National Implementation of IHL
Cluster Munitions Act, 2011
Act no. 8 of 2011 to implement the Convention on Cluster munitions in the Cook Islands and related matters


An Act to implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions in the Cook Islands was enacted by Parliament and assented to by the Queen’s Representative on 14 July 2011. The Act provides for relevant definitions of the terms “cluster munition”, “explosive bomblet”, “transfer” and others. An offence is committed if someone uses, develops, produces, acquires, possesses, retains, stockpiles, or transfers to any other person cluster munitions or explosive bomblets. It provides penalties of imprisonment for up to 10 years, or a fine or both. The High Court has jurisdiction in these offences.

A person also commits an offence if, being a director, manager or other similar officer of a body corporate, “fails or refuses to take all reasonable practicable steps to ensure that the body corporate does not commit an offence” in the terms mentioned above. Section 6 establishes extraterritorial jurisdiction for the offences committed abroad “by body corporate incorporated under the laws of the Cook Islands or residents of the Cook Islands”.

The Act crreates exceptions to the prohibitions under Section 4, allowing the retention or acquisition of a specified number of cluster munitions or bomblets for such purposes as the development of techniques for and training in the detection, clearance or destruction of cluster munitions and explosive bomblets. The exception shall also apply to, inter alia, police officers and members of the New Zealand or Australian Defence Forces acting in the course of their duties for the purpose of the conduct of criminal proceedings or rendering cluster munitions harmless.

The Minister has power to require any information or documents relevant to the administration or enforcement of the Act, or the Cook Islands’ obligation to report under Article 7 or its obligation to provide information under Article 8 of the Convention. Failure without reasonable excuse, refusal to comply or knowingly making a false or misleading statement in response to such a request shall be considered an offence and subject to a term not exceeding 5 years imprisonment, or a fine or both.

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application/pdf 139 KB Cook Islands - Cluster Munitions Act, 2011.pdf