The Marshal Islands vs. the United Kingdom | Free Essay Example

The Marshal Islands vs. the United Kingdom

Words: 593
Topic: Law


The International Court of Justice is a powerful tool that is used to solve problems and problematic situations that might appear between different states in the course of their cooperation. The importance of the given tool could hardly be overestimated as it results in stopping of aggression and creation of a solution that should be accepted by all actors because of the existing legal framework that was created to regulate international relations. The unique power of this tool could be proved by the fact that numerous international cases were solved due to the functioning of the International Court of Justice and the development of the conflict was suppressed.

Case Description

Nuclear Arms Race case (Marshall Islands vs. United Kingdom) is another important affair that was solved due to the efficient functioning of the International Court of Justice. Besides, in April 2014 the government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands took legal steps against nine states that were considered as those which violated their obligations related to the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament (“Decision of the International Court of Justice”). Three of these states accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, and, for this reason, it was used as a tool to solve the conflict.

The Marshall Islands acknowledgment stated:

The United Kingdom has not pursued in good faith negotiations to cease the nuclear arms race at an early date through comprehensive nuclear disarmament or other measures, and instead is taking actions to improve its nuclear weapons system and to maintain it for the indefinite future. (“Obligations Concerning Negotiations” 5)

The government of the Marshall Islands also stated that the UK violated Article VI of the Treaty on the non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons which stated that all parties had an obligation to negotiate in order to attain cessation of the nuclear arms race (“Obligations Concerning Negotiations” 5). Thus, in the course of the investigation, numerous additional facts appeared. First of all, the Marshall Islands right to make a complaint was touched upon.

Thus, the first preliminary objection was the absence of a dispute which means that there were no reasons for the case. Besides, the court noted that the Marshall Islands referred to a statement proclaimed during the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament, on 26 September 2013 (“Decision of the International Court of Justice”). However, during the process, all parties suggested their reasons and arguments.


Nevertheless, a board of international and independent judges created by the ICJ had some difficulties related to the convergence of perspectives on nuclear disarmament and its consequences. Eventually, the majority stated that the declaration cited by the Marshal Islands to create legal basis for their claims was of general content which meant that there were no legal grounds for introducing sanctions against the UK and other states mentioned in the acknowledgment (“Decision of the International Court of Justice”).


The given case demonstrates the unique importance of ICJ as a regulatory tool that is used to avoid conflicts between states and solve problems that might appear in the course of their interaction. Moreover, the given affair also demonstrates the ICJs desire to act within the legal framework that is established by states that accept its jurisdiction. The court tried to find the most appropriate solution that could be considered both legal and satisfactory as parties had powerful arguments to support their claims. The complexity of the given case also proves the unique importance of ICJ as an institution that preserves diplomatic relations between states at the high level.

Works Cited

Decision of the International Court of Justice in the Nuclear Arms Race Case.” Harvard ILJ. 2016. Web.

“Obligations Concerning Negotiations Relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmamant (Marshal Islands v. United Kingdom).” International Court of Justice. 2016. Web.