In the present essay I compare the 2016 judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Nuclear Arms Race (Marshall Islands v. United Kingdom) with the Court's 1966 judgment in South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa; Liberia v. South Africa). A series of similarities between the two judgments are obvious: They are two of the three cases in the history of the Court in which the judges were equally split and the President had to cast his tie-breaking vote. The critique of the judgments has been exceptionally strong, in 2016 as in 1966. The core of the critique, then as now, has practically been the same—the Court retreats into an excessive formalism that protects great powers.
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