Journal Article

The Effectiveness of International Supervision in Arms Control Law

Guido den Dekker

in Journal of Conflict and Security Law

Volume 9, issue 3, pages 315-330
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 1467-7954
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1467-7962 | DOI:
The Effectiveness of International Supervision in Arms Control Law

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Writing about the effectiveness of international supervision in arms control law presupposes a view on each of the following topics: what constitutes ‘the law of arms control’, what is meant by ‘(international) supervision’ of arms control law, and if or how (degrees of) ‘effectiveness’ can be determined. Each of these questions is addressed in this paper, which focuses on international supervision of multilateral arms control treaties. International supervision of arms control law in its most developed form has witnessed the establishment of special supervisory organisations such as the IAEA, OPCW and CTBTO. These organisations have been granted many powers, but often lack the express power to formally and openly establish non-compliance with the treaty. The (supervisory) activities of the organisations are in practice more ‘managerial’ than ‘confrontational’ in character. For various reasons, the determination of (degrees of) effectiveness of supervision is a very complicated undertaking. Although it must be accepted that the complete absence of violations cannot be guaranteed, the establishment of an international organisation for supervisory purposes can be deemed ‘effective’ to further the objectives of the arms control treaties concerned. The (negative) evidence of such effectiveness lies in the actual operation of the supervisory organisation, if in anything.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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