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National Security

Current international legal status of the weapon of mass destruction (WMD) and international responsibility of the states for its use
Sazonova Kira L'vovna

Docent, the department of State Legal Disciplines, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration

119606, Russia, g. Moscow, pr. Vernadskogo, 84
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The topic of total and partial ban on certain types of weapons constantly remained highly relevant for international law. However, even the adoption of multiple international agreements is not conducive to eliminate incidences of the use of particular types of prohibited weapons. The possible use of weapons, classified as the “weapon of mass destruction”, cause special concern due to their high lethal power. Another pressing issue is the question of holding internationally responsible the countries for using such weapons. This research is based on the analysis of provisions of the international treaties and conventions regulating the use of various types of WMD; international legal documents regulating the questions of international responsibility of the states; as well as doctrinal studies of the Russian and foreign authors. Leaning on the conducted research alongside the analysis of particular cases of use of the weapon of mass destruction, the author determines the key problems related to holding countries internationally responsible. The conclusion is made that the international legal regulation of the status of weapon of mass destruction has multiple gaps, which impedes adequate raising of the question of possible international responsibility of states for usage of such type of weapons. The treaties and conventions regulating WMD are limited either by the pool of participants or the absence of control mechanisms. Moreover, it is especially difficult to identify the responsible party in use of WMD in terms of the domestic armed conflict. In this case, special importance falls development of mechanisms for collecting facts and counteracting information speculations.

Keywords: biological weapon, chemical weapon, nuclear weapon, international security, international responsibility, weapon of mass destruction, prohibited weapons, international treaty, disarmament, states



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