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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 48, July 2000

French Interpretative Declaration on ICC & Nuclear Weapons

On June 9, France ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The instrument of ratification included an 'interpretative declaration' which, among other clarifications, setting out the understanding that Article 8 of the Statute, naming the use of certain categories of weapon as expressly prohibited, refers "solely to conventional weapons and can neither regulate nor prohibit the possible use of nuclear weapons nor impair the other rules of international law applicable to other weapons necessary to the exercise by France of its inherent right of self-defence, unless nuclear weapons or the other weapons referred to herein become subject in the future to a comprehensive ban and are specified in an annex to the Statute…" On July 5, John Burroughs, of the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy, issued a detailed brief critiquing the declaration, and urging "states to set forth in written communication the unacceptability of the French 'interpretation' regarding nuclear weapons, to counteract any invidious effects the French position may have on the Statute and international law, and to contribute to the continuing delegitimation of nuclear weapons in multiple international settings."

Report: The French 'interpretative declaration' regarding nuclear weapons, John Burroughs, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, July 5 http://www.lcnp.org/global/french.htm.

Disarmament Diplomacy publishes articles to stimulate debate on topical disarmament and arms control issues. No individual article in the journal should be construed as representing the views of the Acronym Institute's staff or board.

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.

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