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Banning the Bomb by Siddharth Mallavarapu

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1

Introduction

On July 8, 1996, the International Court of Justice rendered an Advisory Opinion on nuclear threat or use. The Court's pronouncement of this question assumes special significance in light of the preceding history of major power resistance to any such legal evaluation.1 The idea of securing a legal pronouncement on nuclear use had been present since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.2 However, it took over fifty years to translate this thinking into a political reality.

This volume attempts to examine the politics of norm creation in the context of the July Opinion. The July 1996 Opinion must be viewed against the historical backdrop of efforts to “humanize” war dating back well beyond this century.3 The nineteenth century ...

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