Nuclear Weapons, Justice and the Law
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Nuclear Weapons, Justice and the Law

Elli Louka

It is often argued that the nuclear non-proliferation order divides the world into nuclear-weapon-haves and have-nots, creating a nuclear apartheid. Employing a careful and nuanced discussion of this claim, Elli Louka examines the architecture of the nuclear non-proliferation order, the fairness and effectiveness of international and regional institutions and scenarios for the future of nuclear weapons.
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Chapter 4: The Architecture of the Non-Proliferation Order

Elli Louka


4. The architecture of the nonproliferation order 1. THE NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY The ‘devastation that would be visited upon all mankind by a nuclear war and the consequent need to make every effort to avert the danger of such a war and to take measures to safeguard the security of peoples’1 made necessary the adoption of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Efforts to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons, though, should not detract from the peaceful use of nuclear energy that should be available to every state. The ‘benefits of peaceful applications of nuclear technology . . . should be available for peaceful purposes to all Parties to the Treaty, whether nuclear-weapon or non-nuclear-weapon States.’2 The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is based on a fundamental distinction: it separates states into nuclear-weapon-haves and nuclearweapon-have-nots. The basic tenet of the NPT is the non-proliferation principle: the non-dissemination of nuclear weapons to NNWS. NWS undertake not to transfer nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices to NNWS or to assist such states in any way in the manufacturing of nuclear weapons.3 NNWS undertake not to receive nuclear weapons transfers or the transfers of nuclear explosive devices or to manufacture nuclear weapons.4 From a national security viewpoint, this distinction between NWS and NNWS is a puzzle: why would states accept an unequal status with regard to the possession of nuclear weapons?5 It makes more sense if all states reserve the right to develop nuclear weapons as their security 1 Preamble, Treaty on the Non-Proliferation...

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