Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries
Treaties and Documents
Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Additional Protocols, and their Commentaries
Historical Treaties and Documents
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
. -- PENAL PROCEDURE: III. RIGHT OF APPEAL (1)
PARAGRAPH 1. -- APPEAL
The French wording of this Article is not very precise and the meaning can be better understood from the English version.
The word "appeal" found in this paragraph must be taken to mean any recourse to law aimed at obtaining the quashing or alteration of the sentence. It could take the form of an ordinary appeal, an appeal to the High Court or possibly a petition for a review of the sentence. This is very clearly shown by Article 106
of the Third Convention.
PARAGRAPH 2. -- APPEAL PROCEDURE
Certain legal systems, particularly those of Anglo-Saxon countries, do not provide for an appeal procedure on penal matters. However, those systems insist that the sentence before becoming final must be confirmed by the military command. This is what is meant in the [p.359] second paragraph when the possibility is mentioned of the "right to petition to the competent authority of the Occupying Power" (2).
According to the English text, a convicted person must also be informed of the legal methods of appeal and the possibility of petitioning the competent authorities as well as of the time limit within which he must act.
In countries where the law makes no provision for appeal either in or outside the Courts, an extra-judicial appeal procedure should be instituted.
It should be added that this right to petition an executive authority with certain jurisdictional functions must be distinguished sharply from the right to petition for pardon under Article 75
of the Convention.
Notes: (1) [(1) p.358] For the background to this Article, see
' Final Record, ' vol. I, p. 124; vol. II-A, pp. 675, 770,
837; Vol. II-B, pp. 438, 476-477;
(2) [(1) p.359] The text submitted to the Plenary Assembly by
the Third Committee mentioned a "right of petition", but
the Conference deleted the phrase, which it considered
inadequate from the legal point of view, and substituted
the present wording. See ' Final Record, ' Vol. II-A, p.
859; vol. II-B, pp. 438-439;