Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of the Prohibiting Cluster Munitions Act

The Library of Parliament has published its legislative summary of Bill S-10: An Act to Implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions:
"The purpose of the bill is to implement Canada’s international obligations under the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) in order that Canada may ratify the treaty. Under Canada’s constitutional system, obligations contained in international treaties must be implemented in legislation passed by Parliament in order to have direct effect under domestic law. Although Canada has not yet ratified the convention, Canada participated in its negotiation and signed it in December of 2008. Canada was also the first state to submit voluntary reports to the United Nations (UN) under the convention"

"Cluster munitions are weapons designed to disperse explosive submunitions (or explosive bomblets) that cause casualties and damage through blast, incendiary effects and fragmentation. Air-delivered or surface-launched, the number of submunitions released can range from the dozens to thousands, and are usually spread over a large area for use against armour and other materiel as well as personnel. Cluster munitions rely on simple mechanical fuses that arm the submunition based on its rate of spin; submunitions explode on impact or after a time of delay."

"In its 2012 voluntary report, Canada stated that it possesses a stockpile of approximately 12,600 cluster munitions, but that these were withdrawn from active service in 2007. A process to destroy remaining stockpiles reportedly is underway and is expected to be complete by sometime in 2014 (...)"

"This legislative summary discusses the humanitarian concerns raised by the use of cluster munitions during armed conflicts and set out the relationship between the Convention and certain related treaties dealing with prohibited weapons. The provisions of the bill are then summarized, followed by a review of comment on the bill"

"Internationally, there is considerable debate about the meaning and implementation of the CCM. One point in particular that is being contested is the nature and scope of the ban on cluster munitions in respect of activities by the military forces of states that have ratified the CCM (“states parties”) when they operate jointly with states that have not ratified the CCM. This is known as the interoperability exception."
It is possible to follow the progress of the bill through Parliament on the LEGISinfo website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:10 pm

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