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Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation World Court Project Nuclear Weapons Convention Publications Nuclear Energy About Partners




Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation
Status of compliance with non-proliferation and disarmament obligations.
World Court Project/International Law
The historic 1996 opinion of the International Court of Justice on the illegality of nuclear weapons and international law developments since then.
Nuclear Weapons Convention
The elimination of nuclear weapons through negotiation of an international agreement (convention). Includes a model Nuclear Weapons Convention drafted under LCNP's leadership.
Publications and Resources
Books, articles, newsletters, law school reading lists, links and more.
Nuclear Energy
Dangers of nuclear power and its status under the Non-Proliferation Treaty; energy alternatives.
About LCNP
A non-profit educational association of lawyers and legal scholars.

IALANA, Middle Powers Initiative, Global Action to Prevent War, Abolition 2000, Mayors for Peace.


Anyone who has a nuclear weapon as an instrument of foreign policy is ready to break all three categories of law: those of man, god, and nature. The formation of a committee such as yours was a categorical imperative.

- Kurt Vonnegut, letter to LCNP President Peter Weiss, September 1997




Percival Goodman
art piece

"The Waiting Ones"
Spray Paint, 1962
18" x 24"



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What's New

LCNP eNews, Debating Nuclear Weapons, August 2019

Nuclear Weapons Violate the Right to Life: Using UN Human Rights Committee General Comment 36 in Grassroots Actions and Campaigns, Abolition 2000 working group on international law and nuclear weapons, June 2019

Human Rights, Democracy, and Nuclear Weapons, NPT PrepCom Side-Event, May 1, 2019
Announcement | Video | Remarks by Daniel Rietiker
Remarks by Bonnie Docherty | Remarks by Andrew Lichterman

The Right to Life, the NPT, and Nuclear Arms Racing, LCNP Presentation to NPT PrepCom, May 1, 2019

The Right to Life Versus Nuclear Weapons: A Bold Intervention by the UN Human Rights Committee, December 10, 2018, Bahá’í UN Office, New York City. Sponsored by Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy and the Sorensen Center for International Peace and Justice, CUNY School of Law.

Announcement | Remarks by Roger Clark | Remarks by Ariana Smith | Remarks by Peter Weiss

Post-1996 Scholarly Interpretations of the Legal Status of Threat of Force, Ariana Smith, December 2018

The UN Human Rights Committee on the Right to Life and Nuclear Weapons, February 2019

Threat and Use of Nuclear Weapons Contrary to Right to Life, says UN Human Rights Committee, Daniel Rietiker, November 6, 2018

US Suspension and Potential Withdrawal from INF Treaty Is Problematic under International Law, Daniel Rietiker, February 20, 2019

Renew Nuclear Arms Control, Don’t Destroy It, Andrew Lichterman and John Burroughs, IPS, January 2, 2019

LCNP eNews, The Right to Life Versus Nuclear Weapons, December 2018

Self-Assured Destruction: U.S. Defense Policy in the Nuclear Era, Guy C. Quinlan, LCNP President, Harvard Club of New York City, September 5, 2018

Nuclear Weapons and the Law on Human Rights and Future Generations, report on NPT PrepCom side-event, May 1, 2018, Geneva

Nuclear Crossroads: The Urgent Need for Action to Prevent Catastrophe, IALANA, June 19, 2018 (PDF version here)

Striking North Korea First Is a Bad Proposal, Andrew Lichterman and John Burroughs, Letter, Wall St. Journal, March 8, 2018

U.S.-Russia Nuclear Arms Racing: Still Crazy After All These Years, Andrew Lichterman and John Burroughs, Truthdig, March 16, 2018

A Prescription for Disaster: Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review, Guy Quinlan, LCNP President, and John Burroughs, Executive Director, March 12, 2018

Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review: A Call to Nuclear Arms, John Burroughs, The Simons Foundation Briefing Paper, February 26, 2018

Public Books Virtual Roundtable on Presidential First Use of Nuclear Weapons, February 26, 2018, with Rep. Jim McGovern, William Perry, Bruce Blair, Rosa Brooks, Kennette Benedict, Bruce Ackerman, Zia Mian, Hugh Gusterson, Sissela Bok, and John Burroughs

We can’t attack North Korea. It’s against the law, John Burroughs, Newsweek, November 30, 2017

Despite assurances, only Trump stands between peace, nuclear war, John Burroughs, The Hill, November 21, 2017

Trump's Threat of Total Destruction is Unlawful & Extremely Dangerous, Andrew Lichterman and John Burroughs, IPS, September 25, 2017

North Korea: Solution or Disaster, IALANA Statement, Peter Weiss, President Emeritus; Peter Becker and Takeya Sasaki, Co-Presidents, 10 October 2017
     Interview with Peter Weiss, Law and Disorder Radio, October 23, 2017

Peaceful Resolution of the U.S.-North Korean Confrontation: Lawful and Wise, LCNP Statement, April 25, 2017

John Burroughs: International Law and the First Use of Nuclear Weapons
Presidential First Use of Nuclear Weapons:
Is it Legal? Is it Constitutional? Is it Just?

Harvard University, November 4, 2017

Conference Report with videos of speakers

Activist group aiming to abolish nuclear weapons wins Nobel Peace Prize, PBS NewsHour interview with John Burroughs, October 6, 2017

IALANA Welcomes the Award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, October 6, 2017

IALANA Statement Regarding the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on the Occasion of its Opening for Signature on 20 September 2017

Lawyers' Letter Released at UN Nuclear Ban Treaty Negotiations, Abolition 2000, United Nations, New York, June 24, 2017

Threat or Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Right to Life: Follow-up Submissions to UN Human Rights Committee, IALANA and Swiss Lawyers for Nuclear Disarmament, October 5, 2017

Selected Elements of a Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons, IALANA Discussion Paper, March 24, 2017

Petition Delivered to OPANAL in Mexico City: "Congratulations on 50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco", February 14, 2017

IALANA Bids Farewell to Judge Weeramantry, January 5, 2017

IALANA Statement on the Dismissal of the Marshall Islands’ Nuclear Disarmament Cases by the International Court of Justice, December 2016

International Court of Justice Dismisses Marshall Islands’ Nuclear Disarmament Cases Without Considering the Merits, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, October 5, 2016

Rethinking General and Complete Disarmament in the Twenty-first Century, UN Office of Disarmament Affairs Occasional Papers, No. 28, October 2016. Includes chapter by LCNP Executive Director John Burroughs.

William Perry: My Journey at the Nuclear Brink
All Souls Unitarian Church, New York City, October 24, 2016

In his book My Journey at the Nuclear Brink, former Secretary of Defense William Perry describes his lifelong passion to prevent nuclear war, including his experience as Secretary of Defense from 1994 to 1997. With George Shultz, Sam Nunn, and Henry Kissinger, he was co-author of a series of influential op-eds in the Wall Street Journal on the need to move toward a world free of nuclear weapons. He believes that the dangers posed by nuclear arms are now greater than ever, that action is urgently needed to reduce those dangers, and that nuclear weapons should be abolished as soon as possible.

Sponsored by: Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, All Souls Nuclear Disarmament Task Force,
Peace Action of New York State

The Right to Life and WMD, IALANA Submission to Human Rights Committee, September 7, 2016

Looking Back: The 1996 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice, John Burroughs, Arms Control Today, July/August 2016
The now 20-year-old opinion on the legality of nuclear weapons threat or use remains an indispensable guide to the norms requiring non-use of the weapons and negotiation of their elimination.

A Legal Instrument for the Prohibition and Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms, May 2, 2016, UN Open-ended Working Group
taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations

The Marshall Islands' Nuclear Zero Cases in the International Court of Justice
Information on the pathbreaking initiative, plus media coverage
- LCNP Amicus Brief in Marshall Islands' appeal in US court case, July 20, 2015

Disarmament Times, Fall-Winter 2015, featuring Tad Daley, “Reimagining the United Nations,” and Douglas Roche, “Nuclear Abolition: the Moral Case”

The Climate-Nuclear Nexus
Jürgen Scheffran and others, World Future Council, April 2016

This report examines the two main threats to humanity’s future, climate change and nuclear weapons; their interaction, including that climate change-caused or exacerbated conflict would increase the chance of use of nuclear weapons; and efforts to address each threat through international agreements and processes. The principal author, Jürgen Scheffran, a professor at the University of Hamburg and a longtime LCNP colleague, is an expert in both the scientific aspects of nuclear disarmament and the science of climate change. John Burroughs, LCNP Executive Director, and Alyn Ware, LCNP consultant, are among the contributors.

More resources on climate protection and nuclear abolition

Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy (LCNP):
UN Office of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA).
Accredited as a citizens' organization (NGO) at the United Nations.

220 E. 49th St., Suite 1B, New York, NY 10017 USA
Tel. (212) 818 1861 | contact [at]