Marshalls' testimony at anti-nuke hearing "powerful"

4:20 pm on 22 March 2016

The lawyer representing the Marshall Islands in its international anti-nuclear case says this month's hearings at The Hague have shone a light on the lack of formal talks on nuclear disarmament.

A file photo from July 2014 shows an atomic bomb explosion in Bikini Atoll.

A file photo from July 2014 shows an atomic bomb explosion in Bikini Atoll. Photo: STF / AFP

Sixteen judges of the International Court of Justice at The Hague have heard preliminary arguments and are now deliberating on whether the cases against Pakistan, India and the United Kingdom should go ahead.

The Marshalls says the countries are among nine which are failing to negotiate for nuclear disarmament which violates an international treaty.

Phon van den Biesen says the Marshalls' former foreign minister Tony de Brum, who appeared in court, put a personal face to the problems caused by nuclear weapons.

"He explained that in a very summarised, very powerful manner so to no-one and not to the judges of the court either it can be unclear why the Marshall Islands has a specific interest in trying to make the world get rid of nuclear weapons."

Mr van den Biesen says it could be three to six months before the court comes to a decision on whether the main cases can go ahead.

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