Practice Relating to Rule 75 For Riot Control Agents

Geneva Gas Protocol

The 1925 Geneva Gas Protocol provides:

Because suffocation in war, the use of any poisonous or any other gas and all such liquids, substances or devices is justifiably condemned in the general opinion of the civilized world; Also this ban should be universally accepted as part of international law that binds the conscience and practice of nations equally.

Publication: Top contracting parties accept this prohibition because they are not already a party to agreements prohibiting such use.

None of the countries has endorsed or agreed to the Protocol with any restrictions or interpretations restricting the chemical weapons to which it may apply.

Chemical Weapons Convention

Article I(5) of the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 states that “Each Party undertakes not to use Riot control agents as a means of warfare”.

Chemical Weapons Convention

The removal of riot control agents is subjected to several provisions of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, the first of which is Article II is the definition of “chemical weapons”.

“Chemical Weapons” means following together or separately:

(a) Toxic chemicals and their precursors, except those intended for purposes not prohibited under this Convention, so long as their type and amount are consistent with that purpose

Article II(2) of the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 defines the term “toxic chemical” as follows:

Any chemical that can lead to death through a chemical reaction to a biological process; Temporary impairment or permanent harm to humans or animals. This includes all such chemicals, regardless of origin or method of production, whether manufactured in a facility, ammunition, or elsewhere.

Article II(7) of the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 defines “riot control agent” as:

“Chemicals not listed on the schedule can cause rapid sensory irritation in humans or inactivate physical effects that disappear shortly after exposure.”

Article II (9) (d) of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention provides:

“Objectives not prohibited under this Convention” means

(D) Law enforcement, including domestic riot control objectives. The cumulative effect of these provisions is that counter-insurgency agents may not be used as a tactic but may be used for law enforcement purposes, including counter-insurgency.