Practice Relating to Rule 72. Poison and Poisoned Weapons

Hague Regulations (1899)
Article 23(a) of the 1899 Hague Regulations provides: “It is especially prohibited … to employ poison or poisoned arms.” 
Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to Convention (II) with Respect to the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 29 July 1899, Article 23(a).
Hague Regulations (1907)
Article 23(a) of the 1907 Hague Regulations provides: “It is especially forbidden … to employ poison or poisoned weapons.” 
Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 18 October 1907, Article 23(a).
ICC Statute
Pursuant to Article 8(2)(b)(xvii) of the 1998 ICC Statute, “[e]mploying poison or poisoned weapons” is a war crime in international armed conflicts. 
Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted by the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Rome, 17 July 1998, UN Doc. A/CONF.183/9, Article 8(2)(b)(xvii).
ICC Statute
Pursuant to Article 8(2)(e)(xiii) of the ICC Rome Statute, as amended in 2010, “[e]mploying poison and poisoned weapons” constitutes a war crime also in non-international armed conflicts. 
Statute of the International Criminal Court (1998), as amended by Resolution RC/Res.5, adopted by the 12th plenary meeting on 10 June 2010 by consensus, Article 8(2)(e)(xiii).
Lieber Code
Article 70 of the 1863 Lieber Code provides: “The use of poison in any manner, be it to poison wells, or food, or arms, is wholly excluded from modern warfare. He that uses it puts himself out of the pale of the law and usages of war.” 
Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, prepared by Francis Lieber, promulgated as General Order No. 100 by President Abraham Lincoln, Washington D.C., 24 April 1863, Article 70.
Brussels Declaration
Article 13(a) of the 1874 Brussels Declaration states that “[e]mployment of poison or poisoned weapons” is especially forbidden. 
Project of an International Declaration concerning the Laws and Customs of War, Brussels, 27 August 1874, Article 13(a).
Oxford Manual
Article 8(a) of the 1880 Oxford Manual provides: “It is forbidden … to make use of poison, in any form whatever.” 
The Laws of War on Land, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 September 1880, Article 8(a).
Oxford Manual of Naval War
Article 16(1) of the 1913 Oxford Manual of Naval War provides: “It is forbidden … to employ poison or poisoned weapons.” 
The Laws of Naval War Governing the Relations between Belligerents, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 August 1913, Article 16(1).
Report of the Commission on Responsibility
Based on several documents supplying evidence of outrages committed during the First World War, the 1919 Report of the Commission on Responsibility lists violations of the laws and customs of war which should be subject to criminal prosecution, including the “poisoning of wells”. 
Report submitted to the Preliminary Conference of Versailles by the Commission on Responsibility of the Authors of the War and on Enforcement of Penalties, Versailles, 29 March 1919.
ICTY Statute
Article 3(a) of the 1993 ICTY Statute lists “employment of poisonous weapons” as a violation of the laws or customs of war to be subject to the jurisdiction of the Court. 
Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, adopted by the UN Security Council, Res. 827, 25 May 1993, as amended by Res. 1166, 13 May 1998 and by Res. 1329, 30 November 2000, Article 3(a).
ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind (1996)
Pursuant to Article 20(e)(i) of the 1996 ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, “[e]mployment of poisonous weapons” is a war crime. 
Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, adopted by the International Law Commission, reprinted in Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its forty-eighth session, 6 May–26 July 1996, UN Doc. A/51/10, 1996, Article 20(e)(i).
UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15
The UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15 establishes panels with exclusive jurisdiction over serious criminal offences, including war crimes. According to Section 6(1)(b)(xvii), “[e]mploying poison or poisoned weapons” is a war crime in international armed conflicts. 
Regulation on the Establishment of Panels with Exclusive Jurisdiction over Serious Criminal Offences, UN Doc. UNTAET/REG/2000/15, Dili, 6 June 2000, Section 6(1)(b)(xvii).
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) states that the use of “poison or poisoned weapons” is especially prohibited. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 1.008(2).
Australia
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) states that the use of poison or poisoned weapons is prohibited. 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 932(b).
The Guide also provides: “Because of their potential to be indiscriminate in application, poison and poisoned weapons are prohibited.” 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 307; see also § 304.
The Guide further states: “The following examples constitute grave breaches or serious war crimes likely to warrant institution of criminal proceedings: … using certain unlawful weapons and ammunition such as poison.” 
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
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states:
Poison or poisoned weapons are illegal because of their potential to be indiscriminate. So, for example, the poisoning or contamination of any source of drinking water is prohibited and the illegality is not cured by posting a notice that the water has been contaminated or poisoned. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 406.
The manual further states: “The following examples constitute grave breaches or serious war crimes likely to warrant institution of criminal proceedings: … using certain unlawful weapons and ammunition such as poison.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 1315(p).
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
Poison or poisoned weapons are illegal because of their potential to be indiscriminate. So, for example, the poisoning or contamination of any source of drinking water is prohibited and the illegality is not cured by posting a notice that the water has been so contaminated or poisoned. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 4.8.
The manual further states:
Provisions of the Hague Regulations 1907 are now recognised as part of customary law. Those regulations provide that the following acts are “especially forbidden”:
• to employ poison or poisoned weapons. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 13.29.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) proscribes “the use of poison or poisoned arms”. The prohibition includes the poisoning of water sources, even with a warning. 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 37.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Military Instructions (1992) states: “It is prohibited to use … poisonous gas.” 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Instructions on the Implementation of the International Law of War in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Official Gazette of ABiH, No. 2/92, 5 December 1992, Item 11, § 1.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “It is prohibited to use poison or poisonous weapons because these weapons inevitably lead to death, or may cause superfluous injuries which generally lead to death.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I, p. 15; see also Part I bis, pp. 10, 27, 33 and 53.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states:
Poison or poisoned weapons are illegal because of their potential to be indiscriminate. For example, the poisoning or contamination of any source of drinking water is prohibited. Posting a notice that the water has been contaminated or poisoned does not make this practice legal. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, pp. 5-2 and 5-3, § 20.
The manual also prohibits the use of “bullets that have been dipped in poison”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 5-2, § 12(c).
The manual further states that “using poison or poisoned weapons” constitutes a war crime. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, pp. 16-3 and 16-4, §§ 20(a) and 21(h).
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) provides that the use of “poison or poison weapons” is forbidden. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 3, § 10(b).
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter entitled “Restrictions on the use of weapons”:
Poison or poisoned weapons are illegal because of their potential to be indiscriminate. For example, the poisoning or contamination of any source of drinking water is prohibited. Posting a notice that the water has been contaminated or poisoned does not make this practice legal, as both civilians and combatants might drink from that water source and be equally affected. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 512.
In the same chapter, the manual also prohibits the use of “bullets that have been dipped in poison”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 510.1.c.
In its chapter on “War crimes, individual criminal liability and command responsibility”, the manual states that “using poison or poisoned weapons” constitutes a war crime. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1609.2.a.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) provides that the use of “poison or poison weapons” is forbidden. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 3, § 10(b).
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) prohibits the use of “poison and poisoned weapons”. 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 79.
The manual further states that “poisoning food and water” is a war crime. 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 78.
Colombia
Colombia’s Basic Military Manual (1995) prohibits the poisoning of water. 
Colombia, Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual Básico para las Personerías y las Fuerzas Armadas de Colombia, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, 1995, p. 49.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book III, Volume 2 (Instruction of second-year trainee officers):
I.3. War crimes
War crimes are also violations of the laws and customs of war such as:
- employment of poisonous weapons or other weapons calculated to cause unnecessary suffering. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur , Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 44–45.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
II.1.2. Prohibited munitions
The following types of munitions are prohibited:
- bullets dipped in poison.
II.1.4. Poison
Poison and poisoned weapons are unlawful due to the possibility that they strike without distinction. Thus, poisoning or contamination of any source of drinking water is prohibited. Putting up notices that water has been contaminated or poisoned does not render that practice lawful, because civilians as well as combatants can drink from that source of water and be equally affected. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 52 and 53.
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic’s Military Manual (1980) prohibits the use of poison and poisonous weapons. It tells soldiers:
You may not use poison or poisoning agents such as dead animals, bodies, or defecation to poison any water and food. Of course, you may use non-poisonous methods to destroy military food and water supplies in order to deprive the enemy combatants of their use. 
Dominican Republic, La Conducta en Combate según las Leyes de la Guerra, Escuela Superior de las FF. AA. “General de Brigada Pablo Duarte”, Secretaría de Estado de las Fuerzas Armadas, May 1980, p. 5.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) states: “Poisoned projectiles are considered illegal, owing to their alteration, as are any other munitions covered with poison.” 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 9.1; see also § 9.1.1.
France
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) states that it is prohibited to use poisoned weapons. 
France, Fiche de Synthèse sur les Règles Applicables dans les Conflits Armés, Note No. 432/DEF/EMA/OL.2/NP, Général de Corps d’Armée Voinot (pour l’Amiral Lanxade, Chef d’Etat-major des Armées), 1992, § 4.6.
France
France’s LOAC Teaching Note (2000) includes poison in the list of weapons that “are totally prohibited by the law of armed conflict” “owing to their inhuman nature or to their excessive traumatic effect”. 
France, Fiche didactique relative au droit des conflits armés, Directive of the Ministry of Defence, 4 January 2000, annexed to the Directive No. 147 of the Ministry of Defence of 4 January 2000, p. 6.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) incorporates the content of Article 23(a) of the 1907 Hague Regulations. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 97.
It also includes poison in the list of weapons that “are totally prohibited by the law of armed conflicts” “owing to their inhuman nature or to their excessive traumatic effect”. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 54.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states: “It is prohibited to employ poison and poisoned weapons.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, § 426.
The manual adds: “The prohibition also applies to the toxic contamination of water supply installations and foodstuffs … for military purposes.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, § 434.
Indonesia
Indonesia’s Air Force Manual (1990) states: “It is prohibited to use poison or poisonous weapons in warfare.” 
Indonesia, The Basics of International Humanitarian Law in Air Warfare, Indonesian Air Force, 1990, § 15(b)(1).
Israel
Referring to Israel’s Law of War Booklet (1986), the Report on the Practice of Israel provides that the Israel Defense Forces do “not condone the use of poison in warfare, irrespective of the method or means of its employment”. 
Report on the Practice Israel, 1997, Chapter 3.2, referring to Conduct in the Battlefield in Accordance with the Law of War, Israel Defense Forces, 1986, p. 11.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) provides:
It is forbidden to poison water sources, arrows or bullets. This is one of the most ancient prohibitions in the laws of war. Already back in ancient Greece and Rome, it was forbidden to use poison which was perceived as “a dishonorable weapon” that disgraces the user. This prohibition has been carefully upheld also into the twentieth century. Another reason for this prohibition is the difficulty in controlling the outcome of the poisoning, with the possibility that it could also spread to an innocent civilian population (for example, the poisoning of water sources that cannot be restricted to military use only). 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 12.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states: “The rules of warfare … include many customs that have become entrenched in warfare over the years, such as … the ban on the use of poison”. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 10; see also p. 13.
The manual further states:
It is forbidden to use poison, for instance to poison water sources, arrows or bullets. This is one of the most ancient prohibitions under the rules of warfare. In Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, it was forbidden to use poison as it was seen to be a “dishonourable weapon”, bringing shame on the person who used it. This ban has been scrupulously observed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The poisoning of water sources is also prohibited because the results are hard to control and could spread to the civilian population. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 14.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) states: “It is specifically prohibited … to use poison or poisoned weapons.” 
Italy, Manuale di diritto umanitario, Introduzione e Volume I, Usi e convenzioni di Guerra, SMD-G-014, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, Vol. I, § 8(1).
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) states: “The use of poison or poisoned weapons is prohibited.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 3, p. 6.
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009) states: “It is prohibited to use poison and poisoned arms”. 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 411.
Mexico
Mexico’s IHL Guidelines (2009), in a section entitled “Basic rules of conduct in armed conflict”, states: “Do not use poison”. 
Mexico, Cartilla de Derecho Internacional Humanitario, Ministry of National Defence, 2009, § 14(k).
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states: “It is prohibited to use poison or poisoned weapons. This includes a prohibition to poison or contaminate water supplies.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. IV-6.
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands states: “It is prohibited to use poison and poisoned weapons.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-39.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “It is … prohibited to use poison or toxic weapons. This includes a prohibition of poisoning or contaminating the water supply.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0455.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states:
It is prohibited to use weapons causing unnecessary suffering or excessive injury, or that are indiscriminate. This means that biological, chemical, toxic or intoxicating weapons … are forbidden. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1038.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) prohibits the use of “poison or poisoned weapons”. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 510.
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. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1704(2)(a) and footnote 32.
Nigeria
Under Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994), it is prohibited “to employ poison or poisoned weapons”. 
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, p. 39, § 5(l)(i).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War states: “The use of poison or poisonous weapons is prohibited.” It adds: “Smearing any substance [on bullets] likely to inflame a wound is also prohibited.” 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, §§ 12 and 11.
The manual includes “using … poisoned … arms or ammunition [and] poisoning of wells, streams and other sources of water supply” in its list of war crimes. 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 6(7) and (9).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Soldiers’ Code of Conduct provides that it is prohibited “to employ poison or poisoned weapons”. 
Nigeria, Code of Conduct for Combatants, “The Soldier’s Rules”, Nigerian Army, undated, § 12(a).
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states that “poison” is a prohibited weapon. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 31.b.(2).(c).
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states that “poison” is a prohibited weapon. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 32(b)(c), p. 248.
Republic of Korea
Under the Republic of Korea’s Military Regulation 187 (1991), “poisoning ponds and streams” constitutes a war crime. 
Republic of Korea, Military Regulation 187, 1 January 1991, Article 4(2).
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Military Manual (1990) prohibits “poison and poisoned weapons”. 
Russian Federation, Instructions on the Application of the Rules of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the USSR, Appendix to Order of the USSR Defence Minister No. 75, 1990, Article 6(d).
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states: “The following shall be prohibited to use in the course of combat operations: … poison or poisoned weapons.” 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 9.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) provides: “It is prohibited to … [u]se poison or poisonous weapons.” 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, p. 44; see also p. 19.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) expressly prohibits the use of poison. It lists poison among “certain weapons … expressly prohibited by international agreement, treaty or custom”. 
South Africa, Presentation on the South African Approach to International Humanitarian Law, Appendix A, Chapter 4: International Humanitarian Law (The Law of Armed Conflict), National Defence Force, 1996, § 34(f)(iii).
The manual further provides that “making use of poisoned … arms or ammunition”, as well as the “poisoning of wells or streams”, are grave breaches of the law of war and war crimes. 
South Africa, Presentation on the South African Approach to International Humanitarian Law, Appendix A, Chapter 4: International Humanitarian Law (The Law of Armed Conflict), National Defence Force, 1996, §§ 39(a) and (g) and 41.
South Africa
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) states:
i. Prohibited Weapons. The following weapons have been prohibited:
(4) Poison or Poisonous Weapons. 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 56(f)(i).
The manual further provides that “making use of poisoned … arms or ammunition” and the “[p]oisoning of wells or streams” are grave breaches of the law of armed conflict and war crimes. 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, §§ 61(a), 61(g) and 57.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) states that the use of “poison and poisoned weapons” is strictly forbidden in any circumstances. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, § 3.2.a.(2).
The manual adds: “There also exists an absolute prohibition to poison food and water supplies.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, § 3.2.c.(1).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states that there is an absolute prohibition on the use of certain weapons, including “[p]oison and poisoned weapons”. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 3.2.b.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Manual (1984) states: “The employment of poison … is prohibited.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre, Manuel 51.7/III dfi, Armée suisse, 1984, p. 10.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Teaching Manual (1986) states: “The law of armed conflict prohibits the use of poison.” 
Switzerland, Droit des gens en temps de guerre, Programme d’instruction fondé sur le Manuel 51.7/III “Lois et coutumes de la guerre”, Cours de base pour recrues de toutes les armes 97.2f, Armée suisse, 1986, p. 41.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) states: “The employment of poison … is prohibited.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 22.
The manual also states that “poisoning springs” constitutes a war crime. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 200(2)(k).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Aide-Memoire on the Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict (2005) states:
Rule 8
I remain fair:
- I shall deploy neither anti-personnel mines, poison nor booby traps[.] 
Switzerland, The Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict, Aide-memoire 51.007/IIIe, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports dated 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, Rule 8.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
16.1 Prohibited means of warfare
228 Prohibited are:
1 poison, …
229 The production, stockpiling, import, export, transit and use of such means of combat are notably prohibited. 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance on the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, §§ 228–229.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states that the use of “poison” as a means of warfare is prohibited. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.3.3.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) states:
Poison and poisoned weapons … are forbidden.
Water in wells, pumps, pipes, reservoirs, lakes, rivers and the like, from which the enemy may draw drinking water, must not be poisoned or contaminated. The poisoning or contamination of water is not made lawful by posting up a notice informing the enemy that the water has been thus polluted. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, §§ 111 and 112.
The manual also provides:
In addition to the “grave breaches” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, … the following are examples of punishable violations of the laws of war, or war crimes: … using … poisoned … arms or ammunition; … poisoning of wells, streams, and other sources of water supply; … using … poisonous … gases. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 626(g), (i) and (r).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) states: “The following are prohibited in international armed conflict: … c. poison and poisoned weapons.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 5, p. 20, § 1(c); see also Section 4, p. 12, § 2(e).
(emphasis in original)
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
6.19. It is prohibited “to employ poison or poisoned weapons”.
6.19.1. The prohibition applies to any use of poison, including the poisoning or contamination of water supplies. Such poisoning or contamination would not be made lawful by the posting of a notice informing the enemy of the fact. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, §§ 6.19–6.19.1.
In its chapter on internal armed conflict, the manual prohibits the use of poison or poisoned weapons. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 15.28.
In its chapter on enforcement of the law of armed conflict, the manual states:
The Hague Regulations 1907 are now recognized as part of customary law. Those regulations provide that the following acts are “especially forbidden”:
a. to employ poison or poisoned weapons. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 16.27.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) states: “It is especially forbidden … to employ poison or poisoned weapons.” 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 37(a).
The manual further provides:
In addition to the “grave breaches” of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the following acts are representative of violations of the law of war (“war crimes”):
making use of poisoned … arms or ammunition … [and] poisoning of wells or streams. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 504(a) and (i).
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) states: “A weapon may be illegal per se if either international custom or treaty has forbidden its use under all circumstances. An example is poison to kill or injure a person.” 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 6-2.
The Pamphlet further states: “Usage and practice has also determined that it is per se illegal … to use any substance on projectiles that tend unnecessarily to inflame the wound they cause.” 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 6-3b(2).
The Pamphlet defines poison as a “biological or chemical substance” and adds: “The long-standing customary prohibition against poison is based on their uncontrolled character and the inevitability of death or permanent disability.” 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 6-4f.
United States of America
The US Soldier’s Manual (1984) instructs soldiers: “Using poison or poisoned weapons is against the law of war. You may not use poison or poisoning agents such as dead animals, bodies, or defecation to poison any water or food supply.” 
United States, Your Conduct in Combat under the Law of War, Publication No. FM 27-2, Headquarters Department of the Army, Washington, November 1984, p. 10.
United States of America
The US Instructor’s Guide (1985) provides: “In addition to the grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, the following acts are further examples of war crimes: using poisoned … arms or ammunition [and] poisoning wells or streams.” 
United States, Instructor’s Guide – The Law of War, Headquarters Department of the Army, Washington, April 1985, p. 13.
United States of America
The US Operational Law Handbook (1993) states that “using … poison weapons” is “expressly prohibited by the law of war” and is “not excusable on the basis of military necessity”. 
United States, Operational Law Handbook, JA 422, Center for Law and Military Operations and International Law Division, The Judge Advocate General’s School, United States Army, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903-1781, 1993, p. Q-182, § (i).
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) states: “A few weapons, such as poisoned projectiles, are unlawful, no matter how employed.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), § 9.1.
United States of America
The US Manual for Military Commissions (2007), Part IV, Crimes and Elements, includes in the list of crimes triable by military commissions:
EMPLOYING POISON OR SIMILAR WEAPONS.
a. Text. “Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally, as a method of warfare, employs a substance or weapon that releases a substance that causes death or serious and lasting damage to health in the ordinary course of events, through its asphyxiating, bacteriological, or toxic properties, shall be punished, if death results to one or more of the victims, by death or such other punishment as a military commission under this chapter may direct, and, if death does not result to any of the victims, by such punishment, other than death, as a military commission under this chapter may direct.”
b. Elements.
(1) The accused intentionally employed a substance or a weapon that releases a substance as a result of its employment;
(2) The substance was such that causes death or serious damage to health in the ordinary course of events through its asphyxiating, poisonous, bacteriological properties;
(3) The accused employed the substance or weapon with the intent of utilizing such asphyxiating, poisonous, bacteriological properties as a method of warfare;
(4) The accused knew or should have known of the nature of the substance or weapon employed; and
(5) The conduct took place in the context of and was associated with armed conflict.
c. Comment.
(1) The “death or serious damage to health” required of the offense must be a direct result of the substance’s effect or effects on the human body (e.g., asphyxiation caused by the depletion of atmospheric oxygen secondary to a chemical or other reaction would not give rise to this offense).
(2) The clause “serious damage to health” does not include temporary incapacitation or sensory irritation.
(3) The use of the “substance or weapon” at issue must be proscribed under the law of armed conflict. It may include chemical or biological agents.
(4) The specific intent element for this offense precludes liability for mere knowledge of potential collateral consequences (e.g., mere knowledge of a secondary asphyxiating or toxic effect would be insufficient to complete the offense).
d. Maximum punishment. Death, if the death of any person occurs as a result of the employment of the substance or weapon. Otherwise, confinement for life. 
United States, Manual for Military Commissions, published in implementation of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, 10 U.S.C. §§ 948a, et seq., 18 January 2007, Part IV, § 6(8), pp. IV-6 and IV-7.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “A few weapons, such as poisoned projectiles, are unlawful no matter how employed. Others may be rendered unlawful by alteration such as by coating ammunition with a poison.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 9.1.
United States of America
The US Manual for Military Commissions (2010), Part IV, Crimes and Elements, includes in the list of crimes triable by military commissions:
EMPLOYING POISON OR SIMILAR WEAPONS.
a. Text. “Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally, as a method of warfare, employs a substance or weapon that releases a substance that causes death or serious and lasting damage to health in the ordinary course of events, through its asphyxiating, bacteriological, or toxic properties, shall be punished, if death results to one or more of the victims, by death or such other punishment as a military commission under this chapter may direct, and, if death does not result to any of the victims, by such punishment, other than death, as a military commission under this chapter may direct.”
b. Elements.
(1) The accused intentionally employed a substance or a weapon that releases a substance as a result of its employment;
(2) The substance was such that causes death or serious damage to health in the ordinary course of events through its asphyxiating, poisonous, bacteriological properties;
(3) The accused employed the substance or weapon with the intent of utilizing such asphyxiating, poisonous, bacteriological properties as a method of warfare;
(4) The accused knew or should have known of the nature of the substance or weapon employed; and
(5) The conduct took place in the context of and was associated with hostilities.
c. Comment.
(1) The “death or serious damage to health” required of the offense must be a direct result of the substance’s effect or effects on the human body (e.g., asphyxiation caused by the depletion of atmospheric oxygen secondary to a chemical or other reaction would not give rise to this offense).
(2) The clause “serious damage to health” does not include temporary incapacitation or sensory irritation.
(3) The use of the “substance or weapon” at issue must be proscribed under the law of armed conflict. It may include chemical or biological agents.
(4) The specific intent element for this offense precludes liability for mere knowledge of potential collateral consequences (e.g., mere knowledge of a secondary asphyxiating or toxic effect would be insufficient to complete the offense).
d. Maximum punishment. Death, if the death of any person occurs as a result of the employment of the substance or weapon. Otherwise, confinement for life. 
United States, Manual for Military Commissions, published in implementation of Chapter 47A of Title 10, United States Code, as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009, 10 U.S.C, §§ 948a, et seq., 27 April 2010, § 5(8), pp. IV-7 and IV-8.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) provides:
It is forbidden to use poison or poisoned weapons. This includes, for example, the use of poisonous bullets. Poisoning of drinking water, food, etc., is not forbidden but it must be announced or marked. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 98.
Albania
Albania’s Penal Code (1995) provides:
Breach of rules on poisonous substances
Breaching prescribed rules for keeping, manufacturing, using, storing, transporting or selling poisonous substances with strong effect constitutes criminal contravention and is punishable by a fine of up to two years of imprisonment.
When the criminal act has led to death, serious harm to the health of people or other serious material consequences, it is punishable by a fine or up to ten years of imprisonment. 
Albania, Penal Code, 1995, Article 281.
Algeria
Algeria’s Penal Code (1966) provides:
Art. 260. Poisoning is an attempt against the life of a person committed by using substances which can kill more or less promptly, regardless of how these substances have been used or administered, and regardless of what the consequences are.
Art. 261. Any person guilty of … poisoning shall be punished by death. 
Algeria, Penal Code, 1966, Articles 260–261.
Australia
Australia’s War Crimes Act (1945) considers “any war crime within the meaning of the instrument of appointment of the Board of Inquiry [set up to investigate war crimes committed by enemy subjects]” as a war crime, including poisoning of wells. 
Australia, War Crimes Act, 1945, Section 3.
Australia
Australia’s Criminal Code Act (1995), as amended to 2007, states with respect to serious war crimes that are committed in the course of an international armed conflict:
War crimeemploying poison or poisoned weapons
A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) the perpetrator employs a substance or employs a weapon that releases a substance as a result of its employment; and
(b) the substance is such that it causes death or serious damage to health in the ordinary course of events through its toxic properties; and
(c) the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an international armed conflict.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 25 years. 
Australia, Criminal Code Act, 1995, as amended to 2007, Chapter 8, § 268.55, p. 336.
Australia
Australia’s ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act (2002) incorporates in the Criminal Code the war crimes defined in the 1998 ICC Statute, including “employing poison or poisoned weapons” in international armed conflicts. 
Australia, ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act, 2002, Schedule 1, § 268.55.
Belgium
Belgium’s Penal Code (1867), as amended in 2003, provides:
War crimes envisaged in the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions … and in the [1977 Additional Protocols I and II] … , as well as in Article 8(2)(f) of the [1998 ICC Statute], and listed below, … constitute crimes under international law and shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the present title … :
36. the use of poison or poisoned weapons. 
Belgium, Penal Code, 1867, as amended on 5 August 2003, Chapter III, Title I bis, Article 136 quater, § 1(36).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law (1993), as amended in 2003, provides:
War crimes envisaged in the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions … and in the [1977 Additional Protocols I and II] … , as well as in Article 8(2)(f) of the [1998 ICC Statute], and listed below, … constitute crimes under international law and shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the present title … :
22. the use of poison or poisoned weapons. 
Belgium, Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law, 1993, as amended on 23 April 2003, Article 1 ter, § 1(22).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (2003) states:
(1) Whoever in time of war or armed conflict orders the violation of laws and practices of warfare, or whoever violates them,
shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of not less than ten years or long-term imprisonment.
(2) Violations of laws and practices of warfare referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall include:
a) Use of poison gases … 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Code, 2003, Article 179(1) and (2)(a).
Brazil
Brazil’s Military Penal Code (1969) punishes “the poisoning of drinking water or foodstuffs”. 
Brazil, Military Penal Code, 1969, Article 293.
Burundi
Burundi’s Law on Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes (2003) states:
[The following are] considered as war crimes:
B. Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflicts, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
q) using poison or poisoned weapons … and all analogous liquids, materials or weaponry. 
Burundi, Law on Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes, 2003, Article 4(B)(q).
Burundi
Burundi’s Penal Code (2009) states:
“War crimes” means crimes which are committed as part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such crimes, in particular:
2. … [S]erious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
17°. Employing poison or poisoned weapons. 
Burundi, Penal Code, 2009, Article 198(2)(17°).
Canada
Canada’s Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act (2000) provides that the war crimes defined in Article 8(2) of the 1998 ICC Statute are “crimes according to customary international law” and, as such, indictable offences under the Act. 
Canada, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act, 2000, Section 4(1) and (4).
China
China’s Law Governing the Trial of War Criminals (1946) provides that “putting poison on food or drinking water” constitutes a war crime. 
China, Law Governing the Trial of War Criminals, 1946, Article 3(15).
Congo
The Congo’s Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity Act (1998) defines war crimes with reference to the categories of crimes defined in Article 8 of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
Congo, Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity Act, 1998, Article 4.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Code of Military Justice (1972), as amended in 1980, punishes “in time of war … poisoning of water or foodstuffs, as well as deposits, spraying or using harmful substances intended to cause death”. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Code of Military Justice, 1972, as amended in 1980, Article 522.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Military Penal Code (2002) provides:
Any poisoning of water or of foodstuffs, any deposit, spraying or use of harmful substances intended to cause death, in time of war or in a region where a state of siege or of emergency has been proclaimed, or at the occasion of a police operation aimed at maintaining or re-establishing public order, shall be punished by death. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Military Penal Code, 2002, Article 170.
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Estonia
Under Estonia’s Penal Code (2001), “use of … toxic weapons” is a war crime. 
Estonia, Penal Code, 2001, § 103.
Finland
Finland’s Criminal Code (1889), as amended in 2008, provides that any person who “uses poison or a poison weapon, suffocating or poisonous gases or other corresponding substances” shall be “sentenced for a war crime to imprisonment for at least one year or for life”. 
Finland, Criminal Code, 1889, as amended in 2008, Chapter 11, Section 5(1)(14).
(emphasis in original)
France
France’s Penal Code (1992), as amended in 2010, states in its section on war crimes related to international armed conflict: “[The following offences] are punishable by life imprisonment: … [u]sing poison and poisoned weapons”. 
France, Penal Code, 1992, as amended in 2010, Article 461-23.
Georgia
Under Georgia’s Criminal Code (1999), any war crime provided for by the 1998 ICC Statute, which is not explicitly mentioned in the Code, such as “employing poison or poisoned weapons” in international armed conflicts, is a crime. 
Georgia, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 413(d).
Germany
Germany’s Law Introducing the International Crimes Code (2002) punishes anyone who, in connection with an international or a non-international armed conflict, “employs poison or poisoned weapons”. 
Germany, Law Introducing the International Crimes Code, 2002, Article 1, § 12(1)(1).
Iraq
Iraq’s Law of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (2005) identifies “[u]sing poisons or poisoned weapons” as a serious violation of the laws and customs of war applicable in international armed conflicts. 
Iraq, Law of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal, 2005, Article 13(2)(R).
Italy
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, provides: “It is prohibited … to use poison or poisoned weapons.” 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, as amended in 1992, Article 35(1).
Mali
Under Mali’s Penal Code (2001), “using poison or poisoned weapons” is a war crime in international armed conflicts. 
Mali, Penal Code, 2001, Article 31(i)(17).
Netherlands
The Definition of War Crimes Decree (1946) of the Netherlands includes the “poisoning of wells” in its list of war crimes. 
Netherlands, Definition of War Crimes Decree, 1946, Article 1.
Netherlands
Under the International Crimes Act (2003) of the Netherlands, “employing poison or poisoned weapons” is a crime, when committed in an international armed conflict. 
Netherlands, International Crimes Act, 2003, Article 5(5)(g).
New Zealand
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. 
New Zealand, International Crimes and ICC Act, 2000, Section 11(2).
Norway
Norway’s Penal Code (1902) provides:
153. Any person who adds poison or other such substances to any product intended for general use or sale so that the product cannot be used for the purpose intended without causing a person’s death or injuring his health, or who otherwise causes any poisoning that involves general danger to life or health, or who is accessory thereto, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 21 years.
160. Any person who publicly gives or offers instruction in the use of explosives or poison as a means to commit felonies, or who threatens to commit or publicly incites to the commission of felonies by such means, or who is accessory to any such felony, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years. 
Norway, Penal Code, 1902, §§ 153 and 160.
Norway
Norway’s Penal Code (1902), as amended in 2008, states: “Any person is liable to punishment for a war crime who in connection with an armed conflict … employs poison or poisoned weapons.” 
Norway, Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 2008, § 107(a).
Peru
Peru’s Code of Military and Police Justice (2006) states:
A member of the military or police shall be imprisoned for a period of no less than eight and no more than 15 years if he or she in the context of an international or non-international armed conflict:
1. Uses poison or poisonous weapons. 
Peru, Code of Military and Police Justice, 2006, Article 102(1).
This article is no longer in force. Along with certain other articles in this legislation, it was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court (en banc decision for case file No. 0012-2006-PI-TC, 8 January 2007) because it does not stipulate a crime committed in the line of duty that would fall under the jurisdiction of a military court pursuant to Article 173 of Peru’s Constitution.
Peru
Peru’s Military and Police Criminal Code (2010), in a chapter entitled “Crimes involving the use of prohibited means in the conduct of hostilities”, states:
A member of the military or the police shall be punished with deprivation of liberty of not less than eight years and not more than fifteen years if, in a state of emergency and when the Armed Forces assume control of the internal order, he or she:
1. Uses poison or poisonous weapons. 
Peru, Military and Police Criminal Code, 2010, Article 92(1).
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s ICC Act (2007) provides for the punishment of anyone who commits the war crime of employing poison or poisonous weapons in both international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Republic of Korea, ICC Act, 2007, Article 14(1)(1).
Rwanda
Rwanda’s Penal Code (1977) states:
Poisoning is the attempt against the life of a person committed by using substances which can kill more or less promptly, regardless of how these substances have been used or administered or what the consequences are. It entails the death penalty. 
Rwanda, Penal Code, 1977, Article 315.
Rwanda
Rwanda’s Law Repressing the Crime of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes (2003) provides:
Article: 10
“War crime” shall also mean any of the following acts committed in armed conflicts:
1° employment of poisonous weapons or other weapons calculated to cause unnecessary suffering;
Article: 11
Anyone who commits one of the war crimes provided for in Article 10 of this law shall be punished by the following penalties:
1° the death penalty or life imprisonment where he has committed a crime provided for in point 1°, 4°, 5°, 6°, 9° or 10° of Article 10 of this law. 
Rwanda, Law Repressing the Crime of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes, 2003, Articles 10–11.
Senegal
Senegal’s Penal Code (1965), as amended in 2007, states that the following constitute war crimes:
b) [O]ther serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
15. using poison or poisoned weapons … and all analogous liquids, materials or weaponry. 
Senegal, Penal Code, 1965, as amended in 2007, Article 431-3(b)(15).
South Africa
South Africa’s ICC Act (2002) reproduces the war crimes listed in the 1998 ICC Statute, including “employing poison or poisoned weapons” in international armed conflicts. 
South Africa, ICC Act, 2002, Schedule 1, Part 3, § (b)(xvii).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), as amended, punishes “anyone who wilfully pollutes drinking water used for persons or cattle with substances harmful to health”. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, as amended, Article 169(1).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, states in a chapter entitled “War crimes”:
Art. 110
Articles 112–114 apply in the context of international armed conflicts, including in situations of occupation, and, if the nature of the offence does not exclude it, in the context of non-international armed conflicts.
Art. 112d
1 The penalty shall be a custodial sentence of not less than three years for any person who, in the context of an armed conflict:
a. employs poison or poisoned weapons. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 110 and 112d (1)(a).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Penal Code (1937), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, states under the title “War crimes”:
Art. 264b
Articles 264d–264j apply in the context of international armed conflicts, including in situations of occupation, and, if the nature of the offence does not exclude it, in the context of non-international armed conflicts.
Art. 264h
1 The penalty shall be a custodial sentence of not less than three years for any person who, in the context of an armed conflict:
a. employs poison or poisoned weapons. 
Switzerland, Penal Code, 1937, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 264b and 264h (1)(a).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Under the UK ICC Act (2001), it is a punishable offence to commit a war crime as defined in Article 8(2)(b)(xvii) of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
United Kingdom, ICC Act, 2001, Sections 50(1) and 51(1) (England and Wales) and Section 58(1) (Northern Ireland).
United States of America
Under the US War Crimes Act (1996), violations of Article 23(a) of the 1907 Hague Regulations are war crimes. 
United States, War Crimes Act, 1996, Section 2441(c)(2).
United States of America
The US Military Commissions Act (2006), passed by Congress following the Supreme Court’s decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in 2006, amends Title 10 of the United States Code as follows:
§ 950v. Crimes triable by military commissions
“ …
“(b) OFFENSES.—The following offenses shall be triable by military commission under this chapter at any time without limitation:
“ …
“(8) EMPLOYING POISON OR SIMILAR WEAPONS.—Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally, as a method of warfare, employs a substance or weapon that releases a substance that causes death or serious and lasting damage to health in the ordinary course of events, through its asphyxiating, bacteriological, or toxic properties, shall be punished, if death results to one or more of the victims, by death or such other punishment as a military commission under this chapter may direct, and, if death does not result to any of the victims, by such punishment, other than death, as a military commission under this chapter may direct. 
United States, Military Commissions Act, 2006, Public Law 109-366, Chapter 47A of Title 10 of the United States Code, 17 October 2006, p. 120 Stat. 2626, § 950v(b)(8).
United States of America
The US Military Commissions Act (2009) amends Chapter 47A of Title 10 of the United States Code as follows:
§ 950t. Crimes triable by military commission
“The following offenses shall be triable by military commission under this chapter at any time without limitation:
“ …
“(8) EMPLOYING POISON OR SIMILAR WEAPONS.—Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally, as a method of warfare, employs a substance or weapon that releases a substance that causes death or serious and lasting damage to health in the ordinary course of events, through its asphyxiating, bacteriological, or toxic properties, shall be punished, if death results to one or more of the victims, by death or such other punishment as a military commission under this chapter may direct, and, if death does not result to any of the victims, by such punishment, other than death, as a military commission under this chapter may direct. 
United States, Military Commissions Act, 2009, § 950t(8).
Uruguay
Uruguay’s Law on Cooperation with the ICC (2006) states:
26.2. Persons and objects affected by the war crimes set out in the present provision are persons and objects which international law protects in international or internal armed conflict.
26.3. The following are war crimes:
25. Employing poison or poisoned weapons. 
Uruguay, Law on Cooperation with the ICC, 2006, Article 26.2 and 26.3.25.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
Under the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Penal Code (1976), as amended in 2001, the use of, or the order to use, “means or methods of combat prohibited under the rules of international law, during a war or an armed conflict” is a war crime. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Penal Code, 1976, as amended in 2001, Article 148(1).
The commentary on this provision states: “The following weapons and means of combat are considered to be prohibited: … different kinds of poison and poisonous weapons.” 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Penal Code, 1976, as amended in 2001, commentary on Article 148(1).
Canada
In 2013, in the Sapkota case, Canada’s Federal Court dismissed a request for review of a decision denying refugee protection to the applicant on grounds of complicity in crimes against humanity in Nepal between 1991 and 2009. While reviewing the submissions of the respondent, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the Court stated: “The Respondent notes that the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court … is endorsed in Canada as a source of customary law.” 
Canada, Federal Court, Sapkota case, Reasons for Judgment and Judgment, 15 July 2013, § 28.
Japan
In its judgment in the Shimoda case in 1963, Japan’s District Court of Tokyo stated that “poison [and] poisonous gases” were part of “prohibited materials under international law”. 
Japan, District Court of Tokyo, Shimoda case, Judgment, 7 December 1963.
South Africa
In its judgment in the Basson II case in 2005, the Constitutional Court of South Africa stated:
[179] … There can be no doubt that the use of instruments of state to murder captives long after resistance had ceased would in the 1980s, as before and after, have grossly transgressed even the most minimal standards of international humanitarian law.
[180] The same has to be said of the use of poison to bring about the death of opponents … Such means of warfare are abhorrent to humanity and forbidden by international law. The use of poison to eliminate opponents in armed conflict has long been prohibited. 
South Africa, Constitutional Court, Basson II case¸ Judgment, 9 September 2005, §§ 179–180.
United States of America
In 2008, in the Agent Orange case, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the dismissal of the case by the District Court, finding that the Plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate a violation of international law. In its judgment, the Court of Appeals stated:
In support of their argument that the deployment of Agent Orange violated customary norms prohibiting use of “poisoned weapons” and the infliction of unnecessary suffering, Plaintiffs cite … a number of both domestic and international law sources … [including] the 1907 Hague Regulations … [and] the1925 Geneva [Gas] Protocol …
The United States did not ratify the 1925 Geneva Protocol until 1975. Accordingly, the Protocol cannot be said to have constituted “a treaty of the United States,” … during the period relevant to this appeal. Even at the time of ratification, the United States and other states reserved the right to respond in kind to a belligerent’s first use of poisonous weapons and further limited the treaty obligation to apply only against other treaty parties. … Given the nature and scope of the reservations to ratification, however, it would be an impermissible stretch to find that the 1925 Geneva Protocol had acquired the status of binding customary international law during the Vietnam conflict.
There is lack of a consensus in the international community with respect to whether the proscription against poison would apply to defoliants that had possible unintended toxic side effects, as opposed to chemicals intended to kill combatants. The prohibition on the use of “poison or poisoned weapons” in Article 23(a) of the 1907 Hague Regulations is certainly categorical … but its scope is nevertheless undefined and has remained so for a century. As the International Court of Justice (“ICJ”) has acknowledged in an authoritative interpretation of Article 23(a), that provision nowhere defines the critical term “poison,” and “different interpretations exist on the issue.” [Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, Advisory Opinion No. 95, 1996 I.C.J. 226, 248, 255 (July 8, 1996) (“Nuclear Weapons Advisory Opinion”)]. Indeed, Plaintiffs’ own expert conceded that “[t]he concept of ‘poison’ is not defined.” Plaintiffs themselves concede that the authorities “go both ways” as to whether the use of herbicides in war, “particularly to destroy crops not intended for use by enemy forces, did violate established norms of international law prior to 1975.”
… In 1969, the United States 7 objected to a proposed United Nations resolution that would have “ma[d]e a clear affirmation that the prohibition contained in the Geneva Protocol applied to the use in war of all chemical, bacteriological and biological agents (including tear gas and other harassing agents) which presently existed or which might be developed in the future.” The following year, after the United States ceased its use of Agent Orange upon a study revealing its deleterious effects on humans, the Secretary of State wrote a letter to President Nixon recommending that the President transmit to the Senate for advice and consent the ratification of the 1925 Geneva Protocol. In his letter, the Secretary stated that “[i]t is the United States’ understanding of the Protocol that it does not prohibit the use in war of riot-control agents and chemical herbicides.” When President Ford ratified the Geneva Protocol in 1975, he clarified that “[a]lthough it is our position that the [P]rotocol does not cover riot control agents and chemical herbicides, I have decided that the United States shall renounce their use in war as a matter of national policy.” Moreover, in ratifying the 1925 Geneva Protocol in 1975, the Senate made clear its understanding that the United States’ prior use of herbicides in Vietnam had not violated that treaty and that the government intended the Protocol to be only prospective in effect. 
United States, US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Agent Orange case, Judgment, 22 February 2008, pp. 23–24, 27–28 and 30.
Australia
According to the Report on the Practice of Australia, the opinio juris of Australia supports the prohibition of poison or poisoned weapons. 
Report on the Practice of Australia, 1998, Chapter 3.2(3).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
According to the Report on the Practice of the Republika Srpska, the Instruction on Implementation of International Law of War in the Armed Forces of Republika Srpska states: “It is prohibited to use … poison.” 
Report on the Practice of Republika Srpska, 1997, Chapter 3.2, referring to Instruction on Implementation of International Law of War in the Armed Forces of Republika Srpska, Official Gazette of ARBiH, 5 December 1992, § 11.
Egypt
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Egypt, referring to Article 22 of the 1907 Hague Regulations, noted the “prohibition against the use of weapons which render death inevitable or cause unnecessary suffering” and, in this context, stated: “As far as weapons are concerned, since the nineteenth century this humanitarian principle has been embodied in two rules: one forbids the use of poisons.” 
Egypt, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 20 June 1995, pp.12–13, § 19.
India
The Report on the Practice of India states that senior members of the Indian armed forces confirm that poison is not to be used in either international or non-international armed conflicts. 
Report on the Practice of India, 1997, Chapter 3.2.
Iraq
In 1991, during a debate in the UN Security Council concerning the aftermath of the Gulf War, Iraq implied that the use of shells made of depleted uranium was against international law, since they had poisonous effects. 
Iraq, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.2981, 3 April 1991, pp. 29–30.
Iraq
The Report on the Practice of Iraq states: “The banning is absolute in using poisonous materials in itself due to its harmful effects to the individuals and the environment.” 
Report on the Practice of Iraq, 1998, Chapter 3.2.
Jordan
The Report on the Practice of Jordan states that Jordan has never used poison or poisoned weapons. 
Report on the Practice of Jordan, 1997, Chapter 3.2.
Kuwait
In an article published in a military review, a member of the Kuwaiti armed forces stated that, during war, belligerents must:
respect restrictions and limits provided for in international conventions, such as restriction of the use of some weapons, and prohibition of using others, e.g. … the use of poisons. This is in application of well-established principles in wars, such as considerations of military honour and humanitarian considerations. 
Fellah Awad Al-Anzi, “The Law of War”, Homat Al-Watan, No. 168, p. 57.
Malaysia
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons (WHO) case in 1995, Malaysia, in a part entitled “Principle of Non-Toxicity”, referred, inter alia, to the 1925 Geneva Gas Protocol and the 1956 New Delhi Draft Rules. 
Malaysia, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons (WHO) case, 19 June 1995, pp. 23–24.
Malaysia made the same references in its oral pleadings in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995. 
Malaysia, Oral pleadings before the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 7 November 1995, Verbatim Record CR 95/27, p. 57.
Malaysia
According to the Report on the Practice of Malaysia, the armed forces of Malaysia do not use poison in warfare. 
Report on the Practice of Malaysia, 1997, Chapter 3.2
Marshall Islands
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, the Marshall Islands stated that the “laws of war including the Geneva and Hague Conventions and the United Nations Charter … prohibit the use of poisonous substances”. 
Marshall Islands, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 22 June 1995, § 5.
Mexico
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Mexico referred to “a series of international instruments … [which] led to a prohibition on the use of certain weapons. Such instruments included the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, which prohibited the use of poisoned or poisonous weapons.” 
Mexico, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 19 June 1995, p. 12, § 72.
Mexico
In 2009, Mexico submitted a proposal to the UN Secretary General to amend Article 8(2)(c) of the 1998 ICC Statute in accordance with Article 121(1) of the Statute, stating:
Within the category of serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflicts, the use of certain weapons whose effects are of an indiscriminate nature or cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering is included. Such weapons are: a) poison or poisoned weapons; [and] b) asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and all analogous liquids, materials and devices … The use of these … kinds of weapons is prohibited by conventional and customary international law. 
Mexico, Proposal of Amendment to Article 8(2)(c) of the 1998 ICC Statute, submitted to the UN Secretary General in accordance with Article 121(1) of the ICC Statute, 29 September 2009, p. 2.
[footnotes in original omitted]
Nauru
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons (WHO) case in 1995, Nauru stated:
Clearly it is a violation of customary international law to use poisons or other analogous substances. Thus even where a State is not a party to the Geneva Gas Protocol it is nonetheless bound under customary law to refrain from using poisonous weapons. 
Nauru, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons (WHO) case, 15 June 1995, p. 11.
New Zealand
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.” 
New Zealand, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 20 June 1995, § 72.
Norway
The Norwegian National Group, in response to a questionnaire from the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War on the “Investigation and Prosecution of Violations of the Law of Armed Conflict”, stated that the use of poisonous weapons was mentioned in the 1902 Military Penal Act. 
Norway, Response from the Norwegian National Group to a Questionnaire on the Investigation and Prosecution of Violations of the Law of Armed Conflict, International Society for Military Law and the Law of War, XIVth International Congress, Athens 10–15 May 1997.
Pakistan
In 1996, at the Fourth Review Conference of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention, Pakistan stated:
The 1925 [Geneva Gas] protocol and the [1972 Biological Weapons Convention] is a manifestation of a moral and cultural ethos that is over 1400 years old. Violations of the prohibitions against the production or use of poisonous weapons should be treated with equal determination in all cases, without selectivity or discrimination. 
Pakistan, Statement of 26 November 1996 at the Fourth Review Conference of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention, Geneva, 25 November–6 December 1996.
Philippines
On the basis of an interview with a high-ranking officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Report on the Practice of the Philippines notes that poison is prohibited. 
Report on the Practice of the Philippines, 1997, Interview with Navy Lt. Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, 5 March 1997, Chapter 3.2.
Rwanda
On the basis of replies by army officers to a questionnaire, the Report on the Practice of Rwanda notes that the prohibition of the use of poison in armed conflicts is customary. 
Report on the Practice of Rwanda, 1997, Replies by army officers to a questionnaire, Chapter 3.2.
Solomon Islands
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Solomon Islands stated: “International law prohibits the use of weapons which: … are poisonous.” 
Solomon Islands, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 19 June 1995, p. 62, § 3.77.
Solomon Islands
In its oral pleadings before the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Solomon Islands stated that the use of poisonous weapons was formally prohibited by Article 23(a) of the Hague Regulations of 1899 and 1907. 
Solomon Islands, Oral pleadings before the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 14 November 1995, Verbatim Record CR 95/32, p. 47.
Somalia
In 1998, an ICRC publication entitled “Spared from the Spear” recorded traditional Somali practice in warfare as follows:
Based on the tradition of fighting with honour that was so cherished by Somalis, there were weapons whose employment in warfare was permitted, and others whose use was prohibited. … [T]hose that were banned included … poison [and] poisoned arrows. 
Somalia, Spared from the Spear, 1998, p. 55.
In 2011, in its comments on the concluding observations of the Human Rights Council concerning Somalia’s report, the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia referred to “Spared from the Spear” as its “own Geneva Conventions”:
In times of hostilities, the Biri-Ma-Geydo (Spared from the Spear), i.e. Somalia’s own “Geneva Conventions”[,] which existed long before the adoption of the Hague and Geneva Conventions, mitigated and regulated the conduct of clan hostilities and the treatment of immune groups. 
Somalia, Comments by the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia on the concluding observations of the Human Rights Council concerning the report of Somalia, submitted 21 September 2011, § 4.
Sweden
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Sweden stated: “As far back as the 17th century, Hugo Grotius stressed that poisoning was not allowed under international law. In certain respects, the principle of the prohibition of toxic weapons has also been codified (chiefly as a result of the 1925 Geneva [Gas] Convention).” 
Sweden, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 20 June 1995, p. 5.
Switzerland
In 2010, in its Report on Foreign Policy, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
Furthermore, the [2010 Kampala Review] Conference [on the 1998 ICC Statute] adopted a resolution by which it amended article 8 of the Rome Statute with a view to increasing the jurisdiction of the Court to the war crime consisting of using certain poisoned weapons … The use of these weapons is already prohibited today by the Statute in the context of an armed conflict of an international character. The amendment adopted in Kampala provides for their prohibition even in the context of an armed conflict not of an international character. 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on Foreign Policy 2010, 10 December 2010, Section 3.1.6, p. 1058.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, the United Kingdom referred to the “long established prohibition on the use of poison and poisoned weapons”, but it also stated that the prohibition was “intended to apply to weapons whose primary effect was poisonous and not to those where poison was a secondary or incidental effect”. 
United Kingdom, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 16 June 1995, §§ 3.59 and 3.60.
United States of America
In 1974, in a memorandum on the depleted uranium tank round, the US Department of the Army stated: “The law of war prohibits the employment of poison or poisoned weapons.” 
United States, Department of the Army, Memorandum for US Army Research, Development and Engineering Center, M829A2 Cartridge, 120MM, APFSDS-T (Depleted Uranium Tank Round), Law of War Review, 27 December 1994, § 6(b).
United States of America
In 1975, in a legal review of 30MM ammunition, the US Department of the Air Force stated: “Existing international law, both customary and treaty, prohibits the use of poison or poisoned weapons.” 
United States, Department of the Air Force, Legal Review of 30MM Ammunition, 14 March 1975, § II(1).
United States of America
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, the United States accepted the prohibition of poison as such. However, it considered the prohibition to be applicable only to “weapons that carry poison into the body of the victim” or “that are designed to kill or injure by the inhalation or other absorption into the body of poisonous gases or analogous substances”. 
United States, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 20 June 1995, p. 24.
Zimbabwe
In its oral pleadings before the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Zimbabwe fully shared the analysis by other States that “the threat or use of nuclear weapons violates the principles of humanitarian law prohibiting the use of weapons or methods of warfare that … utilize poisonous or analogous substances”. 
Zimbabwe, Oral pleadings before the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 15 November 1995, Verbatim Record CR 95/35, p. 27.
Zimbabwe
The Report on the Practice of Zimbabwe states that the prohibition of the use of poison is part of customary international law. 
Report on the Practice of Zimbabwe, 1998, Chapter 3.2.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1970 on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly:
Underlining the continuing value of existing humanitarian rules relating to armed conflict, in particular the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907,
1. Calls upon all parties to any armed conflict to observe the rules laid down in the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 [including Article 23(a) which prohibits the use of poison or poisoned weapons]. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 2677 (XXV), 9 December 1970, preamble and § 1, voting record: 111-0-4-12.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1971 on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly:
Calls again upon all parties to any armed conflict to observe the rules laid down in the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 … and invites those States which have not yet done so to adhere to those instruments. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 2852 (XXVI), 20 December 1971, § 1, voting record: 110-1-5.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution on respect for human rights in armed conflicts adopted in 1971, the UN General Assembly:
Reiterates its call upon all parties to any armed conflicts to observe the rules laid down in the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 … and invites those States which have not yet done so to adhere to those instruments. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 2853 (XXVI), 20 December 1971, § 1, voting record: 83-15-14-20.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1972 on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly called upon “all parties to armed conflicts to observe the international humanitarian rules which are applicable, in particular the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 3032 (XXVII), 18 December 1972, § 2, voting record: 103-0-25-4.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1973 on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon all parties to armed conflicts to acknowledge and to comply with their obligations under the humanitarian instruments and to observe the international humanitarian rules which are applicable, in particular the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, the Geneva [Gas] Protocol of 1925 and the Geneva Conventions of 1949. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 3102 (XXVIII), 12 December 1973, § 4, voting record: 107-0-6-22.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1974 on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon all parties to armed conflicts to acknowledge and to comply with their obligations under the humanitarian instruments and to observe the international humanitarian rules which are applicable, in particular the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, the Geneva [Gas] Protocol of 1925 and the Geneva Conventions of 1949. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 3319 (XXIX), 14 December 1974, § 3, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1975 on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon all parties to armed conflicts to acknowledge and to comply with their obligations under the humanitarian instruments and to observe the international humanitarian rules which are applicable, in particular the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, the Geneva [Gas] Protocol of 1925 and the Geneva Conventions of 1949. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 3500 (XXX), 15 December 1975, § 1, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1976 on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon all parties to armed conflicts to acknowledge and to comply with their obligations under the humanitarian instruments and to observe the international humanitarian rules which are applicable, in particular the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, the Geneva [Gas] Protocol of 1925 and the Geneva Conventions of 1949. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 31/19, 24 November 1976, § 1, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1977 on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon all parties to armed conflicts to acknowledge and to comply with their obligations under the humanitarian instruments and to observe the international humanitarian rules which are applicable, in particular the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, the Geneva [Gas] Protocol of 1925 and the Geneva Conventions of 1949. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 32/44, 8 December 1977, § 6, adopted without a vote.
UN Secretary-General
In 1969, in a report on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN Secretary-General stated: “The use of poisons and poisoned bullets has been prohibited by the international law of war for a long time.” 
UN Secretary-General, Report on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, UN Doc. A/7720, 20 December 1969, § 190.
UN Secretariat
In 1973, in a survey on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN Secretariat made a thorough study of different legal sources (practice, doctrine and treaties) to establish whether poison was prohibited. It concluded that most sources supported the view that there was a customary prohibition on the use of poison. 
UN Secretariat, Respect for human rights in armed conflicts, Existing rules of international law concerning the prohibition or restriction of use of specific weapons, Survey, UN Doc. A/9215, 7 November 1973, pp. 115–119.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (Rapporteur)
In 1985, in a report on the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, the Rapporteur of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly stated: “According to several concordant accounts, water, cereals and livestock have been poisoned [and] chemical substances and incendiary bombs producing gases of various colours have been discharged.” In this respect, he added that the report of the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights deserved mention. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Rapporteur, Report on the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, Doc. 5495, 15 November 1985, pp. 7–8, § 16(e).
In that report, the UN Special Rapporteur had recommended that “the parties to the conflict, namely government and opposition forces, should be reminded that it is their duty to apply fully the rules of international humanitarian law without discrimination, particularly those concerning the protection of women and children”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan, Report, Recommendations, reprinted in Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Doc. 5495, Appendix 1, 15 November 1985, p. 11, § 190.
No data.
International Court of Justice
In its advisory opinion in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1996, the ICJ discussed whether “nuclear weapons should be treated in the same way as poisoned weapons” and stated that, in that case, they would be prohibited under:
(a) the Second Hague Declaration of 29 July 1899, which prohibits “the use of projectiles the object of which is the diffusion of asphyxiating or deleterious gases”;
(b) Article 23 (a) of the Regulations respecting the laws and customs of war on land annexed to the Hague Convention IV of 18 October 1907, whereby “it is especially forbidden: … to employ poison or poisoned weapons”; and
(c) the Geneva [Gas] Protocol of 17 June 1925 which prohibits “the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and of all analogous liquids, materials or devices”.
According to the Court, the terms “poison” and “poisoned weapons” “have been understood, in the practice of States, in their ordinary sense as covering weapons whose prime, or even exclusive, effect is to poison or asphyxiate. This practice is clear.” 
ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, Advisory Opinion, 8 July 1996, §§ 54 and 55.
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that: “The use of poison or poisoned weapons is prohibited.” 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 918.
ICRC
In 1994, in a Memorandum on Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Angola, the ICRC stated: “In particular, the use of … poison is prohibited.” 
ICRC, Memorandum on Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Angola, 8 June 1994, § II, IRRC, No. 320, 1997, p. 504.
International Institute of Humanitarian Law
The Rules of International Humanitarian Law Governing the Conduct of Hostilities in Non-international Armed Conflicts, adopted in 1990 by the Council of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, provide: “The customary rule prohibiting the use of poison as a means or method of warfare is applicable in non-international armed conflicts.” 
International Institute of Humanitarian Law L, Rules of International Humanitarian Law Governing the Conduct of Hostilities in Non-international Armed Conflicts, Rule B3, IRRC, No. 278, 1990, p. 398.
Ecumenical Council for Justice and Peace (Philippines)
In 1992, the Ecumenical Council for Justice and Peace of the Philippines denounced the use of poison by the Philippine military. 
Ecumenical Council for Justice and Peace (ECJP), Documented Human Rights Violations in Marag Valley for 1992, Report on the Practice of the Philippines, 1997, Chapter 3.2.