Practice Relating to Rule 75. Riot Control Agents
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Geneva Gas Protocol
The 1925 Geneva Gas Protocol provides:
Whereas the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or any other gases, and of all analogous liquids, materials or devices, has been justly condemned by the general opinion of the civilized world; …
To the end that this prohibition shall be universally accepted as a part of International Law, binding alike the conscience and the practice of nations;
Declare:
That the High Contracting Parties, so far as they are not already Parties to Treaties prohibiting such use, accept this prohibition. 
Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, Geneva, 17 June 1925.

No State has at any time ratified or acceded to the Protocol with a reservation or declaration of interpretation limiting the types of chemical weapons to which it applies.
Chemical Weapons Convention
Article I(5) of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention states: “Each State Party undertakes not to use riot control agents as a method of warfare.” 
Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, Paris, 13 January 1993, Article I(5).

The non-use of riot control agents is subject to the provisions of a number of articles in the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, first of which is the definition of “chemical weapons” in Article II:
1. “Chemical Weapons” means the following, together or separately:
(a) Toxic chemicals and their precursors, except where intended for purposes not prohibited under this Convention, as long as the types and quantities are consistent with such purposes. 
Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, Paris, 13 January 1993, Article II(1)(a).

Article II(2) of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention defines the term “toxic chemical” as:
Any chemical which through its chemical action on life processes can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm to humans or animals. This includes all such chemicals, regardless of their origin or of their method of production, and regardless of whether they are produced in facilities, in munitions or elsewhere. 
Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, Paris, 13 January 1993, Article II(2).

Article II(7) of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention defines “Riot Control Agent” as: “Any chemical not listed in a Schedule, which can produce rapidly in humans sensory irritation or disabling physical effects which disappear within a short time following termination of exposure.” 
Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, Paris, 13 January 1993, Article II(7).

Article II(9)(d) of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention provides:
9. “Purposes Not Prohibited Under this Convention” means:

(d) Law enforcement including domestic riot control purposes.
The cumulative effect of these provisions is that riot control agents may not be used as a method of warfare but may be used for certain law enforcement purposes including riot control. 
Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, Paris, 13 January 1993, Article II(9)(d).

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ILA Draft Convention for the Protection of Civilian Populations against New Engines of War
Article 7 of the 1938 ILA Draft Convention for the Protection of Civilian Populations against New Engines of War provides:
(a) The prohibition of the use of chemical weapons shall apply to the use, by any method whatsoever, for the purpose of injuring an adversary, of any natural or synthetic substance (whether solid, liquid or gaseous) which is harmful to the human or animal organism by reason of its being a toxic, asphyxiating, irritant or vesicant substance.
(b) The said prohibition shall not apply:

III. to smoke or fog used to screen objectives or for other military purposes, provided that such smoke or fog is not liable to produce harmful effects under normal conditions of use;
IV. to gas that is merely lachrymatory. 
Draft Convention for the Protection of Civilian Populations against New Engines of War, adopted by the International Law Association, Fortieth Conference, Amsterdam, 29 August–2 September 1938, Article 7(a) and (b)(iii)–(iv).

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Australia
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) repeats the prohibition of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, specifying that the use of riot control agents “by [Australian Defence Force] members in peacetime requires approval at the highest level of command. Where such approval is given, strict rules of engagement are likely to prescribe the specific situations in which they may be employed.” 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 312.

Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states:
Riot control agents, including tear gas and other gases which have debilitating but non-permanent effects as a means of warfare, is prohibited in armed conflict under the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention. This does not mean riot control agents cannot be used in times of conflict (e.g. against rioting prisoners of war). Legal advice should be sought on the occasions when their use is considered. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 413.

Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states in its chapter on “Weapons”:
The use of riot control agents, including tear gas and other gases which have debilitating but non-permanent effects as a means of warfare is prohibited under the CWC [1993 Chemical Weapons Convention]. This does not mean riot control agents cannot be used in times of conflict to maintain order, for example, in a prisoner of war camp, or to contain a riot by the civilian population. Legal advice should be sought on the occasions when their use is considered. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 4.19.

The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) states that “it is uncertain whether … chemical products that do not cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the environment” are covered by the prohibition on the use of asphyxiating and other analogous gases. 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 38.

Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states:
Chemical weapons

[The 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention] imposes an absolute prohibition of chemical weapons both during international and internal armed conflicts. However, it is important to point out that riot control agents remain authorised to maintain order. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 272, § 631.

Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states: “The use of riot control agents, including tear gas and other gases that have debilitating but non-permanent effects, as a means of warfare is prohibited.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 5-3, § 27.

Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) provides: “The use of CS gas or pepper spray is lawful and may be used for crowd control purposes, but their use as a means of warfare is illegal.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 3, § 9.

Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter entitled “Restrictions on the use of weapons”: “The use of riot control agents, including tear gas and other gases that have debilitating but non-permanent effects, as a means of warfare is prohibited.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 518.

Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) provides: “The use of CS gas or pepper spray is lawful and may be used for crowd control purposes, but their use as a means of warfare is illegal.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 3, § 9.

Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders): “The use of riot control agents, including tear gas and other gases which have debilitating but no permanent effects, is prohibited as a method of warfare.” 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 54.

Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992), under the heading “Chemical Weapons”, proscribes “the use of irritant agents for military purposes”. 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, § 434.

Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
Tear gas. Apparently, even the tear gas used by the police to disperse demonstrations is a chemical weapon and thus prohibited under the Protocol, despite its relatively minor effect. An absurd situation results in which demonstrators are “endangered” by tear gas whereas fighters going out to battle are protected from it.  
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 19.

The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states:
Opinion is divided over whether or not the prohibition applies to tear gas, defoliants and other non deadly means. It is said, with regard to tear gas, that it should be prohibited in armed conflicts. It can be used to control order. This should be distinguished from the use in armed conflict because there it runs the danger of provoking the use of other more dangerous chemicals. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. IV-6/IV-8, § 14.

The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
Riot control agents such as tear gas may not be used as a method of warfare (Chemical Weapons Convention Article 1). Use as a means of maintaining order, including the control of internal unrest, is not prohibited. Military use must be distinguished from this. This conceals the danger that the use of a relatively harmless chemical may unleash the use of some other, more lethal one by the adversary. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0456.

The manual further states:
[M]ilitary use of a non-lethal weapon may pose the danger that the adversary perceives it as a forbidden means, which may induce the adversary to use other, more lethal means. One example is the use of tear gas, mentioned above. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0477.

In its chapter on peace operations, the manual states:
Some countries consider that the use of tear gas (CS gas) conflicts with the 1925 [Geneva] Gas Protocol. This poses inevitable problems for the peace force when using means of riot control. In such a case, troops must be sought from a country which sees no conflict with the Gas Protocol, so that tear gas may still be used, e.g., to disperse a crowd if strictly necessary. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, p. 200.

New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992), in a footnote relating to the 1925 Geneva Gas Protocol, states: “A number of states, including New Zealand, take the view that this does not prevent the use of lachrymose agents, especially if used to maintain or restore discipline in internment or prisoner of war camps.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, p. 5-15, § 512, footnote 51.

The manual further states: “Among other war crimes recognised by the customary law of armed conflict are … using asphyxiating poisonous and other gases.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1704(5).

Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) prohibits the use of riot control agents as a means of warfare. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, § 3.3.b.(8).

Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “It is prohibited to use riot control agents as a method of warfare.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 3.3.b.(8).

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) provides in its chapter on weapons: “States party [to the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention] undertake not to use riot control agents as a method of warfare.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 6.8.2.

In its chapter on internal armed conflict, the manual prohibits the use of “chemical weapons, including riot control agents, as a method of warfare”. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 15.28.

United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) states:
It is the position of the United States that the Geneva [Gas] Protocol of 1925 does not prohibit the use in war of … riot control agents, which are those agents of a type widely used by governments for law enforcement purposes because they produce, in all but the most unusual circumstances, merely transient effects that disappear within minutes after exposure to the agent has terminated. In this connection, however, the United States has unilaterally renounced, as a matter of national policy, certain uses in war of … riot control agents. The policy and provisions of Executive Order No. 11850 do not, however, prohibit or restrict the use of … riot control agents by US armed forces either (1) as retaliation in kind during armed conflict or (2) in situations when the United States is not engaged in armed conflict. Any use in armed conflict of … riot control agents, however, requires Presidential approval in advance. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 38(d).

The US Rules of Engagement for Vietnam (1971) stated:
Riot control agents will be used to the maximum extent possible. CS agents can be effectively employed in inhabited and urban area operations to flush enemy personnel from buildings and fortified positions, thus increasing the enemy’s vulnerability to allied firepower while reducing the unnecessary danger to civilians and the likelihood of destruction of civilian property. 
United States, Rules of Engagement for the Employment of Firepower in the Republic of Viet-Nam, US Military Assistance Command Viet-Nam, Directive No. 525-13, May 1971, unclassified contents reprinted in Eleanor C. McDowell, Digest of United States Practice in International Law, 1975, US Department of State Publication 8865, Washington, D.C., 1976, pp. 814–815, § d(2).

The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) restates Executive Order No. 11850 of 8 April 1975 and specifies:
The legal effect of this Executive Order is to reflect national policy. It is not intended to interpret the Geneva [Gas] Protocol of 1925 or change the interpretation of the United States that the Protocol does not restrain the use of riot control agents as such. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 6-4(e).

The US Air Force Commander’s Handbook (1980) states:
The United States does not regard the Geneva [Gas] Protocol as forbidding use of riot control agents … in armed conflict. However, the United States has, as a matter of national policy, renounced the first use of riot control agents … with certain limited exceptions specified in Executive Order 11850, 8 April 1975. Using … riot control agents … in armed conflict requires Presidential approval. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-34, Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Armed Conflict, Judge Advocate General, US Department of the Air Force, 25 July 1980, § 6-3(a).

The US Operational Law Handbook (1993) states:
The following measures are expressly prohibited by the law of war and are not excusable on the basis of military necessity:

i. Using weapons which cause unnecessary suffering, prolonged damage to the natural environment, or poison weapons. This prohibition does not preclude the use of herbicides or riot control agents by US forces in wartime when authorized by the President of the US or his delegate. 
United States, Operational Law Handbook, JA 422, Center for Law and Military Operations and International Law Division, The Judge Advocate General’s School, United States Army, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903-1781, 1993, p. Q-182, § (i).

The US Naval Handbook (1995) states:
The United States considers that use of riot control agents in armed conflict was not prohibited by the 1925 [Geneva] Gas Protocol. However, the United States formally renounced first use of riot control agents in armed conflict except in defensive military modes to save lives. Uses of riot control agents in time of armed conflict which the United States considers not to be violative of the 1925 [Geneva] Gas Protocol include:
1. Riot control situations in areas under effective U.S. military control, to include control of rioting prisoners of war.
2. Situations in which civilians are used to mask or screen attacks and civilian casualties can be reduced or avoided.
3. Rescue missions involving downed aircrews or escaping prisoners of war.
4. Protection of military supply depots, military convoys, and other military activities in rear echelon areas from civil disturbances, terrorist activities, or paramilitary operations.
Such employment of riot control agents by U.S. forces in armed conflict requires NCA approval.
Use of riot control agents as a “method of warfare” is prohibited by the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention. However, that term is not defined by the Convention. The United States considers that this prohibition applies in international as well as internal armed conflict but that it does not apply in normal peacekeeping operations, law enforcement operations, humanitarian and disaster relief operations, counter-terrorist and hostage rescue operations, and non-combatant rescue operations conducted outside of such conflicts.
The United States also considers that it is permissible to use riot control agents against other than combatants in areas under direct U.S. military control, including to control rioting prisoners of war and to protect convoys from civil disturbances, terrorists and paramilitary organizations in rear areas outside the zone of immediate combat. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), §§ 10.3.2.1.1 and 10.3.2.1.2.

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Australia
Australia’s Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act (1994) provides: “A person must not intentionally or recklessly: … use riot control agents as a method of warfare. Penalty: imprisonment for life.” It adds, however, that use for “law enforcement including domestic riot control purposes” is not prohibited. 
Australia, Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act , 1994, p. 13, Section 12(f) and p. 95, Section 9(d).

Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act (2006) prohibits the use of “riot control agents as a method of warfare, willingly or unlawfully”. 
Bangladesh, Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act, 2006, § 5(1).

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (2003), as amended in 2006, states:
(2) Whoever uses in any way chemical or biological weapons or means of combat prohibited by the rules of international law,
shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of five years or a long-term imprisonment.
(3) Whoever uses means for controlling disorder as a method of warfare,
shall be punished by imprisonment for a term between one and three years. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Code, 2003, as amended on 18 June 2006, Article 193a(2) and (3).

Denmark
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, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).

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]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).

Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s Proclamation on the Implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (2003) provides:
8. Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
Any person shall not undertake in any circumstances any of the following activities:

3) Using riot control agents as a method of warfare. 
Ethiopia, Proclamation on the Implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, 2003, § 8(3).

Fiji
Fiji’s Chemical Weapons Convention Act (2005) provides that “[a] person who intentionally or recklessly … uses riot control agents as a method of warfare … commits an offence”. 
Fiji, Chemical Weapons Convention Act, 2005, § 9.

Germany
Germany’s Law Implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention (1994) states:
§ 1 Definitions
For the purposes of this Law:

2. permitted purposes mean
a) the purposes listed in Article II Nr. 9 (a) to (c) of the Convention,
b) the use of riot control agents within the meaning of Article II Nr. 7 of the Convention for the maintenance of public security and order by the police forces of the Federation and the Länder or by the Federal Armed Forces when taking measures according to the Law on the Use of Coercive Force and the Exercise of Special Powers by Soldiers of the Federal Armed Forces and Civilian Guards, as well as the training for such a use. 
Germany, Law Implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention, 1994, Section 1(2)(a)–(b).

Germany’s Law Implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention (1994), as amended in 2004, states:
§ 1 Definitions
For the purposes of this Law:

2. permitted purposes mean
a) the purposes listed in Article II Nr. 9 (a) to (c) of the Convention,
b) the use of riot control agents within the meaning of Article II Nr. 7 of the Convention for the maintenance of public security and order
- by the police forces of the Federation and the Länder,
- by the Federal Armed Forces when taking measures according to the Law on the Use of Coercive Force and the Exercise of Special Powers by Soldiers of the Federal Armed Forces, Allied Armed Forces and Civilian Guards or
- by the Federal Armed Forces in deployments within the framework of a system of mutual collective security (Article 24 para. 2 of the Basic Law)
as well as the training for such a use. 
Germany, Law Implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention, 1994, as amended in 2004, Section 1(2)(a)–(b).

Greece
Greece’s Chemical Weapons Convention Act (2002) provides: “With incarceration is being punished whoever … makes use of uprising suppression means as war means [sic]”. 
Greece, Chemical Weapons Convention Act, 2002, § 4(2)(d).

Hungary
Under Hungary’s Criminal Code (1978), as amended in 1998, employing “chemical weapons and chemical instruments of war” as defined in Article II(1) and (7) of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention is a war crime. 
Hungary, Criminal Code, 1978, as amended in 1998, Section 160, §A(3)(c).

India
India’s Chemical Weapons Act (2000) provides:
(1) No person shall

(b) use riot control agents as a method of warfare;

(d) assist, encourage or induce, in any manner, any person to engage in
(i) the use of any riot control agent as a method of warfare
(ii) any other activity prohibited to a State Party under the Convention. 
India, Chemical Weapons Act, 2000, Chapter III, § 13.

Liberia
Liberia’s Chemical Weapons Act (2008) states: “A person commits an offence who … uses a riot control agent as a method of warfare”. 
Liberia, Chemical Weapons Act, 2008, Section 3.1.

New Zealand
New Zealand’s Chemical Weapons Act (1996) provides: “Every person commits an offence who intentionally or recklessly uses riot control agents as a method of warfare, and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life or a fine not exceeding $1,000,000.” 
New Zealand, Chemical Weapons Act, 1996, Part II, Section 8.

Pakistan
Pakistan’s Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Ordinance (2000) states:
No person shall -

(e) use a riot control agent as a method of warfare. 
Pakistan, Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Ordinance, 2000, Section 3(1)(e).

Poland
Poland’s Law on the Implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (2001) states:
Article 4
It is prohibited in the territory of the Republic of Poland, subject to Article 5:

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.
Article 27
A person who uses riot control agents as a method of warfare shall be sentenced to imprisonment for 1 year up to 10 years. 
Poland, Law on the Implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, 2001, Articles 4 and 27.

Romania
Romania’s Law on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (1997) provides:
(1) It is prohibited for any person, under any circumstance:

(e) to use riot control agents as a method of warfare.
(2) Persons means any natural or legal person on the territory of Romania including public authorities. 
Romania, Law on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, 1997, Article 3.

The Law further provides:
(1) The act of using chemical weapons is considered a criminal act and is punished by imprisonment, for not less than 5 years and not exceeding 15 years, and prohibition of certain rights.
(2) In the case of an act with serious consequences, the penalty is imprisonment for not less than 10 years and not exceeding 20 years and prohibition of certain rights and if it caused the death of one or more persons, the penalty is life imprisonment or imprisonment for not less than 15 years and not exceeding 25 years and prohibition of certain rights. 
Romania, Law on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, 1997, Article 50.

Singapore
Singapore’s Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act (2000) provides:
Any person who:
(a) uses a chemical weapon;

(g) uses a riot control agent as a method of warfare
shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be punished with
(i) imprisonment for a term which may extend to life imprisonment, and
(ii) a fine not exceeding $1 million. 
Singapore, Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act, 2000, Section 8.

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Chemical Weapons Convention Act (2007) states:
19. (1) Any person who –

(g) uses any riot control agent as a method of warfare, shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and be punished with imprisonment of either description for a period not exceeding twenty years and a fine not exceeding one million rupees.

47. In this Act unless the context otherwise requires –

“riot control agent” means any chemical not listed in a Schedule, which can produce rapidly in humans sensory irritation or disabling physical effects which disappear within a short time following termination of exposure. 
Sri Lanka, Chemical Weapons Convention Act, 2007, Sections 19(g) and 47.

Sweden
Under Sweden’s Penal Code (1962), as amended in 1998, “use of any weapon prohibited by international law” constitutes a crime against international law. 
Sweden, Penal Code, 1962, as amended in 1998, Chapter 22, § 6(1).

The Code further states:
A person who:
… uses riot control materials as a means of warfare shall be sentenced, if the act is not regarded as a war crime against international law, for unlawful handling of chemical weapons to [punishment]. 
Sweden, Penal Code, 1962, as amended in 1998, 1962, Chapter 22, § 6a(4).
[emphasis in original]
Viet Nam
Viet Nam’s Law on the Implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (2005) prohibits the use of “riot control agents as a method of warfare”. 
Viet Nam, Law on the Implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, 2005, § 3e.

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Australia
In 1969, during a debate in the UN General Assembly on the question of chemical and bacteriological (biological) weapons, Australia stated:
The draft resolution [on chemical and bacteriological (biological) weapons under discussion] would declare as contrary to the [1925 Geneva Gas Protocol] “any chemical agent of warfare” with “direct toxic effects on man, animals and plants”. It is the view of the Australian Government that the use of non-lethal substances such as riot control agents … and defoliants does not contravene the Geneva Protocol nor customary international law. 
Australia, Statement before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.1/ PV.1716, 9 December 1969, § 180.

In response to a question without notice in the Australian Senate on 5 October 1989 relating to tear gas agents, the Minister for Community Services and Health stated:
It is now generally accepted internationally, however, that riot control agents are not chemical weapons. The Australian Government’s view is that widespread availability and use of these agents and their relative lack of toxicity and persistence makes it impossible to include these agents within the scope of a convention which is to attract widespread adherence and is to be effectively verifiable. 
Australia, Senate, Minister for Community Services and Health, Question Without Notice: Chemical Agents, Hansard, 5 October 1989.

The Report on the Practice of Australia refers to a document of 1971 entitled “Protection of the Civil Population Against the Effects of Certain Weapons”, which states:
In answer to a question in the House of Representatives, the Australian Minister for External Affairs … stated that the use of non-lethal tear gases, C.N., C.S., and C.N.D.M., as used in South Vietnam “would not be contrary to any international convention, nor would it contravene the [1925 Geneva Gas Protocol]” …
Neither lethal nor non-lethal gases are employed at present in any part of [the Australian Military Forces], including [the Pacific Islands Regime]. No soldiers are trained in use of weapons involving the use of either such type of gas. In [Papua New Guinea] the civil constabulary are trained in the use of and have available non-lethal gas weapons. 
Australia, Protection of the Civil Population Against the Effects of Certain Weapons (unknown author), Doc. AA-A1838/267, File No. AA-889/702/7/2 Pt 1, May 1971, Report on the Practice of Australia, 1998, Chapter 3.5.

In this connection, the report states:
As a state party to the [Chemical Weapons Convention], Australia is obligated not to use riot control agents as a weapon of war. The [Chemical Weapons Convention] does, however, explicitly allow the use of such agents for riots and quelling civil disturbances. 
Report on the Practice of Australia, 1998, Chapter 3.5.

Canada
In 1971, during a debate in the UN General Assembly, Canada stated:
Tear gas and other riot- and crowd-control agents were excluded from Canada’s commitment not to develop, produce, acquire, stockpile or use any chemical weapons in warfare … Canada’s reservations with regard to the use of these agents in war should be waived. 
Canada, Statement before the UN General Assembly, UN Doc A/PV.1827, 11 November 1971, p. 7.

France
In 1931, during the League of Nations Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, France, in a note regarding a memorandum submitted by the United Kingdom, stated:
I. All the texts at present in force or proposed in regard to the prohibition of the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or similar gases are identical. In the French delegation’s opinion, they apply to all gases employed with a view to toxic action on the human organism, whether the effects of such action are more or less temporary irritation of certain mucous membranes or whether they cause serious or even fatal lesions.
II. The French military regulations, which refer to the undertaking not to use gas for warfare (gaz de combat) subject to reciprocity, classify such gases as suffocating, blistering, irritant and poisonous gases in general, and define irritant gases as those causing tears, sneezing, etc.
III. The French Government therefore considers that the use of lachrymatory gases is covered by the prohibition arising out of the Geneva [Gas] Protocol of 1925 … The fact that, for the maintenance of internal order, the police, when dealing with offenders against the law, sometimes use various appliances discharging irritant gases cannot, in the French delegation’s opinion, be adduced in a discussion on this point, since the Protocol … relates only to the use of poisonous or similar gases in war. 
France, Note by the French Delegation to the League of Nations Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference regarding a British Memorandum, reprinted in League of Nations Doc. C.4.M.4. 1931, IX, Documents of the Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, Series X, Minutes of the Sixth Session (Second Part), 15 January 1931, p. 311.
[emphasis in original]
Germany
In its Annual Disarmament Report 2004, submitted to the Bundestag (Lower House of Parliament) in 2005, Germany’s Federal Government reported:
On 15 October 2004, an amendment to the Law Implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention came into force. This amendment created the legal basis for the admissibility of the use of riot control agents by the Federal Armed Forces in deployments within the framework of systems of collective security. The Chemical Weapons Convention allows such use. The violent riots in Kosovo in March 2004 had made clear that in deployments abroad within the framework of Article 24 of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Federal Armed Forces need to have at their disposal, apart from military equipment, also means which effectively and in a proportionate manner serve to maintain public security and order. The equipment of the Federal Armed Forces with riot control agents, e.g. irritants and pepper spray, will, under the threshold of the use of firearms, enable them to react in a way that is adapted to the situation and graduated. 
Germany, Federal Government, Annual Disarmament Report 2004, 17 June 2005, p. 33.

Hungary
In 1966, during a debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, Hungary stated:
34. … It was sometimes argued that the Geneva [Gas] Protocol referred to circumstances existing in 1925, and not to the present situation when new types of gases, including comparatively harmless riot-control agents, had been invented. But practising riot control and conducting warfare were two distinctly different problems. The former fell within the domestic jurisdiction of each State, whereas the latter was governed by international law.
35. The gases being used in Viet-Nam were intended to undermine morale, destroy health, spread disease and create starvation. They were being used mainly in populated areas where they were likely to affect more people, and more civilians than soldiers. It had been asserted that able-bodied persons could recover quickly from the effects of the gases. But for elderly and sick people, pregnant women and children, the effects were very grave and sometimes fatal. Indeed, the use of such mass weapons verged upon genocide …
36. The hollow pretexts given for using riot-control gases in Viet-Nam had been rejected by world public opinion and by the international scientific community, including scholars in the United States itself. Weapons of that kind … were difficult to control and might affect those who were using them, as well as those against whom they were used. 
Hungary, Statement before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.1/ SR.1451, 11 November 1966, §§ 34–36.

Italy
In 1931, during the League of Nations Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, Italy, with respect to a memorandum submitted by the United Kingdom, stated that it “interprets the 1925 [Geneva Gas] Protocol to mean that ‘other gases’ include lachrymatory gases – that is to say that, subject to reciprocity, the use of lachrymatory gases is prohibited”. 
Italy, Statement before the League of Nations Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, 15 January 1931, League of Nations Doc. C.4.M.4. 1931, IX, Documents of the Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, Series X, Minutes of the Sixth Session (Second Part), 15 January 1931, p. 313.

Norway
In 2009, in a statement on “Other Weapons of Mass Destruction” made before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, Norway’s Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs stated that “we must ensure that the use of non-lethal gases such as riot control agents are in conformity with the provisions [of] the Convention and [do] not have unacceptable humanitarian consequences”. 
Norway, Statement on “Other Weapons of Mass Destruction” made before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, 16 October 2009.

Saudi Arabia
In 1969, during a debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly on the question of chemical and bacteriological (biological) weapons and on what was to become Resolution 2603 (XXIV), the representative of Saudi Arabia stated:
108. … I wish to mention a particular gas which is being used in many countries, namely tear gas, which is used inhumanely for breaking up demonstrations. Of course, here we are discussing the question of disarmament, the international aspect of these weapons, but we should not neglect or ignore the covenants of human rights or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which in its third article states that “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”. We should at some time in the future go further than prohibiting or trying to prohibit the use of chemical weapons among nations. They should be banned inside every State, even tear gas should be banned.
109. … If conventional means are not enough and tear gas or any similar gas is used to disperse crowds, then the Government had better fold up and dissolve.
110. … I hope that in the future the United Nations will consider the use of any gas or germ as a criminal act. 
Saudi Arabia, Statement before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.1/PV.1717, 10 December 1969, §§ 108–110.

Turkey
In 1931, during the League of Nations Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, Turkey, with respect to a memorandum submitted by the United Kingdom, stated: “We also consider the use of lachrymatory gases prohibited by the [1925 Geneva Gas] Protocol.” 
Turkey, Statement before the League of Nations Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, 15 January 1931, League of Nations Doc. C.4.M.4. 1931, IX, Documents of the Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, Series X, Minutes of the Sixth Session (Second Part), 15 January 1931, p. 313.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1931, in a memorandum submitted to the League of Nations Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, the UK government stated:
Basing itself on this English text [of the 1925 Geneva Gas Protocol], the British Government have taken the view that the use in war of “other gases”, including lachrymatory gases, was prohibited. They also considered that the intention was to incorporate the same prohibition in the present Convention [i.e. in a draft convention on disarmament discussed at the Preparatory Commission]. 
United Kingdom, Memorandum by the UK Delegation to the League of Nations Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, reprinted in League of Nations Doc. C.4.M.4. 1931, IX, Documents of the Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, Series X, Minutes of the Sixth Session (Second Part), 15 January 1931, p. 311.

Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Japan, Romania, Spain and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia were among the States which expressly associated themselves with the UK memorandum. 
Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Japan, Romania, Spain and Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Statements before the League of Nations Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, 15 January 1931, League of Nations Doc. C.4.M.4. 1931, IX, Documents of the Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, Series X, Minutes of the Sixth Session (Second Part), 15 January 1931, p. 311.

In 1970, in reply to a question in the House of Commons, the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs stated:
In 1930, the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs … in reply to a Parliamentary Question on the scope of the [1925 Geneva Gas] Protocol said:
“Smoke screens are not considered as poisonous and do not, therefore, come within the terms of the Geneva Gas Protocol. Tear gases and shells producing poisonous fumes are, however, prohibited under the Protocol”

That is still the Government’s position. However, modern technology has developed CS smoke which, unlike the tear gases available in 1930, is considered to be not significantly harmful to man in other than wholly exceptional circumstances; and we regard CS and other such gases accordingly as being outside the scope of the [1925 Geneva Gas Protocol]. CS is in fact less toxic than the screening smokes which the 1930 statement specifically excluded. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Reply by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Hansard, 2 February 1970, Vol. 795, Written Answers, p. 18.

In 1992, in reply to the question in the House of Commons “What allowances have been made for the retention of disabling agents for riot control purposes under the terms of the [1993 Chemical Weapons Convention]?”, the UK Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, stated:
Under the terms of the [1993 Chemical Weapons Convention], states parties will be entitled to use toxic chemicals for law enforcement, including domestic riot control purposes, provided that such chemicals are limited to those not listed in the schedules to the convention and which can produce rapidly in humans sensory irritation or disabling physical effects which disappear within a short time following termination of exposure. States parties will undertake not to use riot control agents as a method of warfare. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Reply by the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 7 December 1992, Vol. 215, Written Answers, cols. 459–460.

In 1994, in reply to a question in the House of Commons about the use of gas weapons by the police, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs stated:
The Association of Chief Police Officers is considering the possible use of products containing the incapacitating inflammatory agent, oleoresin capsicum … The only chemical agent which police forces are currently permitted to use is CS irritant. The considerable research which has been undertaken into this agent was evaluated by the 1969–1971 inquiry into the medical and toxicological aspects of CS … Police forces are permitted to use CS in extreme public order incidents where the chief officer of police judges such action to be necessary because of risk of loss of life or serious injury or widespread destruction of property; or against armed besieged criminals or violently insane persons where a senior officer judges that not to use it would endanger lives. There are no current proposals to change arrangements relating to CS. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Reply by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs, Hansard, 31 March 1994, Vol. 240, Written Answers, col. 946.

In 1996, the House of Lords addressed a question to the UK government to the effect that:
How is the development and manufacture of chemical weapons for “domestic riot control purposes”, which are included as “Purposes Not Prohibited Under this Convention’” in Article (9) of the Chemical Weapons Convention, to be distinguished from the development and manufacture of chemical weapons for purposes prohibited under the convention, and who is to be responsible for making these distinctions, and whether international peacekeeping operations are included among the “Purposes Not Prohibited Under this Convention”. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Question addressed to the Government by Lord Kennet, Hansard, 18 June 1996, Vol. 573, Written Answers, cols. 23–24.

In a written answer to this question, the UK Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, replied:
The Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits the development and manufacture of any chemical weapons. The term “chemical weapons” includes toxic chemicals except those intended for purposes not prohibited by the convention, including “domestic riot control purposes”. Provided that the types and quantities of chemicals used are consistent with the intended permitted purpose they are not prohibited under the convention. Each State Party is obliged to declare details of chemicals held for riot control purposes (commonly known as riot control agents). The convention establishes a verification mechanism to monitor States Parties’ compliance with their obligations. The provisions include inspections of declared sites and investigations into allegations that riot control agents have been used in warfare. Inspections and investigations will be carried out by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
The [Chemical Weapons Convention] prohibits the use of toxic chemicals as a method of warfare in international peacekeeping operations. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Reply by Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 18 June 1996, Vol. 573, Written Answers, col. 24.

In 1998, the UK Minister of State for the Armed Forces provided a public explanation of why, in written answers to two parliamentary questions, he had told one questioner that “CS irritant is the only riot control agent held by my Department”, having just informed the other questioner that “the Ministry of Defence currently holds stocks of CR gas … a riot control agent designed to cause temporary irritation”. His explanation was that because the physiological effects of CR are among those which the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention uses to define a “riot control agent” – because CR, in the words of Article II(7) 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, “can produce rapidly in humans sensory irritation or disabling physical effects which disappear within a short time following termination of exposure” – CR can properly be described as a “riot control agent”, even though it is in fact held by the UK Defence Ministry for a purpose other than riot control, namely “maintaining an effective terrorism response capability”. 
United Kingdom, Letters dated 25 March 1998 from the Minister of State for the Armed Forces addressed to Messrs Harry Cohen and Ken Livingstone, with copies placed in the House of Commons Library.

In 1998, in reply to a question in the House of Lords, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs stated that the government had recently approved the export to the Netherlands of 2,500 rounds of CS gas and shotgun ammunition for use in riot control by the Dutch contingent to the UN forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Reply to a question by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Hansard, 12 January 1998, Vol. 584, Written Answers, cols. 122–123.

In 2003, in a written reply to a question in the House of Commons, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, stated:
All States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) have undertaken not to use any toxic chemical or its precursor, including riot control agents (RCAs), as a method of warfare. This applies in any armed conflict. RCAs are defined in the CWC as any chemical not listed in a Schedule which can produce rapidly in humans sensory irritation or disabling physical effects which disappear within a short time following termination of exposure. (A chemical listed in a Schedule is one identified for the application of verification measures under the CWC.) 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Written answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 25 February 2003, Vol. 400, Written Answers, cols. 421W–422W.

United States of America
In 1927, during a debate in the US Senate, an argument against ratification of the 1925 Geneva Gas Protocol was that it outlawed the use of tear gas. 
United States, Senate, Statement by Senator James Reed, Congressional Records, Vol. 68, pp. 141–154, 1927, referred to in Richard R. Baxter and Thomas Buergenthal, “Legal Aspects of the Geneva Protocol of 1925”, AJIL, Vol. 64, 1970, p. 861.

In 1931, during the League of Nations Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, the US representative, with respect to a memorandum submitted by the United Kingdom, stated:
While lachrymatory gases may serve some useful military purpose, for instance as harassing agencies, it is doubtless well-known to all my colleagues that the greatest use of lachrymatory gas is found, not in military service, but in police work either for controlling mobs, in which use it is certainly far more humane and probably more effective than the use of machine guns, sabres, or even truncheons, or it serves the purpose of effecting the capture of a barricaded criminal without bloodshed or loss of life … I think there would be considerable hesitation on the part of many Governments to bind themselves to refrain from the use in war, against an enemy, of agencies which they have adopted for peace-time use against their own population, agencies adopted on the ground that, while causing temporary inconvenience, they cause no real suffering or permanent disability, and are thereby more clearly humane than the use of weapons to which they were formerly obliged to resort to in times of emergency. 
United States, Statement before the League of Nations Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, 15 January 1931, League of Nations Doc. C.4.M.4. 1931, IX, Documents of the Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, Series X, Minutes of the Sixth Session (Second Part), 15 January 1931, p. 311.

In 1969, during a debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly on the question of chemical and bacteriological (biological) weapons, the US representative stated with respect to the then still draft Resolution 2603 (XXIV):
41. … We do not agree with the interpretation which this resolution would place upon international law as embodied in the [1925 Geneva Gas Protocol]. I note that for the last forty years States have recognized the ambiguity of the Geneva Protocol, as to whether it prohibits the use of riot-control agents. They have not been able to resolve this ambiguity, despite several efforts to do so, and here we must respectfully differ with the Swedish delegation with regard to the conclusive – or we would say “inconclusive” – character of the negotiations leading up to the abortive Disarmament Conference of 1933. For if, as [the Swedish delegation] said … of the Geneva Protocol, “States did not doubt the comprehensive nature of the ban”, one must then ask why in the years after 1925 they continued to debate it.

43. We have examined in detail the negotiating histories of the 1899 and 1907 Hague Conventions, the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, the 1922 Washington Treaty, which never entered into force, and the 1925 Geneva [Gas] Protocol, and we have come to the conclusion that the negotiating histories of these treaties support the view that riot-control agents are not covered by the Geneva Protocol, and that, accordingly, [ the draft resolution which became UN General Assembly resolution 2603 (XXIV)] incorrectly interprets the generally recognized rules of international law as embodied in the Geneva Protocol.  
United States, Statement before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.1/PV.1717, 10 December 1969, §§ 41 and 43.

Executive Order No. 11850, issued by the US President on 8 April 1975, states:
The United States renounces, as a matter of national policy, … first use of riot control agents in war except in defensive military modes to save lives such as:
a) Use of riot control agents in riot control situations in areas under direct and distinct U.S. military control, to include controlling rioting prisoners of war.
b) Use of riot control agents in situations in which civilians are used to mask or screen attacks and civilian casualties can be reduced or avoided.
c) Use of riot control agents in rescue missions in remotely isolated areas, of downed aircrews and passengers, and escaping prisoners.
d) Use of riot control agents in rear echelon areas outside the zone of immediate combat to protect convoys from civil disturbances, terrorists and paramilitary organizations.

Section 1. The Secretary of Defense shall take all necessary measures to ensure that the use by the Armed Forces of the United States of any riot control agents … in war is prohibited unless such use has Presidential approval, in advance. 
United States, Executive Order No. 11850, 8 April 1975, Federal Register, Vol. 40, 1975, p. 16187.

Various sources observed that riot control agents were used in the Vietnam War by the United States and South Vietnamese forces. 
Wil D. Verwey, Riot Control Agents and Herbicides in War, A. W. Sijthoff, Leyden, 1977, pp. 46–67.

In some circumstances, tear gas was allegedly used in conjunction with fragmentation bombs. 
Guenter Lewy, America in Vietnam, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1978, pp. 248–257.

An article in a Swedish newspaper stated that VX gas was used against the North Vietnamese army in Cambodia. 
Wil D. Verwey, Riot Control Agents and Herbicides in War, A. W. Sijthoff, Leyden, 1977, p. 185, translation from article in Dagens Nyheter, 16 August 1970.

At the CDDH, the United States stated, with regard to the asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases: “Opinions differed as to whether tear gas was covered by the Geneva Protocol of 1925.” 
United States, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.44, 30 May 1977, pp. 280–281, § 7.

In 1980, in a memorandum of law on the “Reported Use of Chemical Agents in Afghanistan, Laos, and Kampuchea”, a legal adviser of the US Department of State stressed:
Although the United States does not regard the prohibition [on first use of chemical weapons] as applying to riot control agents, this view is not shared by the great majority of states (including the Soviets), and they would presumably regard themselves as being entitled to use chemical agents (including lethal agents) in response to use of riot control agents against them. 
United States, Department of State, Memorandum of law by a Legal Adviser on the “Reported Use of Chemical Agents in Afghanistan, Laos, and Kampuchea”, 9 April 1980, reprinted in Marian Nash Leich, Digest of United States Practice in International Law, 1980, Department of State Publication 9610, Washington, D.C., 1986, p. 1034.

In 1994, the US President transmitted to the US Senate the findings of his administration’s review of the impact of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention on Executive Order No. 11850 concerning US policy on the use of riot control agents in armed conflict. The accompanying message of the President stated:
Article I(5) of the [Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)] prohibits Parties from using [riot control agents (RCAs)] as a “method of warfare”. That phrase is not defined in the CWC. The United States interprets this provision to mean that:
– The CWC applies only to the use of RCAs in international or internal armed conflict. Other peacetime uses of RCAs, such as normal peacekeeping operations, law enforcement operations, humanitarian and disaster relief operations, counter-terrorist and hostage rescue operations, and non-combatant rescue operations conducted outside such conflicts are unaffected by the Convention.
– The CWC does not apply to all uses of RCAs in time of armed conflict. Use of RCAs solely against noncombatants for law enforcement, riot control, or other noncombatant purposes would not be considered as a “method of warfare” and therefore would not be prohibited. Accordingly, the CWC does not prohibit the use of RCAs in riot control situations in areas under direct U.S. military control, including against rioting prisoners of war, and to protect convoys from civil disturbances, terrorists, and paramilitary organizations in rear areas outside the zone of immediate combat.
– The CWC does prohibit the use of RCAs solely against combatants. In addition, according to the current international understanding, the CWC’s prohibition on the use of RCAs as a “method of warfare” also precludes the use of RCAs even for humanitarian purposes in situations where combatants and noncombatants are intermingled, such as the rescue of downed air crews, passengers, and escaping prisoners and situations where civilians are being used to mask or screen attacks. However, were the international understanding of this issue to change, the United States would not consider itself bound by this position. 
United States, Message from the US President transmitting the report on the Chemical Weapons Convention, 23 June 1994, PM, Vol. 140, PM 129, reprinted in Congressional Record (daily edition), 24 June 1994, p. S7635.

In 1996, during hearings on the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention before the US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, the US Secretary of Defense stated:
The [Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)] does not prohibit the use of [Riot Control Agents (RCAs)] in riot control situations in areas under direct and distinct US military control, to include controlling rioting prisoners of war, and in rear echelon areas outside the zone of immediate combat to protect convoys from civil disturbance, terrorist and paramilitary organizations. The CWC does prohibit the use of RCAs solely against combatants and, according to the understanding of our allies and treaty signatories, even for humanitarian purposes in situations where combatants and non-combatants are intermingled. 
United States, Statement by the Secretary of Defense on the Chemical Weapons Convention, Committee hearing, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 28 March 1996, FDCH Political Transcripts, 28 March 1996, via Nexis.

At the same hearing, the Joint Staff Director of Strategic Plans and Policy stated: “In peacekeeping operations under Chapter six, Chapter seven UN operations, of course, the provisions of this convention don’t apply, and we would be able to use riot control agents … It’s my understanding that we could use riot control agents in Bosnia.” 
United States, Statement by the Joint Staff Director of Strategic Plans and Policy, Committee hearing, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 28 March 1996, FDCH Political Transcripts, 28 March 1996.

In 1998, in a legal review of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) pepper spray, the Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General of the US Department of the Navy stated:
Oleoresin Capsicum is not calculated (i.e., designed), nor does it in fact cause unnecessary suffering. It is designed specifically to temporarily incapacitate violent or threatening subjects while reducing human suffering and is in consonance with the [Department of Defense Non-Lethal Weapon] program. Its physiological effects, while relatively painful, are temporary and do not rise to the level of unnecessary suffering contemplated in the prohibition … Provided a military necessity justifies its employment, the principle of unnecessary suffering would not preclude employment of OC in appropriate circumstances.

The OC system contemplated for acquisition and employment by the Marine Corps is specifically designed to limit its effects only to intended targets. The contemplated OC dispersers utilize a target specific stream of ballistic droplets for controlled delivery and minimal cross contamination (i.e., point target delivery), rather than an aerosolized spray which increases the likelihood of unintended subject impact. Provided the weapon is employed in a discriminating manner, the principle of distinction/discrimination presents no prohibition to acquisition and employment of OC in appropriate circumstances.

The second major category of chemicals regulated by the [Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)] is Riot Control Agents [RCAs] …
While the proscriptions imposed by the CWC on chemical weapons are stated as absolute, the Convention seems to permit employment of RCAs, provided they are not used as a method of warfare. The CWC does not address whether a given substance can be subject to both the restrictions placed on RCAs and those placed on chemical weapons. Subsequent analysis in this memorandum concludes that RCAs are only constrained by the method of warfare restriction, that is, the CWC Treaty establishes a regime for treatment of RCAs separate from the regime dealing with chemical weapons.
… The definition of toxic chemicals [of the Chemical Weapons Convention] appears broad enough to include many, if not all, RCAs. Specifically, the use of the term temporary incapacitation in the definition of toxic chemical is difficult to distinguish from the term disabling effect used in the definition of RCAs. Thus, some contend that RCAs fall under the CWC’s definition of toxic chemical. If that is the case, then RCAs become subject to the CWC’s chemical weapon regime as well as the RCA regime. The consequences of such an interpretation are significant. RCAs would then be a chemical weapon, subject to all the limitations applicable to such weapons, unless they were used for a purpose not prohibited. This is problematic and would have a major impact on the use of RCAs since the purposes not prohibited exclusion for use of chemical weapons is an enumerated and apparently exclusive list of four activities only. Alternatively, if the CWC provides for a regime for RCAs separate than that for chemical weapons, then the only limitation on their use is that they may not be employed as a method of warfare. 
United States, Department of the Navy, Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General, International and Operational Law Division, Legal Review of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) Pepper Spray, 19 May 1998, §§ 4–5 and 6(c), pp. 6–7 and 14–15.
[emphasis in original]
In a footnote on this point, the Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General stated: “If RCAs were subject to the chemical weapons regime, then the only ‘purpose not prohibited’ that would permit employment of RCAs is article II(9)(d) [of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention], the law enforcement exclusion”. 
United States, Department of the Navy, Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General, International and Operational Law Division, Legal Review of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) Pepper Spray, 19 May 1998, footnote 37, p. 15.

However, Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General went on to state:
It is apparent … that the nature of the harm caused by RCAs is generally much less severe and that the toxic effects of RCAs are transient. Thus, it is clear from the definition of RCAs that the CWC envisages RCAs to be a relatively benign category of chemicals. The fact that the definition excludes those chemicals listed on Chemical Annex Schedules, many of which are extremely toxic, bolsters this point. While RCAs may well be toxic chemicals, in establishing a separate regime for a particular category of toxic chemicals, RCAs, the CWC has limited the boundaries of this category by narrowly defining the chemicals that qualify as RCAs. 
United States, Department of the Navy, Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General, International and Operational Law Division, Legal Review of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) Pepper Spray, 19 May 1998, § 6(c), p. 16.

Turning to the 1925 Geneva Gas Protocol, the Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General stated:
Disagreement swirled around the Protocol’s coverage of RCAs. Since the 1960s, the U.S. has maintained that the Protocol applies only to lethal and incapacitating chemical agents and not to RCAs. The U.S. therefore maintained that RCAs could be used during armed conflict. That view was not universally shared in the international community. The United States’ extensive use of RCAs during the Vietnam War brought the differing interpretations to light. As a matter of national policy, however, the U.S., upon ratifying th e Protocol in 1975, renounced the first use of RCAs in war except in defensive military modes to save lives. Nonetheless, the U.S. maintained that RCAs were not chemical weapons covered by the Protocol.
… Some nations, however, expressed concern that “RCAs would constitute an immediate risk and danger if they were allowed to develop into a new generation of non-lethal but effective chemical agents of warfare, causing insurmountable problems in trying to distinguish between ‘real’ and ‘non-lethal’ chemical weapons on the battlefield, as well as ‘real’ and ‘non-lethal’ chemical warfare units.” The result was a compromise in which the U.S. accepted the CWCs Article I (5) prohibition on the use of RCAs as a “method of warfare” in exchange for their categorization outside the chemical weapon regime.

The phrase method of warfare is not defined in the CWC or in the negotiating record and has been the subject of significant debate in the United States. The Administration view is that United States Armed Forces must be involved in an armed conflict, either international or non-international, to engage in a method of warfare. 
United States, Department of the Navy, Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General, International and Operational Law Division, Legal Review of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) Pepper Spray, 19 May 1998, §§ 6(c) and 7, pp. 18–20.
[emphasis in original]
With respect to Executive Order No. 11850, issued by the US President on 8 April 1975, the Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General stated:
U.S. ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention … created a debate regarding the continuing efficacy of [Executive Order] 11850, particularly exceptions (b) and (c) … If a use of RCAs constitutes a “method of warfare” then the CWC prohibits such use as a U.S. treaty obligation under international law. The executive order, however, authorizes use of RCAs, in war in certain situations. Though not explicitly stated, the apparent intent of the Executive Order permits RCA employment against combatants in war in situations like those enumerated in exceptions (b) and (c). Although the CWC does not define the phrase method of warfare, the apparent intent seems to prohibit the uses of RCAs contemplated in exceptions (b) and (c) to [Executive Order] 11850.

This review reiterates that the continuing efficacy of [Executive Order] 11850 is currently an issue of debate. The draft instruction [i.e., the draft of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction (CJCSI) 3110.07A, Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) Defence; Riot Control Agents; and Herbicides Annual Review, of 1 March 1998] and its list of permissible uses of RCAs is, however, currently the U.S. military position. Should appropriate U.S. Government authority determine that [Executive Order] 11850 is no longer valid authority, such a decision would only impact the use of RCAs in war … when the U.S. is a party to the conflict. All other uses of RCAs listed in the draft instruction would remain unaffected. 
United States, Department of the Navy, Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General, International and Operational Law Division, Legal Review of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) Pepper Spray, 19 May 1998, § 7, pp. 20–21.
[emphasis in original]
In 1998, a US Department of Defense document discussing the use of chemical agents in the Vietnam War stated that the “use of tear gas, or Riot Control Agents (RCA) as they were sometimes called, was in accordance with US policy at the time”. 
United States, Department of Defense, Review of Allegations Concerning “Operation Tailwind”, 21 July 1998, § c(3).

In April 2003, following the outbreak of the Iraq War one month earlier, the US Department of Defense held a press briefing to explain the legal concepts behind the US treatment of EPWs (Enemy Prisoners of War) in Iraq. In response to a question about whether the use of tear gas would be a violation of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, the Special Assistant to the Army JAG responded:
The 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits the use of riot-control agents as a method of warfare. It’s not a precisely defined term. The United States has an executive order that suggests that riot-control agents can be used for defensive purposes to save lives. That’s a very long-standing executive order.
It gives a few examples in there. One is combat search and rescue. The others are rioting prisoners of war. A third example is, if in fact an enemy placed civilians in front of it, to advance on your lines. There is a very careful process for the decision as to whether or not riot control agents may be used on the battlefield, requiring presidential authorization, which may be delegated to the combatant commander. But it’s not something that we do lightly. 
United States, Department of Defense, Briefing on Geneva Convention, EPW’s and War Crimes, W. Hays Parks (Special Assistant to the Army JAG) and Pierre Prosper (Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues), 7 April 2003.

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
In 1931, during the League of Nations Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, the USSR stated with respect to a memorandum submitted by the United Kingdom:
In 1929, the Soviet delegation proposed not only the renunciation of the use of gases in warfare, but also of their preparation in peace-time; this proposal, however, was rejected by the majority of the Commission.
We interpret this paragraph [of the 1925 Geneva Gas Protocol] to mean that the use of all gases, including irritant gases, is prohibited.
As regards the text proposed by the French delegation [according to which “the use of lachrymatory gases is covered by the prohibition arising out of the Geneva Protocol of 1925” and “the fact that, for the maintenance of internal order, the police, when dealing with offenders against the law, sometimes use various appliances discharging irritant gases cannot … be adduced in a discussion on this point, since the Protocol … relates only to the use of poisonous or similar gases in war”, (emphasis in original)], the Soviet delegation is of [the] opinion that it is not for the Preparatory Commission to legalise the use of these gases by police forces, and it accordingly regards as unacceptable, particularly as one speaker referred to the use of gases by police forces for the purpose of controlling mobs. 
USSR, Statement before the League of Nations Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, 15 January 1931, League of Nations Doc. C.4.M.4. 1931, IX, Documents of the Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference, Series X, Minutes of the Sixth Session (Second Part), 15 January 1931, p. 313.

In 1970, in the context of the adoption of UN General Assembly Resolution 2444 (XXIII), the USSR stated:
The use of … tear gases and other gases of a similar nature … was prohibited by the Geneva Protocol of 17 June 1925. The United States signed that Protocol, but did not ratify it. However, that does not mean that the prohibition of the use of poisonous substances does not extend to the United States. That prohibition has become a generally recognized rule of international law, and countries which violate it must bear responsibility before the international community. 
USSR, Reply dated 30 December 1969 to the UN Secretary-General regarding the preparation of the study requested in paragraph 2 of General Assembly Resolution 2444 (XXIII), annexed to Report of the Secretary-General on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, UN Doc. A/8052, 18 September 1970, Annex III, p. 120.

In 1989, the Moscow daily newspaper Sovetskaya Rossiya published an interview with the USSR’s Deputy Chief Military Prosecutor who was supervising a criminal investigation into the behaviour of Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) and army troops during their suppression of a demonstration in Tbilisi in April 1988. The Prosecutor stated:
Special “cheremukha” (27 units) containing chloracetophenone and three units of K-51 containing CS were employed. They are not chemical weapons. In the US and other countries CS is ranked among the so-called “police gases”. Let me also note that a USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium decree of 28 July 1988 makes provision for the use of special means … The arguments set out were confirmed by UN experts. Experts confirmed that only 30 people had been poisoned in connection with the troops’ use of the special means “cheremukha” and K-51. Experts are continuing their studies … Nor do the claims that the troops allegedly used chloropicrin correspond with reality. Neither the Soviet Army nor the MVD internal troops have products containing chloropicrin designed for such purposes. 
N. Belan, Sovetskaya Rossiya (Moscow), 13 December 1989, p. 4, as translated in FBIS-SOV-89-246, 26 December 1989, pp. 57-60; David Remnick, “Soviet aides blamed in Georgian deaths”, Washington Post, Washington, D.C., 22 December 1989, pp. A37 and A39.

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UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1969 on the question of chemical and biological (bacterial) weapons, the UN General Assembly:
Recognizing … that the Geneva [Gas] Protocol embodies the generally recognized rules of international law prohibiting the use in international armed conflicts of all … chemical methods of warfare, regardless of any technical developments,
Declares as contrary to the generally recognized rules of international law, as embodied in the [1925 Geneva Gas Protocol], the use in international armed conflicts of:
(a) Any chemical agents of warfare – chemical substances, whether gaseous, liquid or solid – which might be employed because of their direct toxic effects on man, animals or plants. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 2603 A (XXIV), 16 December 1969, preamble and § (a), voting record: 80-3-36-7. (The resolution was adopted by 80 votes in favour, 3 against) (Australia, Portugal and United States) and 36 abstentions (Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, El Salvador, France, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Laos, Liberia, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Paraguay, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Swaziland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Venezuela), UN Doc. A/PV.1836, 16 December 1969, p. 4.

The large number of abstentions was partly due to disagreement by some States on the scope of the 1925 Geneva Gas Protocol. Other States thought that the UN General Assembly should not interpret multilateral treaties. 
Debates in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.1/PV.1716, 9 December 1969; UN Doc. A/C.1/PV.1717, 10 December 1969.

UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1988 on the situation in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights stated: “Acts perpetrated by the Israeli occupation authorities [e.g.] firing gas bombs inside houses, mosques and hospitals … constitute grave violations of international law.” 
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1988/10, 31 August 1988.

This statement was repeated in four further resolutions on the same subject between 1991 and 1993. The last two of these added that the acts were violations of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1989/4, 31 August 1989, p. 20; Res. 1991/6, 23 August 1991, p. 30; Res. 1992/10, 26 August 1992, p. 40; Res. 1993/15, 20 August 1993, p. 45.

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Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
SIPRI reported that in 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, Spanish government forces fired tear-gas shells against insurgent positions on the Guadarrama front. Threats by the insurgents to retaliate with their own stocks of “gas” were also reported. 
SIPRI, The Problem of Chemical and Biological Warfare, Vol. I, The Rise of CB Weapons, Almqvist & Wiksell, Stockholm, 1971, p. 147.

SIPRI reported that in 1949, during the later stages of the Greek Civil War, the Greek War Ministry stated that a respiratory irritant had been used to drive guerrillas out of caves. 
SIPRI, The Problem of Chemical and Biological Warfare, Vol. I, The Rise of CB Weapons, Almqvist & Wiksell, Stockholm, 1971, p. 157.

SIPRI reported that according to Dean Rusk, US Secretary of State, the South Vietnamese Army used irritant-agent weapons, both in riot control and combat situations. 
SIPRI, The Problem of Chemical and Biological Warfare, Vol. I, The Rise of CB Weapons, Almqvist & Wiksell, Stockholm, 1971, p. 185.

Robinson
Robinson has stated that in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, CS irritant and perhaps Agent BZ were reportedly used by Serb factions to disrupt resistance and to drive people out of protective cover. He further stated that in Turkey in May 1999, CS grenades were reportedly used by the Turkish army against 20 members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). 
Julian Perry Robinson, “The General Purpose Criterion and the New Utility of Toxicants as Weapons”, Working paper for the Pugwash Meeting No. 264, 17 June 2001, p. 4.