The Banning of Anti-Personnel Landmines: The Legal Contribution of the International Committee of the Red Cross

By Louis Maresca; Stuart Maslen | Go to book overview

4
The United Nations Convention on Prohibitions or
Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons
Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to
Have Indiscriminate Effects

adopted 10 October 1980

The 1977 Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions of1949 do not include prohibitions or restrictions on specific conventional weapons. None the less, the conference which negotiated and adopted the treaties, the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law 1974–1977, recommended that a separate meeting be held to consider restrictions on conventional weapons which might be considered to be excessively injurious or have indiscriminate effects. This recommendation was subsequently endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly. Following two preparatory meetings, a United Nations Conference was convened in Geneva from 10 to 28 September 1979 and from 15 September to 10 October 1980 and adopted the United Nations Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects. This convention, which was adopted 10 October 1980, is also known as the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW or 1980 CCW).

The 1980 CCW contains a framework convention and three annexed protocols each regulating or prohibiting specific types of weapons. Protocol I prohibits the use of weapons which injure by means of fragments not detectable by X-rays. Protocol II governs the use of mines, booby-traps and other similar devices. Protocol III limits the use of incendiary weapons.

Protocol II regulates both anti-personnel and anti-vehicle mines. It prohibits their indiscriminate use and their manual emplacement in populated areas unless combat is taking place or is imminent or the mined areas are clearly marked. Remotely delivered mines are prohibited unless they are used in the vicinity of a military objective and their location can

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