Prohibition On Nuclear Weapons: A View From Sociologist Law

For one, nuclear weapons are related to as weapons of mass extermination since they may destroy thousands of people instantly. At such a scene, they turn out killing even these innocent people who have not committed any offense Take for example these causes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings both in Japan where nuclear weapons were utilized to kill these two cities. Modern nuclear weapons indicate a massive disaster than those first two bombs, and the after effect is beyond our imaginations. A detailed list of restrictions on engaging in nuclear weapon-related activities is included in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). These obligations include a declaration not to develop, test, manufacture, obtain, possess, stockpile, threaten or to make any attempt to use nuclear weapons.

The current momentum for the prohibition on nuclear weapons is usually explained by religion and our race to the bomb. The notion that a ban on nuclear bombs will lead to religiously fanatical evangelists of violence to a just defense of the moral principles that prohibition is founded upon makes little sense. One wonders if an old soldier is not a better judge of the spirit of the times. Sociologist Lawrence Stone believes that the world should ban all weapons of mass destruction, except for those used by the present. He claims that the removal of political and national restrictions on these weapons is necessary due to their immense destructive power.

Due to our technological advancements, these weapons are bound to become less threatening and more lethal with time. The idea that the same weapons will become even more deadly in the future would imply the inevitability of human extermination on a large scale. Quoting Roscoe Pound that the law is implemented to meet the social needs including the claims, demands, and expectations inherent in the existence of a civilized society. So, the prohibition of nuclear weapons was demanded by the society, or for the purpose of individualistic interest by the leaders of those countries that are involved?

Roscoe Pound, scholar, views that the role of law is to reconcile interests and to ensure that society remains in balance. This requires individuals’ rights and desires be compromised to ensure society remains strong and stable. In addition, Pound also measured law by how effectively it served society. Back at the case at hand, although the prohibition of nuclear weapons was made in a view that it was for the interest of some leaders in the world i.e., America, Russia and North Korea but the general consensus is that the prohibition was ratified for the peace of all countries and to avoid fatalities from happening.

On the other hand, Pound divided interests into three categories – individual interests, social interests and public interests. Public interests includes a nation’s interests as a jurist, including its interests in acting freely, its security, and the protection of its dignity. Every free and autonomous nation defends those interests, typically in the framework of international affairs. Public interests rely on the state’s interest as the guardian of social interests. Social interests include the demands created involving social life and a community as a whole according to the groups of people.

Today, the legislation underpins the law more into social interests. For this purpose, Pound has focused most of his planning to social interest as the most inclusive order. There are several social interests that need to be balanced, i.e. the interest in general protection. This interest claims for a safe social life which is hindered from harmful activity and endangers society. On a side note, Pound’s theory succeeded in looking for the interest not only in the sense of what people want but also what may be good to them regardless of their actual needs.

Should all weapons be outlawed, though nuclear terrorism will still be a threat to the human’s society and civilization? Therefore the current belief that we should completely eliminate all the weapons is neither feasible nor desirable. Despite the pitfalls in banning all the major weapons, a pragmatic view of this proposal by its advocates is probably better than going further in terms of global abolition. Why not accept the bans of the UN treaties but, assuming its validity, set a few reasonable conditions that limit and cap these bans?

(This article is authored by Balqis Nadirah Sukaimi and co-authored by Dr. Nabeel Althabhawi and does not necessarily represent the view of Solidaritas)