NUCLEAR AGE PEACE FOUNDATION
For Immediate Release
San Francisco–On Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 9:00 AM, the appeal of the dismissal of the Republic of the Marshall Islands’ case in the U.S. Federal District Court will be heard in the Ninth District Court of Appeals. The case, initially filed on April 24, 2014, alleges that the United States failed to uphold its legal obligation under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and customary International law to begin negotiations “in good faith” for an end to the nuclear arms race “at an early date” and for nuclear disarmament.
The suit contends that the United States has clearly violated its legal obligations to pursue nuclear disarmament by spending large sums of money to enhance its nuclear arsenal. The U.S. plans to spend an estimated $1 trillion on nuclear weapons over the next three decades and President Trump has said he wants to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal to ensure it is at the “top of the pack,” saying the United States has “fallen behind in its nuclear weapons capacity.”
The case was dismissed on February 3, 2015 on the jurisdictional grounds of standing and political question doctrine without getting to the merits of the case. David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and a consultant to the Marshall Islands in their lawsuit, stated, “We believe the Court of Appeals should reverse the decision of the lower court and allow the case to be heard on its merits. But, no matter the outcome of this appeal, the Marshall Islands has shown great leadership with their Nuclear Zero lawsuits. They are a small nation that has acted on behalf of all humanity.”
Marshall Islanders suffered catastrophic and irreparable damages to their people and homeland when the U.S. conducted 67 nuclear tests on their territory between 1946 and 1958. These tests had the equivalent power of exploding 1.6 Hiroshima bombs daily for 12 years.
The Marshall Islands does not seek compensation with this lawsuit. Rather, it seeks declaratory and injunctive relief requiring the United States to comply with its commitments under international law.
For more information about the Nuclear Zero lawsuits, visit nuclearzero.org/in-the-courts
Note to editor: There will be a press conference outside the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals at approximately 12:00 PM. Laurie Ashton, lead council for the Marshall Islands; Pastor Julian Riklon of the Marshall Islands; Rick Wayman, Director of Programs and Operations at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation; Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director, Western States Legal Foundation; Scott Yundt, Staff Attorney, Tri-Valley CAREs; and John Burroughs, Executive Director, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, will be available for comment.
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The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation was founded in1982. Its mission is to educate and advocate for peace and a world free of nuclear weapons and to empower peace leaders.
The Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with consultative status to the United Nations and is comprised of some 80,000 individuals and groups worldwide who realize the imperative for peace in the Nuclear Age.