Practice Relating to Rule 72. Poison and Poisoned Weapons
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) prohibits the use of “poison or poisoned weapons”.
The manual further notes that “the use of poison or poisoned weapons” is “an old-established rule of customary law” which constitutes a war crime.
Under New Zealand’s International Crimes and ICC Act (2000), war crimes include the crime defined in Article 8(2)(b)(xvii) of the 1998 ICC Statute.
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case
in 1995, New Zealand stated: “The use of poison and poisoned weapons has long been prohibited. The prohibition is set out in the 1925 Geneva [Gas] Protocol but also forms part of customary law.”