The Marshall Islands has laid court cases against Britain, India and Pakistan at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The three countries have been accused of breaching obligations for nuclear disarmament, an issue that has impacted upon the Pacific island chain.
The islands were used as a nuclear testing site for 67 individual trials throughout the Cold War. The aftereffects of those tests to this day cause health issues amongst the resident population.
By initiating legal proceedings against Britain, India and Pakistan, it is hoped by the Marshall Islands that three nuclear powers will at last honour their agreement to disarm.
Professor of international law at Oxford University, Dapo Akande, has said that once in front of the International Court of Justice, the size of each island in the chain does not matter. “When the Marshall Islands goes to the ICJ, it’s equal with Britain and with India,” the Professor revealed in a recent interview, “big countries get dragged into disputes to which they otherwise would not have needed to pay attention.”
Preliminary hearings are currently underway in what anti-nuclear activists see as a positive step towards highlighting the issue of disarmament.
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www.independent.co.uk – 7th March 2016
http://www.radionz.co.nz – 27th February 2016