New Arms Control Law Scholarship

I wanted to bring readers’ attention to two recent pieces of important arms control law related scholarship.  The first is by Arms Control Law’s own Pierre-Emmanuel Dupont.  Pierre’s article entitled Countermeasures and Collective Security: The Case of the EU Sanctions Against Iran, will be published in the upcoming Volume 17 of the excellent peer-reviewed Journal of Conflict and Security Law.   A draft of Pierre’s article can be viewed on SSRN at:

Pierre also published a shorter extract from the article over at EJIL:Talk! on June 22. You can find that post here: 

Pierre’s article is a thorough legal analysis of the EU’s unilaterally imposed sanctions on Iran, aimed at pressuring Iran regarding its nuclear program.  He first determines that the EU’s sanctions are best classified as countermeasures under the law of state responsibility.  This determination then guides his analysis as to the legality of the sanctions.

In my opinion, this article is the best scholarship currently available on the question of the legality of the recent unilateral EU (and by extension US) nonproliferation santions on Iran. 

The second piece of recent scholarship is not quite as recent – it came out last summer in Volume 36, No. 1 of the leading journal International Security.  Its a piece by Malfrid Braut-Hegghammer entitled Revisiting Osirak: Preventive Attacks and Nuclear Proliferation Risks.    Here’s the summary of the article from the publisher’s website:

“Thirty years after the Israeli attack on the Osirak reactor in June 1981 the consequences for Iraq’s nuclear weapons program remain hotly debated. A new history of this program, based on several new Iraqi sources, yields a net assessment of the impact of the Israeli attack that differs from prevailing accounts. The attack had mixed effects: it triggered a covert nuclear weapons program that did not previously exist, while necessitating a more difficult and time-consuming technical route to developing nuclear weapons. Notwithstanding gross inefficiencies in the ensuing program, a decade later Iraq stood on the threshold of a nuclear weapons capability. This case suggests that preventive attacks can increase the long-term proliferation risk posed by the targeted state.”

I havent read this article yet myself, but it sounds like an important contribution to literature on the issue of counterproliferation-oriented preemptive uses of force.  I’ve printed it out, though, along with the hundred other interesting and important looking articles I’d like to find time to read. You can find a link to the article at this link, but unfortunately its on subscription basis only:


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