Legal forum to examine nuclear tensions amid heightened global concerns

November 9, 2023 Robert Abruzzese, Courthouse Editor
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses nuclear strategy, vis-à-vis Iran, in this file photo: Legal implications to be discussed at NYS Bar Association forum in the wake of heightened global tensions.Richard Drew/AP
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The New York State Bar Association is poised to host a pivotal forum on the risk of nuclear war, convening military leaders, legal experts, and peace advocates. The event gains added pertinence against the backdrop of recent international incidents, including a controversial statement from an Israeli minister that underscored the global nervousness around nuclear warfare.

Amid escalating violence in Gaza, a comment by Israeli Heritage Minister Amihay Eliyahu suggested a nuclear strike as a possible response, prompting a swift suspension by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This incident, reflecting the severity with which nuclear options are regarded, underlines the urgency of the discussions scheduled for the New York conference on Nov. 8.

“We used to have two superpowers who talked to each other about nuclear weapons and disarmament. That’s not happening anymore,” said NYS Bar Association President Richard Lewis. “People all over the world are fearful of the escalating conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine and that it will lead to the use of nuclear and biological weapons.”

The virtual assembly, set to commence with an address by Ukrainian Counsel General Oleksii Holubov, seeks to navigate the complexities of nuclear deterrence and legal challenges in warfare. 

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Professor Charles Moxley of Fordham Law School highlighted the absence of constructive dialogue on arms control, emphasizing the urgency of the forum’s discussions. 

The event’s four panels will dissect aspects of the nuclear threat, featuring U.S. military and legal minds, such as Jeffrey Biller and Navy Commander Leigha Groves, and international law and disarmament experts.

This forum is not just timely but vital, coinciding with Netanyahu’s repudiation of Eliyahu’s comments and the recent U.S. diplomatic movements by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.


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