About ChemLEXIS – the Chemical Security Legal Index
In recent years, both State and non-state actors have broken the taboo against the use of chemical weapons. Yet, evidence suggests that the national legal frameworks for chemical security, as required of all UN Member States by UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004), remain persistently underdeveloped.
This challenge is further compounded by the fact that internationally recognized standards for chemical security do not currently exist. Although all UN Member States must have effective legal measures and other controls in place, countries must determine on their own how they should implement their chemical security obligations. The lack of internationally accepted chemical security standards and practices has contributed to a global disarray of national legal systems to secure toxic chemicals, their precursors, and related facilities.
Through funding from the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development, The Henry L. Stimson Center has developed ChemLEXIS, which consists of laws, regulations, or their equivalent for all 193 UN Member States that include specific obligations to secure toxic chemicals of proliferation concern.
This index serves as a tool for stakeholders to find practical and real examples of laws and regulations on chemical security. These legal texts can be used to help governments determine practical approaches to enhance their national chemical security practices.
The project team began by extracting the names of all the laws, regulations, or their equivalents identified by the UN Security Council 1540 Committee directly related to securing chemicals of proliferation concern. 643 measures were identified.
The team then attempted to locate the full text of each of these measures, a process that also allowed the discovery of some additional relevant measures, but in many instances proved impossible to locate on-line. This produced a total of 512 potential measures.
Taking a textualist approach, the team found only 43 of these measures in 32 countries had explicit textual requirements to secure chemicals weapons-related materials and facilities. Several sources of error and interpretation likely account for this considerable reduction in the number of relevant chemical security measures, but this number does align more closely with the number of states to which the 1540 Committee ascribes having physical protection requirements for chemicals and related facilities.
The initial compendium consists of these 43 measures, which the team further assessed against emerging standards common to 30 codes of conduct, guidance, or effective practices for chemical security. In addition to the assessments for each measure, the index also contains a Chemical Security Index for each measure and a concomitant Index for each State (as some States have multiple measures).
Chemical Security Index Scores
ChemLEXIS offers two types of cumulative scores for chemical security on a measure level and a country level: Chemical Security Measure Index Score and Chemical Security State Index Score. For each chemical security law, regulation, or its equivalent in ChemLEXIS, a Chemical Security Measure Index Score is given. This is a composite index of 20 chemical security elements/standards that has been developed to evaluate if and how each measure incorporates the following 20 security elements:
- Imprisonment as Penalty Provisions
- Fines as Penalty Provisions
- Other Penalty Provisions (e.g. search and seizure, suspension of license, etc.)
- Registration System
- Authorization or Licensing System
- Inspector Authority or System
- Requires Access Controls
- Requires Physical Security Measures
- Requires Security Guards
- Requires Background Checks
- National Registry of Chemicals of Concern
- National Registry of Registrations/Licenses
- Refers to a List of Controlled Chemicals, Technologies, and/or Equipment of Concern
- Requires Supply Chain Verification
- Proliferation-Resistant Chemistry Practices
- Requires Incident Reporting
- Requires Threat Reporting
- Requires a Risk-Based Security System
- Training for Relevant Stakeholders
- Awareness-Raising for Relevant Stakeholders
A Chemical Security Measure Index Score can range from 0 to 20 and indicates the number of chemical security standards a single law or regulation includes.
For each UN Member State, a Chemical Security State Index Score is given. This is a composite index of 21 chemical security elements. This index includes all 20 chemical security elements/standards as outlined above and includes an additional variable of ‘Relevant Chemical Security Measures’. This additional (21st) chemical security element is needed to indicate if a State has a law that requires chemical security. This variable is necessary for the Chemical Security State Index Score because not every State has such legislation. A Chemical Security State Index Score can range from 0 to 21. It indicates if a State has relevant chemical security legislation as well as the number of chemical security standards its entire legal framework includes.
Review the open source resources the Stimson Center explored to identify common chemical security practices discussed and implemented around the world.
The Stimson Center
The Stimson Center is a nonpartisan policy research center working to protect people, preserve the planet, and promote security & prosperity. Stimson’s award-winning research serves as a roadmap to address borderless threats through concerted action.
Our formula is simple: we gather the brightest people to think beyond soundbites, create solutions, and make those solutions reality. We follow the credo of one of history’s leading statesmen, Henry L. Stimson, in taking “pragmatic steps toward ideal objectives.” We are practical in our approach and independent in our analysis. Our innovative ideas change the world.