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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Nuclear Weapons and Warfare

Stefan Kadelbach

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 19 January 2021

Arms control — Armed conflict — Weapons, nuclear — Weapons, biological — Conduct of hostilities

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 Nuclear weapons, along with biological (Biological Weapons and Warfare) and chemical weapons (Chemical Weapons and Warfare), are one of the three categories of weapons of mass destruction, as opposed to conventional weapons. Due to their devastating effects on the one hand and their strategic importance on the other (see paras 2–13 below), treaties with a view to their reduction are both desirable and difficult to achieve (see paras 14–28 below). Given that specific rules as to their actual use that are binding on all States (but see para. 27 below) do not...
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