Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries
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Commentary of 1960 

[p.616] The "official translations" of the Convention are those drawn up by the executive authorities in a country under the terms of their own law. Countries with more than one national language may, therefore, communicate several translations. The versions in French, English, Spanish and Russian should be excluded, however, since the first two are the authentic texts of the Convention, while the last two have been officially prepared by the Swiss Federal Council under the terms of Article 133 . At the time of publication of the present commentary, the translations made by Governments have added to these four texts official versions in Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Rumanian, Serbo-Croat, Swedish and Thai.
The widest possible interpretation should be given to the expression "laws and regulations", which are also to be communicated. This means all legal documents issued by the executive and the legislative authorities connected in any way with the application of the Convention. Thus, the States will have to communicate to one another laws passed in application of Articles of the Convention. The Articles concerned are: Article 4 : definition of protected persons (particularly a determination o those considered as members of the armed forces); Article 17 : identity cards for members of the armed forces; Article 21 : laws and regulations concerning release on parole; Article 43 : establishment of a list of titles and ranks; Articles 69 to 71: measures to be taken with regard to the correspondence of prisoners of war (in particular the preparation of correspondence forms); Articles 74 and 124 : exemption from postal, customs and transport charges (especially the adaptation of postal regulations); Article 120 : establishment of a Graves Registration
Service; Article 122 : establishment of a national Information Bureau; Article 127 : dissemination of the Convention; Articles 129 to 131: repression of abuses and infractions. Furthermore, Chapter III, relating to penal and disciplinary sanctions, requires the Detaining Power to adapt its legislation, where necessary, to the provisions of the Convention (Article 82, paragraph 1 ). Other provisions of the Convention may also require the national legislation or administrative regulations to be amended or revised, either in regard to the general conditions of internment or to special problems such as the working conditions of prisoners of war (Part III, Section III), their financial resources and transfers of funds (Part III, Section [p.617] IV), the sending and receipt of relief supplies (Articles 72 and 73 ), etc. It is important that the parties to the Convention should be informed of such laws and regulations and the most expeditious procedure for this purpose is to use as intermediary the Swiss Federal Council, which is the depositary of the
Geneva Conventions.