In 1994 the United Nation's General Assembly requested the International Court of Justice to consider the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons. The Court subsequently ruled in 1996 that "the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law." The sole exception is in "an extreme circumstance of self-defense, in which the very survival of a State would be at stake." In that instance, the Court concluded that it could not definitely rule.