Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

UN court rejects Marshall Islands’ bid to sue India over nuclear arms

Narada Desk | October 5, 2016 5:57 pm Print
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) refused to take up a case brought by the tiny Islands saying the court doesn’t have the jurisdiction to proceed

The UN’s highest court on Wednesday rejected a bid by the Marshall Islands to sue India for failing to halt the nuclear arms race.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) refused to take up a case brought by the tiny Islands saying the court doesn’t have the jurisdiction to proceed.

Judge Ronny Abraham said in the court: “The court upholds the objection to jurisdiction raised by India… and finds that it cannot proceed to the merits of the case.”

The Marshall Islands had earlier argued that nuclear powers in the world weren’t taking actions to folllow the 1970 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

The Islands was a US protectorate until 1986 and it was the site of 67 nuclear tests by 1958.

Mentioning the impact of nuclear tests, Marshallese minister Tony deBrum had said that several islands in the country were vapourised and others are estimated to remain uninhabitable for thousands of years.

As result of the suits filed, countries including India, Pakistan and Britain were brought to the court to answer the complaint at public hearings in April.

The 16-judge bench at the ICJ observed that while the Marshall Islands may not be satisfied with progress on countries dismantling their nuclear arsenals, the Island had failed to show that it has any ongoing legal dispute with India fit for the court to adjudicate.

The Marshall Islands in 2014 accused nine countries- China, France, Israel, North Korea, Russia and the United States – of failing to comply with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but the ICJ already failed to take up the cases as they have not recognised the court’s jurisdiction.