26 Feb 2016

NZer nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

3:45 pm on 26 February 2016

A New Zealander is among a group of lawyers nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for their work on an anti-nuclear lawsuit on behalf of a Pacific nation left devastated by nuclear testing.

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

A US nuclear test at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands in 1945/6. Photo: Supplied

Professor Roger Clark is part of an international team representing the Republic of the Marshall Islands, which includes Bikini Atoll.

Professor Roger Clark has been nominated for a 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.

Professor Roger Clark Photo: Supplied

The islands have launched a legal bid in The Hague to hold accountable the nine countries in possession of nuclear weapons.

Between 1946 and 1958, the United States detonated 60 nuclear weapons on the islands, the equivalent of 1.7 Hiroshima bombs detonated daily for a dozen years.

Professor Clark, who began his law studies at Victoria University, and is now based at Rutgers University in New Jersey, said in a statement it would be a hard case to win, but he thought they "had a shot".

He had previously presented a case at the International Court of Justice in The Hague on behalf of Samoa in 1995 and 1996 to outlaw nuclear weapons.

Hearings on the Marshall Islands case begin in March.

The Nobel Peace Prize Laureates will be announced in October, with a ceremony in Oslo in December.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs