THE INTERNATIONAL REGULATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS: TOWARDS ABSOLUTE EXCLUSION?

THE INTERNATIONAL REGULATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS: TOWARDS ABSOLUTE EXCLUSION?

My doctor had sent me the following instructions to employ on my research proposal. Editing and rewriting is required in the light of the two following paragraphs to be done on my research proposal.

“My concern with your proposed project at this stage is in regards to the research question(s) that you pose: the originality of the project and its potential to advance the discourse (which is required for a PhD). A number of commentators have already been discussing the legal potential/impact of the TPNW, and it is fairly clear that it would be very difficult to see it as having binding customary effect without the support of the nuclear powers, which is not going to happen any time soon. I think its fair to say that the discussion has already moved to questions of e.g. political impact, possible shifts in perspective towards humanitarian underpinnings in discourse and the relationship between disarmament and arms control in this context. I am, for example, currently supervising a PhD considering some of these wider aspects, which is already half completed. I do not think it is possible to base a PhD project on the legal impact of the treaty at this stage in the way that you envisage. In addition, other aspects of your project, such as the correctness of the ICJs conclusions regarding the compatibility of nuclear weapons with IHL principles such as distinction is of course important, but has been written about extensively since 1996.”

“I therefore think it is necessary for you to identify a more novel research question or approach that allows you to move some of these debates forward. You clearly have excellent knowledge in this area as I say, your background research work in this proposal is excellent and I would be interested in working with you on a topic in the nuclear law field, but my view is that you need a stronger research question for a viable PhD proposal.”