Practice Relating to Rule 74. Chemical Weapons
Under Finland’s Revised Penal Code (1995), it is a punishable offence to use, develop, produce, otherwise procure, stockpile, possess, transport or participate in military preparations for the use of chemical weapons, in violation of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention.
Finland’s Criminal Code (1889), as amended in 2008, provides that any person who “uses … chemical … or other prohibited weapons or ordnance” shall be “sentenced for a war crime
to imprisonment for at least one year or for life”.
(emphasis in original)
The Criminal Code further states:
Section 8 - Breach of the prohibition of chemical weapons
A person, who in breach of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (Treaties of Finland 19/1979)
(1) uses chemical weapons in a manner not referred to in sections 5–7 of this chapter,
(2) develops, produces, otherwise procures, stockpiles, possesses or transports chemical weapons, or
(3) participates in military preparations for the use of chemical weapons,
shall be sentenced for breach of the prohibition of chemical weapons
to imprisonment for at least four months and at most six years.
[emphasis in original]
At the CDDH, Finland stated that it “attached the greatest importance … to the prohibition of chemical … warfare in the Geneva [Gas] Protocol of 1925”.
In 1991, during a debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, Finland stated that a ban on chemical weapons was an urgent priority.
At the First Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997, Finland stated that it aligned itself with the position of the European Union and added that it looked forward to “wiping all chemical weapons off the face of the earth”.