Practice Relating to the Prohibition of Certain Types of Landmines
Denmark has passed national legislation enacting comprehensive prohibitions on the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines.
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’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].
On 5 September 1995, the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Niels Helveg Peterson, announced Denmark’s support for a comprehensive ban on anti-personnel mines. He instructed the Danish delegation to the Review Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in Vienna, Austria, to work for a ban.
On 23 May 1996, Denmark decided to renounce the use of anti-personnel landmines. The Danish Ministry of Defence announced that “Denmark will unilaterally refrain from using anti-personnel land mines in the Danish defence.”
In noting that the result of the Review Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons had produced “no major break-through towards a ban” and that the next review conference would not take place until 2001, the Government of Denmark “deemed it necessary to take concrete action in order to send a clear and non-ambiguous political signal.”
Denmark participated in all of the meetings which led to the adoption of a treaty banning anti-personnel landmines and voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolutions in support of a ban on anti-personnel landmines in 1996, 1997 and 1998.