Humanisation of International Law: The Example of Arms Control

Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth and the Weeramantry Centre for Peace, Justice and International  Law have launched an online International Law lecture series titled ‘Alternative Approaches to International Law’ aimed at questioning why International Law of tomorrow should be different from today.

Under this series, in November 2020, Dr. Daniel Reitikar, Adjunct Professor, University of Lausanne, delivered a lecture on the topic ‘Humanisation of International Law: The Example of Arms Control’. He shared his insights on how nuclear weapons can be disarmed. His book on the same was referred to during the talk. Emphasis was laid on the idea of saving the lives of innocent human beings. He stated that it is more human to follow a secure doctrine where one is free from disasters, not only natural but also human-made. International law should be humanised and regulated peacefully.

Further, he discussed how nowadays, the right of future generations is compromised due to the availability of nuclear armaments. Hence, solutions are needed to combat them. He explained about ‘humanisation’ of arms control and gave examples of international conventions and treaties where humanisation was already incorporated. The 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water (also known as the ‘Partial Test Ban Treaty’ or the ‘Moscow Treaty’); 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT); 1993 Convention on the Use of Chemical Weapons (CWC); 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT); the Ottawa Convention in 1997; the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions at Oslo; the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty and also five treaties on the Denuclearisation of Certain Regions (Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones) were examined under this scope.

Overall, the idea was to mitigate the loss of lives and the race of nuclear armament and the chance of a nuclear winter. Human rights must be protected in dangerous times. Shri Nizamuddin Ahmad Siddiqui from the Weeramantry Centre welcomed the gathering and introduced the lecture series. Shri Nithin Ramakrishnan, Assistant Professor from Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth, moderated the question and answer round that saw a few engaging discussions. He also rendered the Vote of Thanks.

Report by: Aditya Raja, third-year B.A. Applied Psychology.