ICRC databases on international humanitarian law
  • Print page
  • Disclaimer
Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act 1995
Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act 1995 [taking into account amendments up to Act no. 135 of 2003] : an act to prohibit the supply or export of goods that will or may be used in, and the provision of services that will or may assist, the development, production, acquisition or stockpiling of weapons capable of causing mass destruction or missiles capable of delivering such weapons

29.05.1995
29.11.1995
Yes
Act no. 38 of 1995 as amended. - Source : http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2004C00853/e15df85d-a538-4d68-8b8c-f3a3b1474f9b (last accessed on 21.05.2012)

Summary
The Act makes it an offence for a person or organization to help other States develop weapons of mass destruction, which are defined as nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. The Act does not implement specific treaty obligations but is intended to act as a “safety net” closing any loopholes in relation to international trade in weapons of mass destruction not covered by the Crimes (Biological Weapons) Act 1978 and the Chemical Weapons (Prohibitions) Act.

Section 9 provides that where a person supplies goods to another, believing or suspecting on reasonable grounds that the goods may be used in a programme for the development, production, acquisition or stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction, that person is guilty of an offence punishable by imprisonment for a maximum of 8 years. The person is not guilty of an offence if the supply of goods is authorized by a permit under Section 13 or if the Minister has issued the person with a written notice under section 12.

Section 10 sets out the same prohibition and exemptions concerning the export of goods which are not regulated under the Customs Acts 1901 (Cth). Section 11, which is almost identical, concerns the provision of services rather than goods to another person.

Section 15 attributes the belief and suspicion of a director, employee or agent, acting within his or her authority, to the relevant corporation, unless the corporation proves that it took reasonable precautions and exercised due diligence to avoid the conduct.

Document
File TypeSizeFile Name
application/pdf 66 KB Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act 1995.pdf