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Chemical Weapons Act 1996

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2 Use etc. of chemical weapons.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)No person shall—

(a)use a chemical weapon;

(b)develop or produce a chemical weapon;

(c)have a chemical weapon in his possession;

(d)participate in the transfer of a chemical weapon;

(e)engage in military preparations, or in preparations of a military nature, intending to use a chemical weapon.

(2)For the purposes of subsection (1)(a) an object is not a chemical weapon if the person uses the object only for permitted purposes; and in deciding whether permitted purposes are intended the types and quantities of objects shall be taken into account.

(3)For the purposes of subsection (1)(b), (c), (d) or (e) an object is not a chemical weapon if the person does the act there mentioned with the intention that the object will be used only for permitted purposes; and in deciding whether permitted purposes are intended the types and quantities of objects shall be taken into account.

(4)For the purposes of subsection (1)(d) a person participates in the transfer of an object if—

(a)he acquires or disposes of the object or enters into a contract to acquire or dispose of it, or

(b)he makes arrangements under which another person acquires or disposes of the object or another person enters into a contract to acquire or dispose of it.

(5)For the purposes of subsection (4)—

(a)to acquire an object is to buy it, hire it, borrow it or accept it as a gift;

(b)to dispose of an object is to sell it, let it on hire, lend it or give it.

(6)In proceedings for an offence under subsection (1)(a), (c) or (d) relating to an object it is a defence for the accused to prove—

(a)that he neither knew nor suspected nor had reason to suspect that the object was a chemical weapon, or

(b)that he knew or suspected it to be a chemical weapon and as soon as reasonably practicable after he first so knew or suspected he took all reasonable steps to inform the Secretary of State or a constable of his knowledge or suspicion.

(7)Nothing in subsection (6) prejudices any defence which it is open to a person charged with an offence under this section to raise apart from that subsection.

(8)A person contravening this section is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 2 extended (with modifications) (Jersey) (21.12.1998) by S.I. 1998/2565, arts. 3, 4, Sch.

S. 2 extended (1.4.2000) by S.I. 2000/743, art. 2

S. 2 extended (prosp.) by 2000 c. 11, ss. 62(2)(c), 128

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