Redressing Nuclear Harm: Transitional Justice in the Nuclear Age

Seminar with Jana Baldus, Caroline Fehl and Sascha Hach

French nuclear weapons testing. Photo by Pierre J. on Flickr, under creative commons

Nuclear deter­rence and disarmament discussions often center on poten­tial future use and threats of use of nuclear weapons. Atten­tion is growing, however, on the harm that nuclear weapons have already done, mostly focused on the Hiro­shima and Nagasaki bom­bings and on nuclear testing impacts. This semi­nar offers a nuclear justice lens derived from concepts of tran­sitional justice (TJ). Traditionally applied in the context of human rights viola­tions the ana­lytical and normative frame­work can be used to study the nuclear past and present efforts to address it. We propose to under­stand nuclear harm as a form of “systemic wrong­doing”. Specifically, recent work by TJ scholars on colonial crimes and post-colo­nial injustice bears direct relevance for discussions on nuclear jus­tice. We use the different “pillars” of TJ – criminal liability, redress, truth-telling, and reform – to ana­lyze the progress made since the start of the nuclear age in addres­sing nuclear injustice and to identify gaps and poten­tials for political and legal action. The seminar builds on the 2021 Peace Research Insti­tute Frankfurt report Beyond the Ban: A Global Agen­da for Nuclear Justice.


The seminar is part of the Mana­ging the Atom's Atomic Voices Series and is open to the public.

When: Friday, December 1, 2023, 10:00am 12:00pm
Where: Zoom (Online)

Further infor­mation and the link for the Zoom webi­nar registration can be found on the website of the Belfer Center.

Any recording or use of con­tent from this webi­nar by the public or media is restricted. We request that you ask for per­mission before using any material from the webinar.