Practice Relating to Rule 74. Chemical Weapons
Poland’s Penal Code (1997) punishes “any person who uses a means of mass destruction prohibited by international law” and “any person who, against the prohibition by international law or by the provision of law, produces, stockpiles, acquires, sells, retains, transports or sends means of mass destruction or means of combat, or conducts research aimed at the production or use of such means”.
Poland’s Law on the Implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (2001) states:
It is prohibited in the territory of the Republic of Poland, subject to Article 5:
1) development, production, manufacturing, processing, consumption or otherwise acquiring, collecting, stockpiling, sale or transfer to anyone of chemical weapons,
2) use of chemical weapons,
3) engaging in any military preparations to use chemical weapons,
4) use of riot control agents as a method of warfare,
5) abetting or assistance in engaging in the activity prohibited under subparagraphs 1–4 above.
1. A person who, without required permit or in contravention of its conditions, for the purposes not prohibited under the Convention, produces, manufactures, processes, acquires, collects, stores, sells, transfers, uses or possesses toxic chemicals or their precursors mentioned in the Schedule 1, shall be sentenced to a fine, limitation of freedom or imprisonment for 3 months up to 5 years.
In 1966, during a debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, Poland supported Hungary’s view that the 1925 Geneva Gas Protocol had developed into customary international law and that the use of chemical weapons constituted an international crime.