National Implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention

Posted: 29 Feb 2008

See all articles by Treasa Dunworth

Treasa Dunworth

University of Auckland - Faculty of Law

Robert J. Mathews

Independent

Tim McCormack

University of Melbourne - Law School

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

Despite thirty years since entry into force of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) the majority of States Parties still have not implemented effective national measures to ensure compliance with Convention obligations. The combined lack of a multilateral organisation with responsibility to monitor Convention compliance and the growing threat of bio-terrorism highlight the imperative for more effective and widespread national implementation measures. This article briefly outlines Convention obligations and suggests alternative approaches to States Parties to ensure compliance. The article does not propose a model implementing legislation package because of the authors' shared view that one model simply cannot suit all States Parties. Individual states will need to consider existing legislative regimes - particularly those dealing with biological materials and activities - to determine the extent to which existing regulatory regimes might be adapted or amended to effectively cover BWC obligations. The authors discuss the explicit Convention obligation for the enactment of penal legislation but also discuss the practical issues to ensure compliance with Convention obligations such as the prohibition on transfers of biological agents and toxins of types and in quantities that have no justification for peaceful purposes and the requirement to gather, collate and share confidence building information with other States Parties. The article concludes with an overview of Australia's national implementation of BWC obligations to illustrate one particular State Party's approach to its treaty obligations.

Suggested Citation

Dunworth, Treasa and Mathews, Robert J. and McCormack, Tim, National Implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention ( 2006). Journal of Conflict and Security Law, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 93-118, 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=915662 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jcsl/krl006

Treasa Dunworth (Contact Author)

University of Auckland - Faculty of Law ( email )

Private Bag 92019
Auckland Mail Centre
Auckland, 1142
New Zealand

Robert J. Mathews

Independent ( email )

Tim McCormack

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

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