Practice Relating to Rule 73. Biological Weapons
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) states: “It is prohibited to use … bacteriological weapons.” It repeats the content of Article 1 of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states that there is an absolute prohibition on the use of certain weapons, including “[b]iological, bacteriological and toxin weapons”.
The manual repeats extracts from Articles I and II of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.
Spain’s Penal Code (1995), as amended in 2003, states:
Resorting to genetic engineering in order to produce biological or other weapons capable of exterminating the human species shall be punished with three to seven years’ imprisonment and a special prohibition to hold public office or position or to undertake public work or activities for seven to ten years.
The Penal Code further states:
1. Any person who manufactures, commercializes or stockpiles weapons or munitions without authorization by law or competent authority shall be punished:
1.° In the case of … biological weapons, with five to ten years’ imprisonment for promoters and organizers, and three to five years’ imprisonment in the case of accessories.
3.° The same penalties shall apply, considering the perpetrators’ degree of participation, to the trafficking of … biological weapons.
2. The same penalties as established in point 1.° in sub-section 1 shall apply to whoever develops or uses … biological weapons or makes preparations for their use.
The Penal Code also states:
1. … Stockpiling of … biological weapons is understood as the manufacture, commercialization or possession of these weapons.
2. … [B]iological weapons are understood as defined by the international treaties and covenants to which Spain is a party.
The development of … biological weapons is understood as any activity comprising scientific or technical research or examination leading to the creation of a new … biological weapon or the modification of an existing biological … weapon.
In the preliminary stages of the First Review Conference of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention in 1980, Spain stated: “Since Spain is not developing or producing bacteriological (biological) or toxin weapons or acquiring them from any other country, the conditions referred to in articles I, II, III, IV, V and X of the [1972 Biological Weapons Convention] do not exist [for Spain].”