Tipping the Scale of Justice: The Fallout Suit of 1958 and the Environmental Legal Dimension of Nuclear Pacifism


  • Toshihiro Higuchi


This paper explains both opportunities and challenges that court disputes over the alleged danger of radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons tests brought to nuclear pacifism. After reviewing the background in which the danger of radioactive fallout came into focus among peace activists, the paper discusses how the litigation in the United States unfolded. It also explores the judicial structures and legal cultures of the Soviet Union and Great Britain to explain why the planned lawsuits in these countries, unlike that in the United States, failed to even take off. In conclusion, the paper reflects on the implications of the first environmental legal challenges to nuclear weapons during and beyond the Cold War.