Journal Article

The Arms Trade Treaty: Pursuit for the Effective Control of Arms Transfer

Yasuhito Fukui

in Journal of Conflict and Security Law

Volume 20, issue 2, pages 301-321
Published in print July 2015 | ISSN: 1467-7954
Published online April 2015 | e-ISSN: 1467-7962 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jcsl/krv003
The Arms Trade Treaty: Pursuit for the Effective Control of Arms Transfer

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  • Use of Force, War, Peace and Neutrality

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The General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) adopted the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on 2 April 2013, which entered into force on 24 December 2014. The process towards the adoption of the ATT draws the attention of the international disarmament community because the negotiation of the ATT failed to agree on the treaty text twice at diplomatic conferences, due to its rigid consensus rule before the adoption of the ATT by vote in the UNGA. This study first describes the ATT negotiation as an example of international law-making process, especially from three cardinal viewpoints: (i) the decision-making by consensus stipulated in its rules of procedure; (ii) the role of the UNGA in the adoption of the ATT; and (iii) the contribution of the NGOs to the treaty negotiation. This article further examines the result of the negotiation, the agreed text of the ATT, focusing on the act transfer, which is the key concept of the ATT. This analysis includes the comparative studies of the precedents set by other disarmament treaties and also other issues related to the act of transfer in the ATT. One of the interesting issues is the language of safeguards contained in the clause for the act of transfer, which is also regarded as a loophole along with the ambiguity in the ATT. Consequently, this article concludes that the language of safeguards and the ambiguity in the ATT are ‘necessary evils’ for the universalisation of the ATT and it also proposes possible solutions in the quest for effective control of arms transfer through the ATT.

Journal Article.  9846 words. 

Subjects: Military and Defence Law ; Public International Law ; Police and Security Services ; Terrorism and National Security Law ; Use of Force, War, Peace and Neutrality

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