Recent advances in signal processing and remote sensing have highlighted the importance of bistatic radar systems for the purposes of environmental monitoring, surveillance, and tracking radar. The calibration of such systems has been problematic much more so than similar monostatic systems, primarily as a result of the lack of reference objects suitable for calibrating at any given bistatic angle. This research deals with the problems of calibrating full-polarimetric laboratory-environment bistatic radar systems, including the lack of suitable calibration targets and procedures, and operational considerations such as alignment and mounting. Several popular bistatic calibration techniques are classified, evaluated, and comparisons are made between the relative merits of various calibration objects. The analysis addresses sensitivity to target alignment error, sensitivity to polarization impurity, and ease of implementation. Both theoretical concepts and practical considerations are discussed, based on measurements accomplished at the European Microwave Signature Laboratory (EMSL) of the Joint Research Center (JRC) in Ispra, Italy. Significant gains in co-polarized channel accuracy and cross-polarization purity are realized with calibrations that utilize the complete system distortion model, and these conclusions are discussed in detail.