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Is Nuclear Weapons Legal?

With the current crisis in Kashmir between India and Pakistan, the use of nuclear weapons has once again created a stir in the society. This is because both India and Pakistan are nuclear-capable states.

Because Pakistan is rich in uranium, it is capable of producing nuclear weapons. Currently, Pakistan is believed to possess between 110-130 nuclear weapons. According to Hans Christensen and Matt Korda, there are between 130-140 nuclear weapons in India. Accordingly, a nuclear attack will affect not only the region but the entire world.

The purpose of this article is to discuss the legality of the use of nuclear weapons.

Is the use of nuclear weapons really legal?

There is no recognized legal statement on the use of nuclear weapons. In 1996, the International Justice Court asked the legality of nuclear weapons practices. The International Justice Tribunal held that the use of nuclear weapons is against international humanitarian law.

However, the use of nuclear weapons is not specifically prohibited. But they insisted that a state could use nuclear weapons to protect its existence without risking its own self-defense if it was in serious danger.

But the downside is that a serious threat has not been defined. Therefore, each state may be able to justify its use of nuclear weapons, interpreting it as a serious threat.

The use of nuclear weapons cannot be justified under International Humanitarian Law. Humanitarian law is the law that applies to civilians during a war.

The Geneva Convention consists of four protocols and three protocols. The Geneva Convention was ratified in 1949, and the first and second protocols were introduced in 1977. Special attention was paid to the safety of the civilian population through this protocol.

The first protocol specified here is: The use of weapons that cause excessive injury or unnecessary suffering is a prohibition on wars that cause widespread and long-lasting damage to the environment.

In addition, there are two main principles identified in the Geneva Convention.

The principle of differentiation

Action must be taken to protect civilians in war and to prevent militants from attacking non-military targets.

The principle of proportionality

The fighting party must be sure to use the minimum force to defeat the enemy. Clearly, the use of nuclear weapons cannot be justified under the Geneva Convention. In addition to the Convention, the following agreements also identify the illegal use of nuclear weapons.

1868 St. Petersburg Declaration

It emphasized that civilian casualties should be minimized through this. But using nuclear weapons can lead to massive loss of life and property. The loss of life cannot be minimized.

The Hague Convention of 1907

Steps must be taken to protect neutral nations. But a nuclear attack cannot distinguish between moderate nations or terrorists. The impact of the attack is spread over a large area.

1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The emphasis here is on human health rights. But the radiation emitted here can have serious consequences for people's health. The Japanese attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki have lasted for generations.

Accordingly, newborns were born with various disabilities. In addition, the Non -Proliferation Treaty was introduced in 1968 to prevent the expansion of nuclear weapons. This practice has been in operation since the 1970s.

The main purpose of this agreement was; Preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology, directing states to use nuclear energy peacefully, and encouraging disarmament.

But it also failed to meet its intended purpose, prompting all but the five members of the United Nations Security Council to develop nuclear power.

Today, there are nine nuclear-capable states. India, Pakistan, Israel and South Korea have nuclear powers in addition to the five-member states of the Security Council.

In 2017, again, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was introduced. However, it is not a signatory to nuclear-capable states.

The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize was won by the International Movement to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which worked for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. They are working full time to implement and promote the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. After winning the Nobel Peace Prize, they declared: That the making, possession, and development of nuclear weapons are illegal.

The use of nuclear weapons is not legally prohibited. But that does not mean that it is approved. The use of nuclear weapons is not a problem. But if one day a nuclear strike is launched, the entire world will suffer.

The next article will discuss the effects of a nuclear attack.

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