(68)  Nuclear weapons illegal: Greenock Sheriff Court

Ellen Moxley, Angie Zelter and Ulla Roder were accused in Greenock Sheriff Court of maliciously damaging an unmanned barge carrying sonar equipment and documents at the Faslane base which is part of the Trident nuclear submarine defence system. Sheriff Margaret Gimblett held, however, purporting to follow a 1996 ruling of the International Court of Justice, that nuclear weapons were illegal and that the actions of the three women were justified because they had been seeking to prevent the use of illegal weapons. She also had arguments based upon the Geneva and Nuremberg Conventions. The three women were released; the Crown is expected to seek the over-ruling of the decision, probably by way of a Lord Advocate’s Reference in the High Court of Justiciary. See further J Mayer, "Old human rights", 1999 SLT (News) 340. (27 October 1999)