Jul 03 2012

The Legal Structure of GSI and LCNP

Published by at 12:05 am under Global Health

The Legal Structures and Mandates of the two International Legal Disarmament Host Organizations: LCNP and GSI.

Kevin Krauss – Blog 2

The two organizations that I am externing with: the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, and the Global Security Institute, are both very unique organizations in their own ways. They are both Civil Society non-governmental organizations aimed at the global disarmament and eventual elimination of nuclear arms. In this regard, since international law is often a field that crosscuts across many areas, both organizations often deal with other areas as well. Both organizations have focused their direction towards the application of international humanitarian law as applied to nuclear weapons (international humanitarian law, or IHL for short, is the collection of international legal norms known commonly as the laws of war). Further, the organizations do not deal strictly with nuclear weaponry, either. Just recently, I was tasked with briefing Jonathan Granoff, President of GSI, in preparation for a major ABA broadcast interview about the United State’s susceptibility to terrorist attack by all types of weapons, including chemical and biological. In addition, the Lawyers Committee is involved in other areas of law that may relate to nuclear policy, such as the prevention of war and humanitarian issues resultant.

The Lawyers Committee is the only American organization of American lawyers focused on nuclear policy. They are the United States chapter of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA). IALANA is a broad-ranging organization with representation reaching in many regions.

The Global Security Institute, however, is not a chapter of another organization, but they are affiliated with quite a few other organizations in the field in a way that integrates their views into every aspect of the nuclear policy debate. For example, their partners include: the Middle Powers Initiative, a group of “middle power” countries that are beginning to exert more of a political sway in international relations and wish to influence US and global policy in the US and abroad; the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, which is a group consisting of the diplomats and representatives of many different nations who are interested in a nuclear weapons free world; the Bipartisan Security Group, which consists largely of United States Congressional representatives, of both political parties, united by the desire to rid the world of nuclear weapons; and of course the affiliation with the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy.

Although the GSI and the LCNP are not officially connected to each other, their offices in NYC are in close proximity and they consult each other daily on a myriad of issues. Further, on that note, my supervisors are both on the Board of Directors of the other organization. I like to think that my externships with the two of them may even bring them closer together.

My role in both organizations has been reserved for the legal aspects of their work. Although, I would certainly be available to both organizations for any task they would like to assign me, thankfully, it has so far been structured around legal issues. For example, two excellent assignments have been the aforementioned legal briefing in preparation of the ABA broadcast, and I am currently preparing a report based on the legalities and negotiations of the 1986 Reagan-Gorbachev U.S.-Soviet Reykjavik Summit in Iceland, where the two countries nearly came within pen-to-paper distance of signing an agreement that would have completely eliminated nuclear weapons from their arsenals over ten years! As we all know, that was unfortunately not to be the case, though the assignments have still been highly entertaining and educational.

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