The course will focus upon such matters as the following: applicable rules of international law, as articulated by the United States; the United States’ position as to the application of such rules to nuclear weapons; the 1996 advisory decision of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons; relevant judicial decisions subsequent to the ICJ decision; and generally accepted principles of international law applicable to the analysis. The course will also focus upon the facts that are central to the legal analysis, including the characteristics and effects of nuclear weapons, U.S. policy as to the circumstances in which it might use nuclear weapons, the theory and implications of deterrence, and identifiable risk factors as to the potential effects of the use of nuclear weapons. This will be a paper course and students will be required to present their papers in class. The primary text will be Charles J. Moxley, Jr., Nuclear Weapons and International Law in the Post Cold War World (Austin & Winfield 2000).
This seminar will address issues as to the lawfulness under international law of the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.