Monday, May 19, 2014
#140 / Third-Party Beneficiaries
I was rather pleased to read an article about a lawsuit initiated by the tiny Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands (pictured above in former years).
The lawsuit was brought in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands. Defendants are the United States government, including specifically President Obama, and each of the other nuclear-armed nations in the world.
As readers of this blog will probably recall, five of the nuclear-armed nations of the world, including the United States, have entered into treaty obligations to proceed forward with nuclear "disarmament." In fact, with the United States leading the way, these nations are not disarming at all. They are modernizing their nuclear arsenals, and the first news story I read about the lawsuit estimates that these nine nations will spend $1 trillion on updating their nuclear weapons in the next ten years.
Treaties, like contracts in general, may be entered into between individual parties, but with the intention, as spelled out in the contract (or treaty), that the benefits of the mutual promises will accrue to other, non-contracting parties.
Such parties, in contract law, are called "third-party beneficiaries."
I am happy that someone has recognized our third-party beneficiary rights. The United States was "modernizing" its nuclear arsenal between 1946 and 1958, when we blew up H-bombs in the Marshall Islands (see picture, above). It seems to me that the Marshall Islands ought definitely to have standing to raise objections when nations promise us disarmament and then do the opposite.
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, based in Santa Barbara, California, is helping to make the case. Since I have been a longtime contributor, I was delighted to see the group's latest project.
If you'd like to help The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, or another California-based group that has been working very effectively for nuclear disarmament, Tri-Valley CAREs, please feel free to click the links.
And maybe we ought to get together, we third-party beneficiaries, and file an amicus brief!