In 1996, the International Court of Justice delivered an Advisory Opinion on the legality of the use of nuclear weapons in which the Court stated that "while the existing international law relating to the protection and safeguarding of the environment does not specifically prohibit the use of nuclear weapons it indicates important environmental factors that are properly to be taken into account in the context of the implementation of the principles and rules of the law applicable in armed conflict."
The present work analyses this conclusion, focusing on the question whether or not the use of nuclear weapons during international armed conflict would violate existing norms of public international law relating to the protection and safeguarding of the environment. Although the use of weaponry during armed conflict is usually related to the protection of individuals, the rapidly emerging appreciation of, and the worldwide realization of the intrinsic value of, the natural environment as an indispensable asset for the continuation of life, including human life, on this planet, both for present and future generations, warrants a thorough and extensive examination of the question of the (il)legality of the employment of nuclear weapons from the point of view of international environmental protection law.
The book consists of two parts. Part I discusses the historical development and the effects of nuclear weapons; Part II discusses the protection of the environment during international armed conflict under ius in bello, ius ad bellum and ius pacis. Only then is it possible to assess the legality of the use of nuclear weapons under this particular set of rules.
...it is refreshing to read a book dedicated to the legal protection of the environment in wartime, a topic which has not garnered all that much interest in the law of armed conflict to date. Given the technical nature of this work, I would highly recommend it to experts in international humanitarian law and disarmament law. Furthermore, it should also be of interest to anyone looking for an authoritative case study of how public international law safeguards nature when it is most vital.Marco BenatarReview of Military Law and the Law of WarVol 47/3-4, 2008This is a timely and thorough analysis of the protection afforded to the environment by international law during international armed conflict, with a particular focus on the use of nuclear weapons.Catherine MacKenzieJournal of Environmental Lawvol 21, no 3, 2009The book is a comprehensive and sophisticated examination of the legal aspect of environmental protection in international armed conflict...a valuable contribution to the existing literature.Jian YangJournal of Human SecurityVol 5, Issue 1, 2009...an interesting read, being well-researched and clearly explained. It systematically provides an overview of a complex area of international law, and is structured in a logic and didactic manner...Its step-by-step, and at points back-to-the-basics, approach to the analysis of international law may...be considered a plus for non-lawyers who may be drawn to the subject of the legality of nuclear weapons.Elisa MorgeraReview of European Community and International Environmental Law18 (1) 2009
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