According to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, “cluster munition” means a conventional munition that is designed to disperse or release explosive submunitions each weighing less than 20 kilograms and includes those explosive submunitions.

It does not mean the following:

a. A munition or submunition designed to dispense flares, smoke, pyrotechnics or chaff; or a munition designed exclusively for an air defence role;
b. A munition or submunition designed to produce electrical or electronic effects;
c. A munition that, in order to avoid indiscriminate area effects and the risks posed by unexploded submunitions, has all of the following characteristics:
i. Each munition contains fewer than ten explosive submunitions;
ii. Each explosive submunition weighs more than four kilograms;
iii. Each explosive submunition is designed to detect and engage a single target object;
iv. Each explosive submunition is equipped with an electronic self-destruction mechanism;
v. Each explosive submunition is equipped with an electronic self-deactivating feature.
 

See also Weapons; Indiscriminate attacks

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 BIBLIOGRAPHIC RESOURCES

BARAK Eitan, “None to Be Trusted: Israel’s Use of Cluster Munitions in the Second Lebanon War and the Case for the Convention on Cluster Munitions”, in American University International Law Review, Vol. 25, No. 3, 2010, pp. 423-483.

BLACK-BRANCH Jonathan, “The Legal Status of Cluster Munitions under International Humanitarian Law: Indiscriminate Weapons of War”, in Humanitäres Völkerrecht: Informationsschriften = Journal of International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict, Vol. 22, 2009, pp. 186-193.

BOOTHBY William, Cluster Bombs: Is There a Case for New Law?, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University (Occasional Paper Series/ Program on Humanitarian and Conflict Research, No. 5), 2005, 46 pp.

BORRIE, John, UNIDIR, Unacceptable Harm: a History of How the Treaty to Ban Cluster Munitions Was Won, New York, Geneva, United Nations, 2009, 488 pp.

CAPATI Carmel, “The Tragedy of Cluster Bombs in Laos: An Argument for Inclusion in the Proposed International

Ban on Landmines”, in WisconsinInternational Law Journal, Vol. 16/1, 1997, pp. 227-245.

DAVID Eric, “La Convention de 2008 sur les armes à sous-munitions”, in RGDIP, T. 113, No. 4, 2009, pp. 785-804.

DI RUZZA Tommaso, “The Convention on Cluster Munitions: Towards a Balance Between Humanitarian and Military Considerations?”, in Military Law and the Law of War Review = Revue de droit militaire et de droit de la guerre, Vol. 47, No. 3-4, 2008, pp. 405-448.

DOCHERTY Bonnie, “Breaking New Ground: the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Evolution of International Humanitarian Law”, in Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 31, no. 4, November 2009, pp. 934-963.

Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), A Guide to Cluster Munitions, Geneva, GICHD, 2nd ed., 2009, 140 pp.

HERTHEL Thomas J., “On the Chopping Block: Cluster Munitions and the Law of War”, in Air Force Law Review, Vol. 59, 2001, pp. 229-268.

PROKOSCH Éric, “Arguments for Restricting Cluster Weapons: Humanitarian Protection Versus ‘Military Necessity’”, in IRRC, No. 299, March-April 1994, pp. 183-193.

RAPPERT Brian & MOYES Richard, “Enhancing the Protection of Civilians from Armed Conflict: Precautionary Lessons”, in Medicine, Conflict and Survival, Vol. 26, No. 1, January-March 2010, pp. 24-47.

UNIDIR, The Humanitarian Impact of Cluster Munitions, Geneva, UNIDIR, 2008, 69 pp.

WIEBE Virgil, “Footprints of Death: Cluster Bombs as Indiscriminate Weapons under International Humanitarian Law”, in MJIL, Vol. 22/1, 2000, pp. 85-167.