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Institute hosts lecture by Dr Hans Blix at Inner Temple

Dr Hans Blix, Chairman of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission (WMDC), delivered a lecture hosted by the Institute on 27 November at Inner Temple, London.

The evening was chaired by The Rt Hon Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Chairman of the Institute, and the title of Dr Blix's presentation was Reflections Ten years after the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons. For the full text of Dr Blix's presentation, click here.

Dr Blix's discussion focussed on four topics:

  • The context of international relations in which the opinion was given;
  • The UN Charter restrictions on the threat or use of force;
  • The fragmented approach that has been taken and continues to be taken by the world community to eliminate nuclear weapons; and
  • The deficit in implementation of article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), requiring negotiations toward nuclear disarmament.

On 1 June the Dr Blix presented the WMDC report 'Weapons of Terror' to the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York. The report contains 60 concrete proposals on how the world could be freed of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

Dr Blix draws attention in the lecture in particular to the first recommendation - that all parties to the Non Proliferation Treaty need to 'revert to the fundamental and balanced non-proliferation and disarmament commitments that were made under the treaty and confirmed in 1995 when the treaty was extended indefinitely' and concluded his lecture by outlining some of the specific recommendations in the report. The report can be downloaded from the WMDC website at:

Additional reading:

1. Background briefing: references to primary legal materials with regard to the regulation of nuclear weapons.
2. Article: Proposed Economic Sanctions against Iran by Professor Gillian Triggs

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