* World Court Project * Country Testimonies *

PEACE PALACE, THE HAGUE -- ORAL TESTIMONY was held on the legality of threat or use of nuclear weapons, October 30 to November 15, 1995, from 21 countries, from Australia to Zimbabwe. Of 43 countries which submitted written opinions, fully two-thirds declared nuclear weapons are illegal.

30th - Monday
WHO - Illegal / health & human rights
Australia - illegal, (schizoid)--first said court shouldn't rule nuclear weapons ARE legal),
deterrence a "temporary necessity" -- BUT endanger civilian population; violate fundamental
human rights, law of armed conflict; threaten environment; tests are "use" and possession
is "threat" (!!);
1st - Wednesday
Egypt - illegal; public conscience mandates global disarmament
France - legal; deterrence; WHO exceeds authority
2nd - Thursday
Germany - deterrence (don't want weapons, want protection)
(Colombia & Guyana withdrew-illegal per written submission.)**
3rd - Friday
Indonesia - illegal, abuse of power, THREAT is illegal, possession is threat
Mexico - illegal; may withdraw from NPT if nuclear states ignore responsibility
to abide by Article 6
6th - Monday
Iran - illegal under fundamental environmental and humanitarian law, NPT
Italy - court has no jurisdiction (NATO position, contravening Italian Parliament!)
7th - Tuesday
Japan - "use is contrary to spirit of humanity"; gov't disavowed (but allowed)
dramatic appeals by Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki re effects
Malaysia - illegal (a leader of 113-nation Non-Aligned Movement)
9th - Thursday
New Zealand - illegal, strong statement against nuclear testing
Philippines - illegal, burden on nuclear powers to prove threat/use permitted
10th - Friday
Qatar - illegal under NPT, NFZ treaties of Rarotonga & Tlatelolco
Russia - no ban yet / deterrence / however, favor eventual prohibition
13th - Monday
Samoa - illegal, strong statement
San Marino - illegal; investment immoral amid global poverty, hunger, disease
14th - Tuesday
Solomon Islands - illegal, environmental & human rights law (but "possession not threat")
Marshall Islands - illegal, graphic testimony by Lijon Eknilang, victim
Costa Rica - illegal, security comes from health & wealth, not weapons
15th - Wednesday
United Kingdom - deterrence / no jurisdiction
United States - deterrence / no jurisdiction
Zimbabwe - Illegal (Jonathan Wutawunashe introduced Norton letter)
(**Four countries, Colombia, Guyana, India & Nauru, cancelled scheduled testimony.)

Judges: Mohammed Bedjaoui, President (Algeria); Stephen M. Schwebel, Vice-President (USA); Shigeru Oda (Japan), Gilbert Guillaume (France) , Mohamed Shahabuddeen (Guyana), Christopher Weeramantry (Sri Lanka), Raymond Ranjeva (Madagascar), Geza Herczegh (Hungary), Shi Jiuyong (China), Carl-August Fleischhauer (Germany), Abdul Koroma (Sierra Leone), Vladen Vereshchetin (Russian Federation), Luigi Ferrari Bravo (Italy), Mme. Rosalyn Higgins (UK)
Contact Mrs. El-Erian, Court Officer, for transcripts, c/o International Court of Justice - Peace Palace, 2517 KJ The Hague, Netherlands; Tel: 70-392 4441 | Fax: 70-364 9928

  • Zimbabwe has the last word -->

  • These notes were developed from International Court of Justice transcripts, and World Court Project press releases, by Ellen Thomas, Proposition One Committee,