear weapon-free zones: the political context (Cecilie Hellestveit and Daniel Mekonnen)
15. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (Gro Nystuen and Torbjørn Graff Hugo)
16. The legal meaning and implications of Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (Daniel H. Joyner)
17. Armed non-state actors and ‘nuclear terrorism’ (Stuart Casey-Maslen)

Part VI. International Human Rights Law:
18. Human rights law and nuclear weapons (Louise Doswald-Beck)
19. The right to a remedy and reparation for the use of nuclear weapons (Stuart Casey-Maslen)

Part VII. The Legality of Nuclear Weapons under International Law:
20. Conclusions on the status of nuclear weapons under international law (Gro Nystuen)

For more information about the book and to make a purchase, click here.