Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries
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Commentary of 2016 
Article 7 : Non-renunciation of rights
Text of the provision
Wounded and sick, as well as members of the medical personnel and chaplains, may in no circumstances renounce in part or in entirety the rights secured to them by the present Convention, and by the special agreements referred to in the foregoing Article, if such there be.
Reservations or declarations

A. Introduction
987  Common Article 7 (Article 8 in the Fourth Convention) is a cornerstone of the regime established by the Geneva Conventions. Its purpose is to ensure that protected persons enjoy the protection of the Conventions until the last moment when international humanitarian law applies to them or to their situation. It states that the rights of protected persons are inalienable. Together with common Article 1 and the articles setting out the duration of application of each Convention,[1] as well as common Article 6 (Article 7 in the Fourth Convention) prohibiting special agreements that would derogate from the Conventions, this article was designed to ensure that the protection of the Conventions would be inviolable.
988  Article 7 acts as a safeguard so that a State may not excuse a failure to respect its obligations under the Conventions on the grounds that it was acting based on the will of the protected person(s) concerned. Of course, if the Conventions provide individual protected persons with a choice in regard to their treatment, States that give effect to such choices do not thereby violate the Conventions. Common Article 7 embodies the presumption that in most cases the statuses, rights and mechanisms established by the Conventions, properly applied, afford the best protection for protected persons in situations of armed conflict. For the First Convention, this applies, in particular, to the wounded and sick, as well as to medical and religious personnel.
989  In acknowledging that individuals have rights, but not the right to renounce those rights, this provision displays a degree of tension. It is best understood as a mechanism to ensure the inviolability of rights even in the extreme circumstances of armed conflict, when the exercise of ‘free choice’ can be severely compromised.
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B. Historical background
990  Common Article 7 was a new addition to the Geneva Conventions in 1949. It was adopted largely in response to the practice of some States during the Second World War of putting pressure on prisoners of war to abandon their prisoner-of-war status and become civilians, who at the time did not benefit from the protection of their own Geneva Convention.[2] Those who did so found themselves rapidly in a much worse situation than they had imagined, having no protection against arbitrary treatment and falling outside the reach of ICRC activities.[3] At the 1948 International Conference of the Red Cross in Stockholm, the ICRC proposed a draft article common to the four Conventions stipulating that protected persons ‘may in no circumstances be induced by constraint, or by any other means of coercion, to abandon partially or wholly the rights conferred on them by the present Convention’.[4] At the Diplomatic Conference in 1949, the ICRC recommended wording aimed at prohibiting coercion or constraint but allowing for a certain degree of free choice. In adopting common Article 7 with its present, more categorical, wording, the delegates in Stockholm and subsequently at the Diplomatic Conference sought to avoid a two-fold danger: first, the physical or psychological harm caused by any pressure put on a protected person to opt for a change in status or protection; and second, the harm caused by the actual loss of protection. The inherent difficulty in proving coercion was also a factor in making the prohibition absolute. No similar article was proposed or included in Additional Protocol I; however, as Protocol I ‘supplements’ the Geneva Conventions of 1949, logically common Article 7 also applies to the rights of protected persons set down therein.
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C. Discussion
991  Common Article 7 has often been invoked in relation to whether prisoners of war may consent to treatment or to a change in status that diverges from that prescribed under the Third Convention. As an article common to all four Conventions, it also has important implications for the treatment of civilians and other categories of protected persons.
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1. Prohibition of a partial or total renunciation
992  Already at the time of the negotiation of the Conventions, the drafting committee acknowledged that an absolute rule could entail harsh consequences for some individuals in some circumstances, but it nevertheless decided to accept that risk.[5] In fact, this article has been labelled by some as ‘paternalistic’ and as introducing an ‘excessive rigidity’ into the Conventions.[6] It is important to bear in mind, however, that the article flows from the paramount concern that in situations of armed conflict persons who are in vulnerable situations (and especially if detained) are unlikely to be in a position to truly consent freely to a loss of protection. Experience has shown that this concern is no less relevant today than it was many years ago.
993  This is not to say that the application of the Geneva Conventions allows protected persons no free choice whatsoever. In a number of places in respect to prisoners of war and protected civilians, the Conventions establish that on certain specific points the treatment accorded will depend on the choice of the persons concerned. For prisoners of war, this is the case, for instance, with regard to release on parole, assembly in camps, organization of leisure, participation in dangerous labour, performance of religious duties and attendance at the services of their faith, and repatriation when wounded or sick.[7] In the Fourth Convention, several articles provide for the exercise of a certain amount of choice on the part of protected persons. For example, the Parties to the conflict are invited to authorize protected persons to leave the territory if they so desire.[8] Civilian internees are similarly afforded a degree of choice in certain situations: they ‘shall enjoy complete latitude in the exercise of their religious duties’; they must have access to intellectual, educational and recreational pursuits but may not be compelled to partake in them; and a Detaining Power may not employ them as workers unless they want to work.[9] In general, however, the standards of treatment in the Conventions are designed to depend as little as possible for their application on the wishes of protected persons. In particular, the choices exercised by individuals may not lead to the displacing of the Conventions entirely.
994  The thrust of common Article 7 is that the acts or statements of protected persons may not be interpreted as a renunciation of their protected status, nor construed as a reason to rescind that status. For example, if at some point during captivity – other than at the time of general repatriation – a prisoner of war expresses a wish not to be repatriated, that real or purported severance of ties or allegiance does not affect a person’s status as a prisoner of war.[10] Moreover, persons who express a desire to desert at some point during captivity remain prisoners of war until their release and repatriation.[11] In short, common Article 7 entails that no effect may be given by the Detaining Power to any real or purported renunciation of rights.[12]
995  Some interpret Article 7 of the Third Convention to mean that a Detaining Power may not accept the voluntary enlistment of any of the prisoners of war it detains into its armed forces (or forces affiliated to it).[13] Where the ICRC has nevertheless encountered such situations, it has, as a minimum, sought to independently verify the wishes of the prisoners of war concerned through interviews without witnesses. This kind of procedure undertaken by a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organization such as the ICRC helps to check that the enlistment was not forced. Even with a protective mechanism such as this in place, however, considering the vulnerable and often desperate situation of persons in enemy hands during an armed conflict, it is highly doubtful whether they can make decisions based on ‘free will’ in such circumstances.[14] Even where the free will of an individual in choosing to renounce protection could be ascertained by an independent body or mechanism, the overall protection regime may be weakened by a few individuals ‘opting out’.[15]
996  Some have argued that common Article 7 prohibits the renunciation of rights but does not limit the ‘acquisition of more rights’.[16] This argument is sustained by the fact that States may conclude special agreements as long as they do not diminish the protections of the Conventions. While this interpretation may be correct, often the problem lies in knowing whether the additional rights in question will actually benefit the protected persons. It may be a matter of having to wait and see. Although this may seem unsatisfactory on some levels, it may only be with the passage of time that one is able to determine whether a grant of what appear to be more rights does not in the long run result in a diminution of protection.[17] Each such situation has to be carefully observed and weighed.
997  The concern is that in wartime, protected persons who fall into the hands of the enemy are most often not in a position to fully know, evaluate or anticipate the implications of a renunciation of their rights – and in particular of their status – under the Conventions. Some consider that the way common Article 7 operates is to impede States from giving effect to decisions by individuals that would amount to a renunciation of their rights.[18] Thus, States may not rely on the ‘voluntariness’ of the decision or choice of protected persons to defend violations of their Convention rights. In addition, one may not renounce rights under one of the Geneva Conventions, such as the right to prisoner-of-war status, in favour of a different legal regime.[19]
998  When it comes to civilians, Article 8 of the Fourth Convention operates in conjunction with other articles of the Convention to ensure that protected persons are not, for example, compelled to participate in military operations.[20] While the Fourth Convention does permit an Occupying Power to compel protected civilians to do some kinds of work, ‘Article 8 is meant to preclude forced participation [in military operations] in the guise of voluntary participation’.[21] Practices such as giving individuals the chance to choose between remaining in administrative detention or being released on the condition that they accept transfer or deportation (even temporary) from the territory in which they normally live are other examples of a situation in which protected persons are being asked to renounce their rights under the Fourth Convention.[22] Lastly, it should be pointed out that in respect to both prisoners of war and civilians, a change in nationality – for example, adopting or being given the nationality of the Detaining Power or Occupying Power during the conflict – may not deprive a protected person of the protection of the Conventions.
999  There is nonetheless one exception to an ‘absolutist’ application of the rule, which is in relation to the right of prisoners of war to be repatriated at the end of hostilities (Article 118 of the Third Convention). Indeed, Articles 7 and 118 of the Third Convention, if interpreted and applied according to the letter, could mean that a prisoner of war may not refuse to be repatriated.[23] However, prisoners of war must be permitted to make an individual decision as to whether or not they wish to be repatriated, an exception which has existed for as long as the Third Convention has been in force and which is intrinsically linked with the principle of non-refoulement.[24] The same applies in respect to civilians being repatriated following detention or internment,[25] but for them, the prohibition of refoulement is explicitly set down in Article 45 of the Fourth Convention. The crucial element in allowing for this exception lies in the fact that, at the end of hostilities, prisoners of war must be able – with no restrictions – to choose between returning to their normal life, in accordance with what the Convention guarantees to them, and another option such as resettlement. The same rule applies in regard to the return of the wounded and sick and medical and religious personnel.[26]
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2. Rights secured by the Convention
1000  The initiators of the earliest Geneva Conventions wished to safeguard the dignity of the human person, in the profound conviction that imprescriptible and inviolable rights are attached to it even when hostilities are at their height.[27] Initially, however, the treatment which belligerents were required to accord to persons referred to in the Conventions was not presented, nor indeed clearly conceived, as constituting a body of ‘rights’. In 1929, the word ‘right’ appeared in several provisions of the Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War,[28] but it was with the adoption of the 1949 Conventions that the existence of rights conferred on protected persons was confirmed.[29] The notion that the rights attached directly to individuals was clearly present at the time of the drafting of the Conventions: for example, during the discussion of common Article 6 on special agreements, one delegation proposed replacing the phrase ‘the rights which it confers upon them’ with ‘the rights stipulated on their behalf’. This proposal, which would have implied that individuals benefited only indirectly from obligations owed to States, was rejected by the Diplomatic Conference.[30]
1001  The Geneva Conventions thus confer rights on individuals.[31] Whether these are international legal rights in the sense of rights protected by international treaties and enforced or supervised by courts or treaty bodies does not influence the character of the interests protected.[32] Without prejudice to other mechanisms of implementing and enforcing international humanitarian law, the rights protected by the Conventions carry their own enforcement mechanisms, which are adapted to the context of armed conflict. In particular, the ability of prisoners of war to petition the Detaining Power and of prisoners of war and protected civilians directly to contact supervisory powers provides them with a more immediate means to ensure the protection of their rights than would the ability to petition an international court.[33] Common Article 7 allows protected persons to claim the protection of the Conventions, not as a favour, but as a right, and enables them to use the mechanisms in the Conventions or any other available procedure to demand respect for the Conventions. The term ‘rights’ refers to the entire system of protection under the Conventions and not only ‘fundamental rights’. In the discussion regarding special agreements, it was determined that the rights conferred by the Conventions refer to the whole system and not just to a set of ‘fundamental rights’. This logic applies here as well.[34] Hence the importance of the dissemination of the Conventions,[35] with special reference to the individual character of the rights which the Convention confers.
1002  As for what is meant by ‘the rights secured by the present Convention’, one authority, writing on the protection of civilians in the context of occupation, asserts that ‘[t]his principle [of non-renunciation of rights] applies to the entirety of international humanitarian law’.[36] Thus, according to that view, whether a right is protected through treaty law or customary international law, or in international or non-international armed conflict, is immaterial to whether it may be renounced. That interpretation may seem contrary to the strict wording of the article but it could nevertheless be sustained by a teleological approach.
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Select bibliography
Charmatz, Jan P. and Wit, Harold M., ‘Repatriation of Prisoners of War and the 1949 Geneva Convention’, Yale Law Journal, Vol. 62, No. 3, February 1953, pp. 391–415.
d’Argent, Pierre, ‘Non-Renunciation of the Rights Provided by the Conventions’, in Andrew Clapham, Paola Gaeta and Marco Sassòli (eds), The 1949 Geneva Conventions: A Commentary, Oxford University Press, 2015, pp. 145–153.
David, Eric, Principes de droit des conflits armés, 5th edition, Bruylant, Brussels, 2012.
Esgain Albert J. and Solf, Waldemar A., ‘The 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War: Its Principles, Innovations, and Deficiencies’, North Carolina Law Review, Vol. 41, No. 3, 1963, pp. 537–596.
Otto, Roland, ‘Neighbours as human shields? The Israel Defense Forces’ “Early Warning Procedure” and international humanitarian law’, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 86, No. 856, December 2004, pp. 771–787.
Wilhelm, René-Jean, ‘Le caractère des droits accordés à l’individu dans les Conventions de Genève’, Revue internationale de la Croix-Rouge et Bulletin international des Sociétés de la Croix-Rouge, Vol. 32, No. 380, August 1950, pp. 561–590.

1 - In particular, Article 5 common to the First and Third Conventions and Article 6 of the Fourth Convention.
2 - See the explanation by Claude Pilloud in the discussion of the draft article by the Joint Committee, Final Record of the Diplomatic Conference of 1949, Vol. II-B, p. 17.
3 - See François Bugnion, The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Protection of War Victims, ICRC/Macmillan, Oxford, 2003, pp. 437–438.
4 - Draft Conventions submitted to the 1948 Stockholm Conference, draft article 5 of the First Convention and draft article 6 of the Second, Third and Fourth Conventions, pp. 7, 36, 55 and 156.
5 - See the summary of the discussion on the draft article 5/6/6/6 by the Joint Committee, Final Record of the Diplomatic Conference of 1949, Vol. II-B, pp. 17–18; see also Pictet (ed.), Commentary on the Fourth Geneva Convention, ICRC, 1958, p. 75.
6 - Esgain/Solf, p. 544.
7 - See Articles 21(2), 22, 38, 52, 34 and 109(3), respectively, of the Third Convention.
8 - Fourth Convention, Article 35.
9 - See Articles 93, 94 and 95, respectively, of the Fourth Convention. Article 32(2) of the First Convention also allows personnel of neutral National Societies to choose to continue their work even after they have fallen into the hands of the adverse Party, even though the normal rule is that they be allowed to return to their home countries if possible. Article 32 does not specify whether it is the individual, the National Society, or the States involved that have the decision-making power. See also Christophe Lanord, Le statut juridique des Sociétés nationales de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge, Editions de la Chapelle, Geneva, 1999, p. 69.
10 - See Marco Sassòli, ‘The status, treatment and repatriation of deserters under international humanitarian law’, Yearbook of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, 1985, pp. 9–36, at 21–24. See also L.B. Schapiro, ‘Repatriation of Deserters’, British Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 29, 1952, pp. 310–324; Esgain/Solf, pp. 537–596, at 554–563; Australia, Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, 2006, para. 10.32; and Canada, LOAC Manual, 2001, para. 1011. See Article 4 of the Third Convention and its commentary for a discussion of prisoner-of-war status.
11 - See also L.B. Schapiro, ‘Repatriation of Deserters’, British Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 29, 1952, pp. 310–324; Esgain/Solf, p. 554; and Australia, Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, 2006, paras 10.11 and 10.32.
12 - Sandra Krähenmann, ‘Protection of Prisoners in Armed Conflict’, in Dieter Fleck (ed.), The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 359–411, at 375: ‘Article 7 GC [Geneva Convention] III prevents the detaining power from relying on consent by the prisoner. Prisoners cannot, even partially, renounce their rights under GC III.’ See also e.g. United Kingdom, Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, 2004, para. 8.1: ‘Prisoners of war may in no circumstances renounce their rights under the law of armed conflict. They remain members of the armed forces of the state on which they depend and cannot agree to change their status.’ (footnote omitted)
13 - Eric David and Howard Levie both argue that Article 7 renders unlawful any recruitment of prisoners of war, even as volunteers, into the armed forces of the Detaining Power. See David, para. 2.408; Howard S. Levie, Prisoners of War in International Armed Conflict, International Law Studies, U.S. Naval War College, Vol. 59, 1978, p. 362.
14 - This concern, specifically related to this context, is reflected in Australia, Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, 2006, para. 10.18.
15 - This is not a purely humanitarian concern: from a military perspective, there may be strong pressure on members of the armed forces to show solidarity with their fellow prisoners and to refuse special treatment. This can also be the case for renunciation of rights which do not affect the status of protected persons, such as prisoners of war consenting to their images being broadcast or published in the media, in violation of Article 13 of the Third Convention.
16 - Rup Hingorani, Prisoners of War, 2nd edition, Oceana Press, Dobbs Ferry, 1982, pp. 183–184.
17 - An example might be a Detaining Power granting prisoner-of-war treatment to persons not entitled to it, which could lead to a lengthy detention not subject to review procedures or, conversely, to better material conditions of detention.
18 - Hersch Lauterpacht, Oppenheim’s International Law, 7th edition, Longmans, Green and Co., London, 1952, p. 396, note 1.
19 - This implies that individuals whose status as prisoners of war has been properly recognized by a Detaining Power remain prisoners of war even in view of any proceeding they may undertake to challenge their status or deprivation of liberty.
20 - See Otto, pp. 776–781.See also Fourth Convention, Article 51.
21 - Otto, p. 779. In a similar vein, Otto argues that Article 8 of the Fourth Convention makes clear that the voluntary presence of protected civilians as ‘human shields’ does not affect the prohibition on their use in Article 28 (pp. 780–81).
22 - See, in particular, their rights under Article 49 of the Fourth Convention; ICRC, General problems in implementing the Fourth Geneva Convention, 27 October 1998, Meeting of Experts, Geneva, 27–29 October 1998 (Report), section 5(b)(ii): ‘Other detainees have been released but only on condition that they leave the territory, which violates Article 8 regarding non-waiver of rights.’ See also ICRC Press Release, Jerusalem: Palestinian detainee transferred to Gaza, 1 April 2012, and BBC, ‘Palestinian hunger striker Hana Shalabi exiled to Gaza’, 2 April 2012.
23 - See Charmatz/Wit, pp. 394–396, setting out the position of those who advocated that interpretation at the time of the Korean War.
24 - See Pictet (ed.), Commentary on the Third Geneva Convention, ICRC, 1960, pp. 542–549. In fact, the need for this exception arose in relation to the Korean War even before many States had ratified the 1949 Geneva Conventions: see Jaro Mayda, ‘The Korean Repatriation Problem and International Law’, American Journal of International Law, Vol. 47, No. 3, July 1953, pp. 414–438, and L.B. Schapiro, ‘Repatriation of Deserters’, British Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 29, 1952, pp. 322–324. For more recent practice, see John Quigley, ‘Iran and Iraq and the Obligations to Release and Repatriate Prisoners of War after the Close of Hostilities’, American University International Law Review, Vol. 5, No. 1, 1989, pp. 73–86, especially at 83. Note, however, that a prisoner of war will not have to make out a successful asylum claim in order to refuse repatriation. On the principle of non-refoulement, see Emanuela-Chiara Gillard, ‘There’s no place like home: States’ obligations in relation to transfers of persons’, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 90, No. 871, September 2008, pp. 703–750; Cordula Droege, ‘Transfers of detainees: legal framework, non-refoulement and contemporary challenges’, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 90, No. 871, September 2008, pp. 669–701; Elihu Lauterpacht and Daniel Bethlehem, ‘The scope and content of the principle of non-refoulement: Opinion’, in Erika Feller, Volker Türk and Frances Nicholson (eds), Refugee Protection in International Law: UNHCR’s Global Consultations on International Protection, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 87–177; and David, section 2.409.
25 - See Fourth Convention, Article 134. See also e.g. ICRC Press Release, Azerbaijan: civilian internee transferred under ICRC auspices, 19 August 2008; ICRC Press Release, Israel-Lebanon: transfer operation completed, 16 July 2008; and ICRC, Annual Report 2005, ICRC, Geneva, 2006, p. 313.
26 - See the commentaries on Articles 15 and 30 of the First Convention and Article 109(3) of the Third Convention.
27 - See Max Huber, The Red Cross: Principles and Problems, ICRC, Geneva, 1941, pp. 105–133; Jean S. Pictet, ‘La Croix-Rouge et les Conventions de Genève’, Recueil des cours de l’Académie de droit international de La Haye, Vol. 76, 1950, pp. 5–119, at 27–34.
28 - For example, Article 42 of the 1929 Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War stipulates: ‘Prisoners of war shall have the right to bring to the notice of the military authorities, in whose hands they are, their petitions concerning the conditions of captivity to which they are subjected. They shall also have the right to communicate with the representatives of the Protecting Powers.’ Article 62 of the same Convention states: ‘The prisoner of war [who is subject to judicial proceedings] shall have the right to be assisted by a qualified advocate of his own choice, and, if necessary, to have recourse to the offices of a competent interpreter. He shall be informed of his right by the Detaining Power in good time before the hearing.’ Article 64 sets out a ‘right of appeal’ against a sentence for prisoners of war.
29 - Indeed, the National Red Cross Societies had unanimously recommended in 1946 to confer upon the rights recognized by the Conventions ‘a personal and intangible character’ that would enable the beneficiaries ‘to claim them irrespective of the attitude adopted by their home country’. Report of the Preliminary Conference of National Societies of 1946, p. 71. See also the remarks of the delegate from France in Final Record of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Vol. II-B, p. 10; and Pictet (ed.), Commentary on the First Geneva Convention, ICRC, 1952, especially pp. 82–84.
30 - Final Record of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Vol. II-B, p. 76. On the other hand, various delegates pointed out that even in its present wording, common Article 7 is addressed first and foremost to States Parties.
31 - See also Christopher Greenwood, ‘Human Rights and Humanitarian Law – Conflict or Convergence?’, Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, Vol. 43, 2010, pp. 491–512, at 499; George Aldrich, ‘Individuals as Subjects of International Humanitarian Law’, in Jerzy Makarczyk (ed.), Theory of International Law at the Threshold of the 21st Century: Essays in Honour of Krzysztof Skubiszewski, Kluwer, The Hague, 1996, pp. 851–858, especially at 856; and René Cassin, ‘L’homme, sujet de droit international et la protection des droits de l’homme dans la société universelle’, in La technique et les principes du Droit public. Etudes en l’honneur de Georges Scelle, L.G.D.J., Paris, 1950. Contra see Kate Parlett, The Individual in the International Legal System: Continuity and Change in International Law, Cambridge University Press, 2011, p. 187.
32 - Lauterpacht has described rights which individuals cannot necessarily enforce in courts as ‘imperfect legal rights’; see Hersch Lauterpacht, International Law and Human Rights, Stevens & Sons, London, 1950, p. 34. In monist States, treaties may be ‘self-executing’ and may not necessarily require implementing legislation; see Anthony Aust, Modern Treaty Law and Practice, 3rd edition, Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp. 163–167, and David Sloss, ‘Domestic Application of Treaties’, in Duncan B. Hollis (ed.), The Oxford Guide to Treaties, Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 367–395, at 373–376.
33 - See e.g. Article 78 of the Third Convention and Article 30 of the Fourth Convention, which allow protected persons to petition directly for assistance. As Schindler observed, ‘Persons protected by humanitarian law usually are helpless and defenceless and not in a position to resort to any legal process. The rights of victims of armed conflicts are, therefore, better secured by an impartial body that acts on its own initiative than by a system in which the persons whose rights are violated have to institute judicial proceedings.’ (Dietrich Schindler, ‘Human Rights and Humanitarian Law: Interrelationship of the Laws’, American University Law Review, Vol. 31, No. 4, summer 1982, pp. 935–943, at 941.)
34 - See Final Record of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Vol. II-B, pp. 73 and 74.
35 - See First Convention, Article 47; Second Convention, Article 48; Third Convention, Article 127; Fourth Convention, Article 144; and, if applicable, Additional Protocol I, Article 83, and Additional Protocol II, Article 19.
36 - Hans-Peter Gasser and Knut Dörmann, ‘Protection of the Civilian Population’, in Dieter Fleck (ed.), The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 231–320, at para. 539.