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The review of weapons in accordance with Article 36 of Additional Protocol I

30-06-2003 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 850, by Justin McClelland

   

Justin McClelland,
MBE, is a solicitor-advocate and serving officer in the British Army Legal Services. His current appointment involves the conduct of legal reviews in accordance with the provisions of Art.36 for all land-based equipment within the British Armed Forces. Comments in the present article are those of the author alone. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Kingdom government or armed forces. Nor does it necessarily reflect the types of weapons in the UK’s inventory, either currently or intended. 
 

This article explores the process of the “study, development, acquisition or adoption of a new weapon, means or method of warfare” under Article 36 of 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. It then considers the manner in which the legal review of weapons can take place in practice, including an examination of the evidence that will be available on which to base legal assessments.

 
 
   
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