Related Rule
Australia
Practice Relating to Rule 73. Biological Weapons
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) provides that States are prohibited “from manufacturing, storing and using biological weapons. Both chemical and biological weapons are prohibited because they cause unnecessary suffering and may affect the civilian population in an indiscriminate fashion.” 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 306.
The Guide defines the use of “certain unlawful weapons and ammunition” as “grave breaches or serious war crimes”. 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 1305(p).
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states: “Bacteriological methods of warfare are prohibited.” It further provides that States are prohibited “from manufacturing, storing and using biological weapons. Both chemical and biological weapons are prohibited because they cause unnecessary suffering and may affect the civilian population in an indiscriminate fashion.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, §§ 411 and 414.
The manual defines the use of “certain unlawful weapons and ammunition” as “grave breaches or serious war crimes”. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 1315(p).
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states in its chapter on “Weapons” that “[b]acteriological methods of warfare are prohibited”. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 4.14.
In the same chapter, the manual further states:
Nations are prohibited from manufacturing, storing and using biological weapons. Both chemical and biological weapons are prohibited because they cause unnecessary suffering and may affect the civilian population in an indiscriminate fashion. Australia is a party to the international convention prohibiting the development, production and stockpiling of bacteriological (biological) and toxin weapons. As a party, Australia has undertaken not to develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain biological agents or toxins that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purpose. Further, Australia has undertaken not to develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 4.20.
In its chapter on “Compliance”, the manual states: “Among other war crimes generally recognised as forming part of the customary LOAC are … using bacteriological methods of warfare”. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 13.30.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Australia’s Crimes (Biological Weapons) Act (1976) [previously the Biological Weapons Act 1976], as amended to 2001, provides:
(1) It is unlawful to develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain:
(a) microbial or other biological agents, or toxins whatever their origin or method of production, of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes; or
(b) weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflicts;
(2) A corporation that, or a natural person who, does an act or thing declared by subsection (1) to be unlawful is guilty of an offence and is punishable, on conviction:
(a) in the case of a corporation – by a fine not exceeding $200,000; and
(b) in the case of a natural person – by a fine not exceeding $10,000, or by imprisonment for a specified period or for life, or both. 
Australia, Crimes (Biological Weapons) Act 1976 [previously Biological Weapons Act 1976], as amended to 2001, § 8(1)–(2).
Australia’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act (1995), as amended to 2003, states:
3 Interpretation
Weapons of Mass Destruction program or WMD program means a plan or program for the development, production, acquisition or stockpiling of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons or missiles capable of delivering such weapons.
9 Prohibition on supplying goods for WMD program
(1) If:
(a) a person supplies any goods to another person; and
(b) the first-mentioned person believes or suspects, on reasonable grounds, that the goods will or may be used in a WMD program; and
(c) the supply of the goods is not authorised by a permit or is in contravention of a condition stated in a permit; and
(d) the Minister has not given a written notice to the first-mentioned person under section 12 stating that the Minister has no reason to believe or suspect that the goods will or may be used in a WMD program;
the first-mentioned person is guilty of an offence punishable on conviction by imprisonment for not more than 8 years.
10 Prohibition on exporting goods for WMD program
(1) If:
(a) a person exports any non-regulated goods; and
(b) the person believes or suspects, on reasonable grounds, that the goods will or may be used in a WMD program; and
(c) the export of the goods is not authorised by a permit or is in contravention of a condition stated in a permit; and
(d) the Minister has not given a written notice to the person under section 12 stating that the Minister has no reason to believe or suspect that the goods will or may be used in a WMD program;
the person is guilty of an offence punishable on conviction by imprisonment for not more than 8 years.
11 Prohibition on providing services for WMD program
(1) If:
(a) a person provides any services to another person; and
(b) the first-mentioned person believes or suspects, on reasonable grounds, that the services will or may assist a WMD program; and
(c) the provision of the services is not authorised by a permit or is in contravention of a condition stated in a permit; and
(d) the Minister has not given a written notice to the first-mentioned person under section 12 stating that the Minister has no reason to believe or suspect that the provision of the services will or may assist a WMD program;
the first-mentioned person is guilty of an offence punishable on conviction by imprisonment for not more than 8 years. 
Australia, Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act, 1995, as amended to 2003, §§ 3 and 9–11, pp. 3 and 6–7.
In 1982, in response to a parliamentary question on notice regarding chemical and biological defence research, Australia’s Minister for Defence stated: “Australia has not, is not, and has no plans to become, engaged in research into the handling of disease producing biological agents.” 
Australia, House of Representatives, Minister for Defence, Question on Notice: Chemical and Biological Defence Research, Hansard, 21 April 1982.
In its oral pleadings before the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Australia stated:
Both conventions have widespread adherence. The Biological Weapons Convention has 131 States parties. The very new Chemical Weapons Convention has already 159 signatories and 40 ratifications or acceptances. The final preambular paragraph to the Biological Weapons Convention expresses the conviction of the States Parties that the use of biological weapons “would be repugnant to the conscience of mankind and that no effort should be spared to minimise this risk”. Clearly, this is a strong international statement that the use of such weapons would be contrary to fundamental general principles of humanity. 
Australia, Oral pleadings before the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 30 October 1995, Verbatim Record CR 95/22, § 39.