US court throws out Marshalls nuke appeal

8:24 pm on 2 August 2017

The Marshall Islands' international nuclear disarmament goals have received a final setback after an appeal court ruling in the United States.

Nuclear test explosion at Bikini Atoll for Operation Crossroads, Marshall Islands, 1945/6

Nuclear test at Bikini Atoll for Operation Crossroads, Marshall Islands Photo: Supplied

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed last year's dismissal by the US Federal District Court of the Marshalls' so-called Nuclear Zero lawsuit.

The Marshall Islands has been battling to have the world's nuclear powers honour their promise] to disarm under the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.

Its case against the US was thrown out last year on constitutional grounds and last October the International Court of Justice rejected the Marshalls' suits against India, Pakistan and Britain.

The US appeal court ruled that Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was not judicially enforceable.

The panel also found that the Marshall Islands' claims presented inextricable political questions that could not be settled by court and must be dismissed.

The Marshall Islands' attorney, Laurie Ashton, said the decision was very disappointing and undercut the validity of the non proliferation treaty at a critical time.

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