The Legality of Depleted Uranium Munitions under International Humanitarian Law

  • Keith Sypott Bond University

Abstract

Abstract

This paper examines the legality of the use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions under international humanitarian law. It will do so by first providing an overview of the substance ‘depleted uranium’ and explaining how and why this substance is used in munitions. It will also explore the proliferation of these munitions and the armed conflicts in which they have been used. Following this overview of DU munitions, this paper will further explore the environmental and health consequences of the use of DU munitions in armed conflicts. Utilising this information, this paper will consider the legality of DU munitions under international humanitarian law. Ultimately, this paper argues that although it is becoming increasingly clear that the use of DU munitions in armed conflicts may have environmental and health implications, DU munitions are nonetheless legal under international humanitarian law. Their use may, however, be restricted by the ‘precautionary principle.’ This paper further argues that a regulatory treaty should be developed in order to minimise the environmental and health risks of DU munitions and clarify their legal position.

Published
2015-12-30
How to Cite
Sypott, K. (2015). The Legality of Depleted Uranium Munitions under International Humanitarian Law. Victoria University Law and Justice Journal, 5(1), 49 - 59. https://doi.org/10.15209/vulj.v5i1.725
Section
Articles