News

\r\n The old traders’ adage “better to travel than arrive” has been true in 2017. Last year wa...
\r\n President Donald Trump signed on 28 March 2017 an executive order to unravel former President B...
\r\n According to some scientists, the fingerprint of human-caused climate change has been found on ...
\r\n Australia’s federal government has announced it will ratify and implement the OPCAT Treaty, O...
\r\n Nurses and teachers are among those bearing the brunt of a debt crisis rooted in the mistaken b...

Follow us

Articles

Illicit Nuclear Trafficking

‘Illicit Nuclear Trafficking: States, Non-State Actors and the Quest for Criminalisation in International Law’, Oil, Gas Energy and Intelligence 11(1): Ricardo Tremolada

Ricardo Tremolada of the University of Milan begins the following article by describing the reasons for the emergence of the black-market in nuclear materials, and their intended end uses, from commercial constructions to terrorism. It is noted that current deterrents on use of nuclear arms stemming from international treaties on non-proliferation do not hold weight on private non-state actors acquiring materials via black markets.

The International Atomic Energy Agency is the principal multilateral authority for the handling of nuclear-related issues, including in relation to non-state actors, but its ability to act effectively is identified as hindered by the fact that some states do not recognise the Agency as an ultimate authority, funding issues, and a lack of consensus amongst IAEA member states as to how stringently the nuclear sector should be regulated.

It is noted that persons cannot currently be convicted under international criminal law for nuclear trafficking, recognising nuclear trafficking as a crime against humanity under the International Criminal Court the ICC is supported since ICC judges may be less likely to submit to threats of retaliation from criminal actors in the event of criminalisation. The possibility of reclassifying all transnational crimes, like nuclear trafficking, as international crimes falling within the ICC’s jurisdiction is also considered. Alternatively, the ability to classify nuclear trafficking as a threat to the peace capable of justifying use of force by third-party nations under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

Furthermore, the role of United Nations Security Council Resolutions in helping to combat nuclear trafficking is considered. It is noted that the UN mandates nations to enforce their domestic laws on nuclear weapons, but that states are not under binding mandatory obligations for transmitting reports on the issue.