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Français

Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v. Pakistan)

Overview of the case

On 24 April 2014, the Marshall Islands filed a number of Applications, including one against Pakistan. It accuses the latter of not fulfilling its obligations relating to the cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament.

While Pakistan is not a party to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Marshall Islands — which has ratified it — argues that certain obligations laid down in the Treaty apply to all States as a matter of customary international law. It contends in particular that this applies to Article VI, whereby the parties “[undertake] to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control”.

Pakistan having indicated, however, that it considers that the Court lacks jurisdiction in the alleged dispute and that the Application is inadmissible, the President of the Court, in an Order of 10 July 2014, decided that it was necessary to resolve those questions first of all, which should accordingly be separately determined before any proceedings on the merits.

After holding a hearing on 8 March 2016, the Court delivered its Judgment on the objections raised by Pakistan to the jurisdiction of the Court and the admissibility of the Application on 5 October 2016, finding that Pakistan’s objection to jurisdiction based on the absence of a dispute between the Parties must be upheld. It further concluded that, lacking jurisdiction under Article 36, paragraph 2, of its Statute, it cannot proceed to the merits of the case. Given this conclusion, the Court found no need to consider the other objections raised by Pakistan.


This overview is provided for information only and in no way involves the responsibility of the Court.

Institution of proceedings

Written proceedings

Memorial of the Marshall Islands

12 January 2015
Procedure(s): Questions of jurisdiction and/or admissibility
Available in:
English French

Counter-memorial of Pakistan

1 December 2015
Procedure(s): Questions of jurisdiction and/or admissibility
Available in:
English French

Oral proceedings

Verbatim record 2016/2

Public sitting held on Tuesday 8 March 2016, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Abraham presiding, in the case regarding Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v. Pakistan)
Procedure(s): Questions of jurisdiction and/or admissibility
Available in:
Original Language
Translation
(bilingual version) Translation

Orders

Order of 10 July 2014

Fixing of time-limits: Memorial and Counter-Memorial
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Order of 9 July 2015

Extends the time-limit for the filing of the Counter-Memorial
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Judgments

Summaries of Judgments and Orders

Summary 2016/4

Summary of the Judgment of 5 October 2016
Available in:
English French

Press releases

Press release 2014/23

11 July 2014
Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v. Pakistan) - Fixing of time-limits for the filing of written pleadings on the questions of the Court’s jurisdiction and the admissibility of the Application
Available in:
English French

Press release 2015/19

14 July 2015
Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v. Pakistan) - Extension of the time−limit for the filing of Pakistan's Counter−Memorial
Available in:
English French

Press release 2016/2

29 January 2016
Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v. Pakistan) - Jurisdiction and admissibility - The Court to hold public hearings from Tuesday 8 March to Wednesday 16 March 2016
Available in:
English French

Press release 2016/5

8 March 2016
Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v. Pakistan) - Conclusion of public hearings on jurisdiction and admissibility – The Court to begin its deliberation
Available in:
English French

Press release 2016/30

5 October 2016
Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v. Pakistan) - The Court upholds the objection to jurisdiction raised by Pakistan, based on the absence of a dispute between the Parties, and finds that it cannot proceed to the merits of the case
Available in:
English French