Innovating Justice Award

I wanted to quickly bring to readers’ attention an entry in the “Innovative Ideas” category of the Innovating Justice Awards, run by the Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law.  The entry is entitled “Legal Resolution of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Disputes.”  You can see the details and vote for the entry at this link.  Here’s the summary of the proposal:

The challenge to use legal resolution in nuclear non-proliferation disputes proposes to explore the viability of resolution of nuclear non-proliferation disputes through the International Court of Justice and international arbitration. The IAEA Statute, IAEA Safeguards Agreements and the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material contain compromissory clauses that give jurisdiction to these fora. Moreover, justiciability should not prove much of a barrier either, as recent jurisprudence shows how legal resolution can handle such politically sensitive disputes, inter alia. The impartiality and procedural safeguards of legal resolution should make it an acceptable option for target States and the international community, especially via-à-vis the procedural shortcomings and general heavy-handedness of Security Council involvement under UN Charter Chapter VII in this area. While legal resolution is not necessarily the panacea to the world’s problems with nuclear proliferation, it nevertheless represents an option that States and commentators all too often have ignored. This study aims to remedy that situation.

This is a great idea and an important and, yes, quite innovative approach to resolving nuclear disputes, and one that definitely needs to be further explored and developed. I’ve wanted to write something on this subject myself for a while, because the idea keeps being brought up in discussions, but I havent seen any really rigorous analysis of these possibilities for dispute resolution. I would welcome some really good work on this question, and I think it could be quite influential in clarifying the options for legal dispute resolution in the nuclear area. 

As I understand it, the idea of this awards program is for the jurisprudential community to pick from amongst the proposals the ideas they think are most innovative and important, vote for them, and the winner then gets financial and other support to pursue and develop their innovative idea. So I have voted for this proposal myself and would highly encourage readers to do the same. The process isnt difficult – it takes literally two minutes at the above link.

I know who the author of the proposal is, but he wants to generally maintain anonymity in order to preserve the objectivity of the process, so I won’t announce it here.  I will tell you, though, that this is a scholar whose work I wholeheartedly endorse, and who would do a great job in pursuing this project.

So go and have a look at the proposal and consider voting for it.

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