Category: Legal Documents

Library of legal documents relevant for the debate on the elimination of nuclear weapons.


Biological Weapons Convention

The 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) prohibits the use of biological weapons by anyone, anywhere, any time for any purpose. It also prohibits all relevant scientific and technological development of biological weapons, now and in the future. Biological Weapons Convention.

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court (ICC) adopted the Rome Statute in 1998, establishing four core international crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. Article 8 of the statute—which defines war crimes— may refer to chemical and biological weapons (CBW) implicitly, but it is unclear whether all chemical weapons are included, and whether biological weapons are included at all. Subparagraph (2)(b)(xvii) bans the use of ‘poison or poisoned weapons’; And Subparagraph (2)(b)(xviii) prohibit of the Use of   ”Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and all analogous liquids, materials or devices”. Rome Statute of the ICC.

Chemical Weapons Convention

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) was adopted by the Conference of Disarmament in Geneva on 3 September 1992, concerning the prohibition of development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons, and on their destruction. Chemical Weapons Convention (1993).

1925 Geneva Protocol

The 1925 Geneva Protocol prohibits the use of chemical and biological weapons in war. The Protocol was drawn up and signed at a conference, which was held in Geneva under the auspices of the League of Nations from 4 May to 17 June 1925, and it entered into force on 8 February 1928. 1925 Geneva Protocol.

Biological Weapons Convention

The 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) prohibits the use of biological weapons by anyone, anywhere, any time for any purpose. It also prohibits all relevant scientific and technological development of biological weapons, now and in the future. Biological Weapons Convention (treaty text, pdf).

ICJ Advisory Opinion (1996)

International Court of Justice (ICJ) Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, 8 July 1996. For a summary of the ICJ Advisory Opinion, see ILPI fact sheet.

Nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, and biological weapons

ICJ Nuclear Weapons Advisory Opinion (pdf).

UNGA Resolution 1653 (XVI)

United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1653 (XVI) (1961): Declaration on the Prohibition of Use of Nuclear and Thermonuclear Weapons.
UNGA Resolution 1653 (XVI) (pdf).

UNSC Resolution 1540: Non-proliferation of WMD

United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1540 was adopted unanimously on April 28, 2004 concerning the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), in particular to prevent the spread of WMD to non-state actors.
UNSC Resolution 1540 (2004) (pdf).