International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Biological Weapons and International Law
Dr. Abeer Al Alubaidi

Belligerents have used biological weapons since antiquity, and even as late as World War II, after the League of Nations had adopted its 1925Protocol against chemical or biological warfare. During World War II, Japanese forces used germ warfare on China, and the United States was developing its own biological weapons. In 1969, President Nixon officially ended the United States’ biological weapons program, and in 1990, the US Congress adopted Public Law No. 101-298, which outlawed the production, acquisition, stockpiling and retention of biological weapons by any organization or individual within the United States, and in 1972, the United Nations adopted the Biological Weapons Convention. However, the implementing of decrees and legislation about prohibiting biological weapons has usually been more difficult than promulgation. In 1975, for instance, the US Senate held hearings about the CIA’s continued inventories of toxins. In 2001, US rejection of the composite compliance protocol that the Ad Hoc Group of the Biological Weapons Convention was formulating halted the Group’s negotiations concerning that protocol. As a result, the Biological Weapons Convention now features Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) aimed at encouraging States Parties’ eventual implementation, rather than a formal protocol.

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