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FalloutNuclear Diplomacy in an Age of Global Fracture$
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Grégoire Mallard

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226157894

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226157924.001.0001

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The Resilience of Opacity in a Changing International Legal Environment

The Resilience of Opacity in a Changing International Legal Environment

How Europe Weighted East-West Negotiations of the NPT

Chapter:
(p.213) Seven The Resilience of Opacity in a Changing International Legal Environment
Source:
Fallout
Author(s):

Grégoire Mallard

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226157924.003.0007

Chapter 7 analyzes how international organizations negotiate the interpretation of legal obligations when changes occur in the international legal environment. It describes how the production of soft law and a truly global treaty – the NPT – affected the negotiation between the two existing international organizations in charge of verifying the legal obligations of their member-states with regard to the use of nuclear technologies and fissile materials: Euratom and the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA. It shows that when opposite legal rules are inherited from a succession of treaties with overlapping jurisdiction, it is not always the newest and more general rules that survive the hard work of harmonization. In this case, European diplomats not only preserved Euratom’s exclusive control of nuclear activities in Europe after the NPT was signed, but they also convinced the IAEA to design a new global NPT safeguards system, which was adapted to the Euratom system. The outcome such a complex and sequential process of harmonization of opaque legal rules thus produced some loopholes in the global nonproliferation regime, as the goal of Euratom had never been to check nuclear proliferation in Europe.

Keywords:   opacity, legal environment, IAEA, NPT, Euratom, harmonization, loopholes, nonproliferation regime

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