Mar­shall isles nu­clear case re­jected

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

THE HAGUE: The UN’s high­est court yes­ter­day nar­rowly threw out land­mark cases brought by the tiny Mar­shall Is­lands against In­dia, Pak­istan and Bri­tain for al­legedly fail­ing to halt the nu­clear arms race.

In ma­jor­ity de­ci­sions, the 16-judge bench at the In­ter­na­tional Court of Jus­tice (ICJ) ruled there was no ev­i­dence that Majuro (cap­i­tal city) had had a prior dis­pute with any of the three nu­clear giants or sought bi­lat­eral ne­go­ti­a­tions on the is­sue.

“The court up­holds the objection to juris­dic­tion” raised by each of the coun­tries, pre­sid­ing judge Ronny Abra­ham said in sep­a­rate rul­ings, and there­fore the tri­bunal “can­not pro­ceed with the mer­its of the case”.

The tiny Pa­cific is­land na­tion was ground zero for a string of dev­as­tat­ing nu­clear tests on its pris­tine atolls be­tween 1946-58, car­ried out by the United States as the Cold War arms race gath­ered mo­men­tum.

Af­ter the hear­ings at the tri­bunal based in The Hague, the Marshalls said it will now “study the rul­ing” which is fi­nal and with­out ap­peal.

“Ob­vi­ously it’s very dis­ap­point­ing,” Mar­shall Is­lands lawyer Phon van der Biesen told re­porters.

Ini­tially in 2014, Majuro had ac­cused nine coun­tries of fail­ing to com­ply with the 1968 nu­clear Non-Pro­lif­er­a­tion Treaty, which seeks to in­hibit the spread of atomic bombs. But the ICJ al­ready re­fused to take up cases against the other coun­tries – China, France, Is­rael, North Korea, Rus­sia and the United States – as they have not recog­nised the court’s juris­dic­tion. – AFP

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