Practice Relating to Rule 70. Weapons of a Nature to Cause Superfluous Injury or Unnecessary Suffering
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons (WHO) case in 1994, Solomon Islands stated:
Since [their qualitative] effects may affect people outside the scope of conflict, both in time and geographically, the use of nuclear weapons violates the prohibition on the use of weapons which cause unnecessary suffering.
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Solomon Islands observed:
According to the 1868 Declaration of St. Petersburg, the “legitimate objective” of war “would be exceeded by the employment of arms which uselessly aggravate the suffering of disabled men, or render their death inevitable.”
The obligation reflected in the preamble of the St. Petersburg Declaration remains in force and applicable today. It has been neither abolished nor superseded.
The prohibition on the use of weapons which render death inevitable reflects an even more fundamental principle of the law of armed conflict: the obligation to minimise harm to combatants. Accordingly in its use of force a State must not injure its enemy when it can capture him, nor cause serious injury when it can cause only slight injury, and not kill the enemy if he can be injured.
The Solomon Islands further stated:
International law prohibits the use of weapons which:
– render death inevitable;
– cause unnecessary suffering.