Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

France: Bill Prohibiting Cluster Munitions Passed by National Assembly

(July 7, 2010) On July 6, 2010, the French National Assembly adopted a bill that prohibits the use of cluster munitions; the vote was unanimous. The bill had been approved previously by the Senate, also by a unanimous vote. The bill is designed to incorporate into domestic law the Oslo Convention of 2008. (French Parliament Approves Bill Prohibiting Cluster Munitions, AFP, July 6, 2010, World News Connection online subscription database, Document No. 201007061477.1_2981003b4a4af53f.)

The Convention on Cluster Munitions, signed on December 3, 2008, is due to come into force on August 1, 2010. (The Convention on Cluster Munitions, (last visited July 6, 2010).) The treaty states that parties to the Convention undertake “never under any circumstances to: a) Use cluster munitions; b) Develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, cluster munitions; [or] c) Assist, encourage or induce anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Convention.” (Art. 1, Convention on Cluster Munitions – Convention Text in English, (last visited July 6, 2010).)

France's instrument of ratification for the Convention itself was deposited on September 25, 2009. (France Favours the Prohibition of All Cluster Munitions, FRANCE-DIPLOMATIE (Oct. 2, 2009),
.) The French Secretary of State for Defense, Hubert Falco, has said that France will work toward having all major states sign the Convention. To date, China, India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, and the United States, which together have 90% of the cluster munitions in the world, have yet to sign. (AFP, supra.)

States that signed the Convention have set deadlines by which time their stockpiles of cluster bombs will be destroyed and the areas contaminated by the weapons will be cleansed. France stopped producing these weapons in 2002, and its deadline for carrying out the rest of the requirements is 2016. (Id.)

It is estimated that somewhere between 13,000 and 100,000 people have died due to cluster munitions. (Id.)