1996

ICJ

Legality of the use by a State of nuclear weapons in arm conflict Case WHO Case Advisory opinion

1993, September 3rd, the WHO General Assembly asked the ICJ: In view of the health and environmental effects, would the use of nuclear weapons by a state in war or other arm conflict be a breach of its obligations under international law including the WHO constitution?

(25) international organisations are subjects of international law which do not, unlike states, posses a general competence, [they] are governed by the ‘principle of speciality’. They are invested by the States which create them with powers, the limits of which are a function of the common interest whose promotion those states entrust them. To ascribe to the WHO the competence to address the legality of the use of nuclear weapons – even in view of their health and environmental effects – would be tantamount to disregarding the principle of speciality; for such competence could not be deemed a necessary implication of the constitution of the organization in the light of the purposes assigned to it by its members states.