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The Use of Nuclear Weapons and the Protection of the Environment during International Armed Conflict

By: Erik V Koppe
Media of The Use of Nuclear Weapons and the Protection of the Environment during International Armed Conflict
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Published: 25-04-2008
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 444
ISBN: 9781841137452
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Studies in International Law
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £80.00
Online price : £72.00
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About The Use of Nuclear Weapons and the Protection of the Environment during International Armed Conflict

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.

Table Of Contents

I Nuclear Weapons in Historical Perspective
1 Introduction
2 Nuclear Physics
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Nuclear Energy
2.2.1 Introduction
2.2.2 Nuclear Fission
2.2.3 Difficulties
3 The Manhattan Project
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Fissionable Materials
3.3 Bomb Design
3.4 Test Explosion
3.5 Hiroshima and Nagasaki
4 The Hydrogen Bomb
5 Developments Outside the United States
5.1 Introduction
5.2 The United Kingdom
5.3 Germany
5.4 Japan
5.5 The Soviet Union
5.6 Further Proliferation
II Nuclear Weapons and Their Effects
1 Introduction
2 Nuclear Weapon Systems
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Delivery Vehicles
2.2.1 Introduction
2.2.2 Strategic Delivery Vehicles
2.2.3 Non-Strategic Delivery Vehicles
2.3 Warhead
3 Nuclear Explosions
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Types of Nuclear Explosions
3.2.1 Introduction
3.2.2 Air Burst
3.2.3 Surface Burst
3.2.4 Sub-surface Burst
4 The Effects of Nuclear Explosions
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Direct Effects
4.2.1 Introduction
4.2.2 Blast
4.2.3 Thermal Radiation
4.2.4 Electromagnetic Pulse
4.2.5 Nuclear Radiation
4.3 Indirect Effects
Part II
III The Protection of the Environment During International Armed Conflict Under Ius in Bello
1 Introduction
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Historical Development
1.3 Foundations of Ius in Bello
1.4 Principles of Ius in Bello
1.5 Terminology
1.6 Format
2 Direct Protection
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Treaty Law
2.2.1 Introduction
2.2.2 The Environmental Modification Convention
2.2.3 Additional Protocol I
2.2.4 The Certain Conventional Weapons Convention
2.2.5 The Statute of the International Criminal Court
2.3 Customary International Law
2.3.1 Introduction
2.3.2 Customary Status Treaty Provisions
2.3.3 Other Customary Rules Directly Protecting the Environment
3 Indirect protection
3.1 Introduction
3.2 The Protection of Civilian Objects
3.2.1 Introduction
3.2.2 Protection of Civilian Objects before 1977
3.2.3 Protection of Civilian Objects after 1977
3.2.4 Legal Appraisal
3.3 The Law of Neutrality
IV The Protection of the Environment During International Armed Conflict Under Ius ad Bellum
1 Introduction
2 Security Council Resolution 687
2.1 Introduction
2.2 The Scope of Iraq's Liability
2.3 The United Nations Compensation Commission
3 The Relationship between Ius ad Bellum and Ius in Bello
3.1 Introduction
3.2 The Distinction Between Ius ad Bellum and Ius in Bello
3.3 The Financial Settlement of War Damages
3.4 Converging Responsibilities under Ius ad Bellum and Ius in Bello
V The Protection of the Environment During International Armed Conflict Under Ius Pacis
1 Introduction
2 The Relationship between Ius Pacis and Ius in Bello
2.1 General
2.2 The Relationship between Human Rights Law and Ius in Bello
2.3 The Relationship between International Environmental Law and Ius in Bello
2.3.1 Introduction
2.3.2 Belligerent vs Belligerent
2.3.3 Belligerent vs Non-Belligerent
Appraisal and Conclusions
1 Introduction
2 Appraisal
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Applicability
2.3 Assessment
2.3.2 Protection under Ius in Bello
2.3.3 Protection under Ius ad Bellum
2.3.4 Protection under Ius Pacis
3 Conclusions


“ 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 Benatar, Review of Military Law and the Law of War, Vol 47/3-4

“This 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 MacKenzie, Journal of Environmental Law, vol 21, no 3

“The 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 Yang, Journal of Human Security, Vol 5, Issue 1

“ 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 considered a plus for non-lawyers who may be drawn to the subject of the legality of nuclear weapons.” –  Elisa Morgera, Review of European Community and International Environmental Law, 18 (1)

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