Professor Amann publishes AJIL essay on ICJ’s nuclear weapons rulings

Professor Diane Marie Amann‘s most recent publication appears in the latest print edition of the American Journal of International Law, in the section that analyzes recent judgments. Entitled “International Decisions: Obligations Concerning Negotiations Relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament,” it may be found at 111 AJIL 439 (2017).

The essay sets forth key aspects of 3 judgments (available here) that the International Court of Justice issued in October 2016 – as well as the response to those rulings by one party, the United Kingdom. It offers thoughts on potential future nuclear disarmament efforts. (It went to press before adoption of one such effort, the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which at this writing has 3 states parties and 53 signatories, none of them nuclear weapons states.)

Here at the University of Georgia School of Law, Amann holds the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and serves as Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center. Her article, which also forms part of Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center Research Paper Series at SSRN, may be downloaded at this SSRN link.

Here’s the abstract:

“In a trio of decisions, the International Court of Justice rejected the applications in which the Republic of the Marshall Islands claimed that three large states known to possess nuclear weapons, India, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom, had breached their international obligations to undertake and conclude negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament. This essay discusses those decisions, as well as the United Kingdom’s subsequent limitation of the circumstances under which it will accept the ICJ’s jurisdiction over such complaints. This development, coupled with the Court’s own narrowing of circumstances in which such an application will be accepted, make the likelihood of an eventual ruling on the nuclear disarmament issue quite remote.”

Hague briefings at ICC, Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal and ICJ launch 2017 Global Governance Summer School

At the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, front from left: Ana Morales Ramos, Legal Adviser; Hossein Piran, Senior Legal Adviser; Kathleen A. Doty, Interim Director, Dean Rusk International Law Center; David Caron, Tribunal Member; and Georgia Law Associate Dean Diane Marie Amann. Back row, students Nicholas Duffey, Lyddy O’Brien, Brian Griffin, Wade Herring, Jennifer Cotton, Evans Horsley, Casey Callaghan, Kristopher Kolb, Nils Okeson, James Cox, and Ezra Thompson.

HAGUE – Briefings at key international law institutions here have highlighted the initial leg of the Global Governance Summer School led by the University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center.

Our students’ journey began with a visit yesterday to the International Criminal Court Permanent Premises (left), a tile-and-ivy structure, located in dunelands not far from the North Sea, that opened just 18 months ago. Accompanying them were Associate Dean Diane Marie Amann and our Center’s Interim Director, Kathleen A. Doty, both of whom will lecture at the summer school next week.

Outlining the work of the Office of the Prosecutor were the Prosecutor’s Senior Legal Adviser, Shamila Batohi, and Legal Assistant, Annie O’Reilly (right), with whom Associate Dean Amann works in her capacity as the Prosecutor’s Special Adviser on Children in and affected by Armed Conflict. Topics included case selection and specific cases, complementarity and state cooperation, and the role of the prosecution in relation to other organs of the court.

Then Leiden Law Professor Dov Jacobs, a Legal Assistant in Defense at the ICC and member of the defense team for Laurent Gbagbo, the former Ivoirian President now on trial before the court. Shifting from the theoretical to the practical and back again, he spoke about the nature and challenges of international criminal justice, particularly as it relates to the defense function before contemporary bodies like the ICC.

The journey continued today with a morning briefing at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, an international organization established by treaty 36 years ago as a means to settle disputes arising out of the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. It comprises 3 Americans, 3 Iranians, and three members from other countries. Offering a fascinating dialogue on the history and operations of the tribunal were Dr. David Caron, a U.S. member of the tribunaland an international law professor at Kings College London, and Dr. Hossein Piran, Senior Legal Adviser at the tribunal.

(It was a treat to learn that one of Dr. Piran’s professors was the late Gabriel N. Wilner, who founded our European summer study abroad during his long tenure on the Georgia Law faculty. Holding the professorship named after Wilner is Georgia Law Professor Harlan Cohen, who will lecture in this summer school next week, along with Leuven Law Professor Jan Wouters and others.)

The afternoon brought us to the Hague’s Vredepalais (left), or Peace Palace, built in the early 1900s to house international institutions that would foster pacific, rather than warlike, settlements of disputes.

Leading discussion on one of those institutions, the International Court of Justice set up under the 1945 Charter of the United Nations, was Dr. Xavier-Baptiste Ruedin (right), Legal Adviser for Judge Joan E. Donoghue. Topics ranged from provisional measures, like those recently issued in a case involving India and Pakistan, to jurisdiction via advisory opinion (including one soon to arrive at the court, following yesterday’s U.N. General Assembly vote) or contentious case.

A question common to all 3 visits was the role of such institutions – and international law more generally – in the governance of global affairs. We’ll continue to seek answers next week, when our Global Governance Summer School moves to Belgium for classroom seminars and an experts conference with our partner institution, KU Leuven’s Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies.