Australia and New Zealand have instituted legal proceedings against France at the World Court at the Hague in a new attempt to stop the French nuclear tests in the Pacific.
Australia and New Zealand have instituted legal proceedings against France at the World Court at the Hague in a new attempt to stop the French nuclear tests in the Pacific. Australia has asked the Court for an interim injunction of restraint, pending full-scale legal proceedings. New Zealand is expected to make a similar request for interim protection, and has applied for full scale proceedings.
The Australian Solicitor General, Mr. Robert Ellicott personally handed over Australia's application on Wednesday (9 May). The head of the Legal Division of the New Zealand Foreign Affairs department filed New Zealand's application. Both countries have asked the Court to declare that the tests, which cause radio-active fallout, violate their rights under international law. The Court will now fix dates for a hearing and time limits for the submission of written evidence by the countries concerned. Australia has said that the Court is expected to deal with the application for an interim injunction as a matter of priority and urgency. The next series of tests are expected in June. Diplomatic attempts to stop the atmospheric testing have been unsuccessful, and the Australian and New Zealand governments have said they will send navy ships into the test area if all else fails.