Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries
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Commentary of 2016 
Acknowledgements
This Commentary would not have been possible without the involvement of numerous persons, and the ICRC expresses its gratitude to all of them. We apologize to anyone whose name may have been inadvertently omitted.
Editorial Committee
The Editorial Committee supervised the drafting and reviewed all drafts prior to the peer-review process and again prior to publication. It consisted of two ICRC staff members: Philip Spoerri, ICRC Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York and Director of International Law and Cooperation from 2006 until 2014, and Knut Dörmann, Chief Legal Officer and Head of the Legal Division, as well as two external members, Liesbeth Lijnzaad, Legal Adviser of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and Professor of the Practice of International Law at the University of Maastricht, and Marco Sassòli, Professor of International Law at the University of Geneva and Associate Professor of International Law at the University of Quebec in Montreal.
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ICRC Project team
The ICRC project team was composed of Jean-Marie Henckaerts, who, as head of project, was responsible for the project’s overall coordination and final harmonization, as well as Lindsey Cameron, Bruno Demeyere, Eve La Haye, Iris Müller and Heike Niebergall-Lackner, legal advisers in the ICRC Legal Division.
The project team organized, coordinated and supervised the research, drafting and review of this Commentary throughout the various stages. In addition, it conducted most of the research for the Commentary. Its members contributed numerous drafts, revised, edited and harmonized all drafts, and integrated the peer-review feedback, in consultation with the authors.
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Reading Committee
The Reading Committee consisted of the external contributors, in addition to the project team. It reviewed the drafts to ensure the cross-subject coherence and overall consistency of the Commentary. It comprised:
– François Bugnion, Member of the ICRC Assembly
– Dana Constantin, academic coordinator of the Berlin Potsdam Research Group ‘The International Rule of Law – Rise or Decline?’, Humboldt University, Berlin (until May 2016)
– Prof. Geoffrey S. Corn, Professor of Law, South Texas Law School, Houston; Lieutenant Colonel (ret.), U.S. Army
– Helen Durham, Director of International Humanitarian Law, Australian Red Cross (2007–2014) and currently Director of Law and Policy, ICRC
– Prof. Robin Geiss, Chair of International Law and Security, University of Glasgow
– Prof. Jann K. Kleffner, Professor of International Law and Head of the International Law Centre, Swedish Defence University, Stockholm
– Michael Meyer, Head of International Law, British Red Cross
– Stephan Michel, Head of Treaty Section, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Directorate of International Law
– Claude Schenker, Deputy Head of Treaty Section, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Directorate of International Law
– Prof. Sandesh Sivakumaran, Professor of Public International Law, University of Nottingham
– Sylvain Vité, Lecturer at Bilkent University, Ankara (2013–2015) and currently Legal Adviser, ICRC
In addition, Professors Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg of Europa-Universität Viadrina (Viadrina European University), Frankfurt (Oder), Bruce Oswald of Melbourne Law School, Gary Solis of Georgetown Law School and Sean Watts of Creighton University Law School provided comments on select commentaries, and Professor Georg Nolte of Humboldt University Berlin kindly reviewed the Introduction.
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Peer-review group
The drafts were submitted to a large and geographically representative group of peer reviewers, who, between September 2014 and February 2015, reviewed the drafts and provided comments in their personal capacity. The feedback from the peer-review group has been important to completing the drafting process.
The peer-review process would not have been possible without the assistance of ICRC legal advisers in delegations around the world.
The peer-review group consisted of the following persons:
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Algeria
Prof. Kamel Filali, Professor of International Law at the University of Constantine; Member of the African Union Commission on International Law; former Vice-President of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
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Argentina
Dr Jose Alejandro Consigli, Rector of FASTA University of Córdoba; former Invited Professor of International Humanitarian Law at the Naval War College and the Superior War College of the Army of Argentina.
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Armenia
Dr Vladimir Vardanyan, Head of the Legal Advisory Service, Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia; Lecturer, European and International Law Department, Yerevan State University.
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Australia
Prof. Rob MacLaughlin, Associate Professor, Australian National University College of Law, Canberra.
Richard Rowe PSM, former Senior Legal Adviser, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia; Adjunct Professor, Australian National University College of Law, Canberra.
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Azerbaijan
Dr Latif Hüseynov, Professor of Public International Law, Baku State University; former Member of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture; Director of the Department for Constitutional Law, Secretariat of the Milli Mejilis (Parliament) of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
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Belarus
Dr Andrey L. Kozik, Secretary-General of the International Law and Arbitration Association (Belarus); Member of the Belarus National Commission on the Implementation of International Humanitarian Law.
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Belgium
Prof. Eric David, Professor Emeritus, Université Libre de Bruxelles; Member of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission.
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Bolivia
Prof. Elizabeth Santalla Vargas, Consultant, Professor and Researcher specializing in international law, international criminal law, humanitarian law and human rights law; Rapporteur for the Oxford International Organizations Project conducted by the Manchester International Law Centre.
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Brazil
Tarciso Dal Maso Jardim, Member of the National Commission of International Humanitarian Law of Brazil; Legal Adviser of the Senate of Brazil; Adviser to the President of the Supreme Court of Brazil.
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Canada
Major-General Blaise Cathcart, Judge Advocate General of the Canadian Armed Forces.
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Chile
Ambassador Hernán Salinas Burgos, Professor of International Law and Head of the Department of International Law, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile); Member of the Inter-American Juridical Committee of the Organization of American States; former Member of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission and former President of the National Commission of International Humanitarian Law of Chile.
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China
Senior Colonel (ret.) Xiao Fengcheng, Professor of Law at China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing; former Member of the Bureau of Legislative Affairs of the Central Military Commission.
Dr Ling Yan, Professor of International Law, Faculty of International Law, China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing.
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Colombia
Prof. Alejandro Ramelli Arteaga, Professor at the Universidad Externado de Colombia; Magistrado Auxiliar de la Corte Constitucional de Colombia (Assistant Magistrate of the Constitutional Court of Colombia).
Brigadier General del Aire (Air Force Brigadier General) Juan Carlos Gómez Ramírez, Jefe de la Jefatura Jurídica y Derechos Humanos de la Fuerza Aérea Colombiana (Head of the Legal and Human Rights Office of the Colombian Air Force).
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Côte d’Ivoire
Prof. Djedjro Francisco Meledje, Professeur titulaire de droit public et de science politique, Université de Cocody (Full Professor of Public Law and Political Science, University of Cocody).
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Croatia
Prof. Davorin Lapas, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb.
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Democratic Republic of the Congo
Prof. Gérard Balanda Mikuin Leliel, Professor at the Université de Kinshasa, Faculté de Droit and Université Protestante au Congo (Professor at the University of Kinshasa, Faculty of Law, and Congo Protestant University); President, Commission permanente de réforme du droit congolais (President of the Standing Committee on Congolese Law Reform); former President of the Supreme Court (until 1998).
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Egypt
Prof. Ahmed Abou El Wafa, Professor of International Law, Faculty of Law, Cairo University.
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France
Eric Darré, médecin général, inspecteur du service de santé des armées, Ministère français de la Défense (Major General MD, Inspector of the French Military Medical Services, French Ministry of Defence).
Prof. Emmanuel Decaux, Professor at Université Panthéon-Assas Paris II; Member of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances and former Chair (2012–2015).
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Georgia
Tamar Tomashvili, Assistant Professor of Law, Free University of Tbilisi, Faculty of Law.
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Germany
Dr Dieter Fleck, former Director of International Agreements and Policy, German Ministry of Defence.
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Greece
Ambassador Stelios Perrakis, Professor at Panteion University, Athens; Permanent Representative of Greece to the Council of Europe; Member of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission; Director of the European Centre of Research and Training on Human Rights and Humanitarian Action, with the assistance of Maria-Daniella Marouda, Assistant Professor at Panteion University and Deputy Director of the European Centre of Research and Training on Human Rights and Humanitarian Action.
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India
Prof. V. S. Mani, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Director, School of Law, Jaipur National University and former President of the Asian Society of International Law (2011–2013).
Prof. Sanoj Rajan, Dean of Ansal University School of Law, Gurgaon.
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Indonesia
Prof. Romli Atmasasmita, Universitas Padjadaran Bandung and former Director General of Legal Administrative Affairs, and once of Legislation, of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, with the assistance of Dr Trihoni Nalesti Dewi, Lecturer, Universitas Katholik Sugiyapranata of Semarang, Dr Fadillah Agus, former Legal Adviser, ICRC Jakarta Delegation, and now working as a consultant, and Rina Rusman, Legal Adviser, ICRC Jakarta Delegation.
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Iran
Prof. Djamchid Momtaz, Professor of Public International Law, University of Tehran; former Member and President of the UN International Law Commission.
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Israel
Prof. Eyal Benvenisti, Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law; Whewell Professor of International Law at the University of Cambridge.
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Italy
Prof. Paolo Benvenuti, Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza (Roma Tre University, Department of Jurisprudence).
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Kenya
Brigadier Titus Githiora, retired from the Judge Advocate General’s Department of the Kenya Defence Force; former ICRC Armed and Security Forces Delegate and currently teaching international humanitarian law at the Kenya School of Governance.
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Korea (Republic of)
Judge Seon Ki Park, Judge at the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals; Partner, Daedong Law & Notary Firm; former ad litem Judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; former General Counsel of the Ministry of National Defence.
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Kuwait
Dr Rashid Hamed Al Anezi, Professor of International Law, Faculty of Law, Kuwait University.
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Lebanon
Dr Karim El Mufti, Professor of International Law and Director of the Legal Clinic at Université La Sagesse, Beirut.
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Mexico
Mariana Salazar, Director for International Humanitarian Law in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Technical Secretary of the National Committee on International Humanitarian Law.
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Morocco
Prof. Mohamed Al Bazaz, Professor of International Law, Faculty of Law, Meknes University.
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Nepal
Prof. Geeta Pathak Sangroula, Executive Director, Kathmandu School of Law.
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Niger
Dr Oumarou Narey, Faculté de Droit de l'Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey (Faculty of Law, Abdou Moumouni University, Niamey); Conseiller à la Cour Constitutionnelle du Niger (Judge of the Constitutional Court of Niger).
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Nigeria
Prof. Boniface Obina Okere, Emeritus Professor of Law at the Enugu Campus of the University of Nigeria; Member of the African Union Commission on International Law.
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Pakistan
Prof. Sikander Shah, Professor at the Lahore University of Management Sciences; former Legal Adviser, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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Peru
Prof. Elizabeth Salmon Garate, Professor of International Law at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Perú (Pontifical Catholic University of Peru).
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Philippines
Prof. Raul Pangalangan, University of the Philippines Law School, Manila.
Prof. Harry Roque, University of the Philippines Law School, Manila.
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Russian Federation
Judge Bakhtiyar R. Tuzmukhamedov, former Judge in the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and for the former Yugoslavia; Professor of International Law.
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Serbia
Prof. Marko Milanovic, Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham School of Law; Vice-President of the European Society of International Law.
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South Africa
Prof. Garth Abraham, Chief Executive Officer of St. Augustine’s College of South Africa; former Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Witwatersrand.
Colonel André Retief, Senior Staff Officer: Law of Armed Conflict, Education, Training and Development, South African National Defence Forces.
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Sri Lanka
Dr Rohan Perera, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York; former Legal Adviser, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; former Member of the UN International Law Commission (2007–2011).
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Sweden
Cecilia Tengroth, Senior Legal Adviser, Swedish Red Cross.
Kristina Lindvall, Legal Adviser, Swedish Red Cross.
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Thailand
Prof. Vitit Muntarbhorn, Professor of International Law, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.
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Turkey
Prof. Emre Öktem, Galatasaray University, Istanbul; Member of the Editorial Board of the International Review of the Red Cross, with the assistance of Mehmet Uzun.
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United Kingdom
Colonel (ret.) Charles H. B. Garraway, Member and former Vice-President, International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission; Fellow at the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex.
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Ukraine
Prof. Mykola Gnatovsky, Professor of International Law, Taras Shevchenko National University, Kyiv; President, European Committee for the Prevention of Torture.
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United States of America
Colonel (ret.) Richard Jackson, Special Assistant to the Army Judge Advocate General for Law of War Matters.
Professor Michael Schmitt, Director of the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law at the United States Naval War College and Professor of Public International Law at the University of Exeter.
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International and other organizations
United Nations: Stephen Mathias, Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, with the assistance of Luke Mhlaba, Principal Legal Officer; Katarina Grenfell and Keiichiro Okimoto, Legal Officers.
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies: Mathias Schmale, former Under-Secretary-General (until 2015).
Human Rights Watch: James Ross, Legal and Policy Director.
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ICRC staff
Numerous ICRC staff provided feedback, advice and support, without which this Commentary could not have been completed.
Several lawyers in the ICRC Legal Division reviewed drafts and provided useful feedback: Alexander Breitegger (the wounded and sick, medical personnel and transports), Cordula Droege (common Article 3), Tristan Ferraro (common Articles 1 and 3), Gloria Gaggioli (common Article 3), Laurent Gisel (common Article 3), Sarah McCosker (Articles 38–39), Jose Serralvo (common Article 1) and Jelena Pejic (common Article 3 and Articles 13–14).
In addition, this project benefited from the advice of other members of the ICRC Legal Division, as well as lawyers in delegations who gave freely of their time. The same applies to ICRC delegates to armed forces, in particular Raoul Forster, Andrew Carswell, Pete Evans and Can Akdogan.
Numerous other colleagues reviewed drafts related to their field of expertise and gave valuable feedback: Katya Gisin and Sophie Barbey (recording and forwarding of information, prescriptions regarding the dead); Morris Tidball-Binz, Shuala Martin Drawdy and Oran Finegan (prescriptions regarding the dead); Massimo Marelli (data protection); Dr Paul Bouvier (the wounded and sick); Cristina Pellandini and Antoine Bouvier (penal sanctions, dissemination and final provisions); Richard Desgagné and Anne-Marie La Rosa (penal sanctions); Audrey Palama (role of non-State armed groups); Ximena Londoño, Coline Rapneau and Maria Teresa Garrido (protection of women, sexual violence); Thomas de Saint Maurice and Pascal Daudin (right of humanitarian initiative); Claire de Feu (humanitarian principles); Raffaella Diana, Mariya Nikolova, Etienne Kuster and François Sénéchaud (dissemination and detailed execution). Stéphane Hankins and Antoine Bouvier reviewed all commentaries in relation to the protection of the emblem, as well as the auxiliary role of National Societies (Articles 26–27), and provided insightful comments. Leslie Leach and Sue Featherstone provided invaluable assistance in gathering practice on the use of the emblem.
The project team received invaluable research support from the following persons who were at the time legal trainees in the ICRC Legal Division: Nicole Anderson, Audrey Baëté, Tracey Begley, Marcela Giraldo, Andrea Harrison, Öykü Irmakkesen, Yvette Issar, Claudia Maritano, Jérôme Massé, Anna Leshchinskaya, Ximena Londoño, Rochus Peyer, Vanessa Pooudomsak, Tilman Rodenhäuser, Jose Serralvo, Helena Sunnegardh, Nele Verlinden, Oliver Waters and Cornelius Wiesener.
Particular mention should be made of Michèle Hou, Sonia Crenn and Ismaël Raboud of the ICRC Library who provided unstinting support for the research. Fabrizio Bensi, Jean-Michel Diez and Daniel Palmieri of the ICRC Archives did the same with respect to the archival research, together with Maya Rombaldi Revaz, Isabelle Nikles and Nicole Ducraux.
The administrative support provided by Catherine Délice and Mélanie Schweizer is also gratefully acknowledged.
Numerous other persons provided support and advice and the ICRC would like to thank them, in particular the legal advisers of National Societies.
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English-language editors
Christina Grisewood and Susan Wald undertook the monumental task of editing the Commentary.
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Online and print versions
The online version was developed by Valéry Blanc and Florent Isselin, who benefited from the advice and support of Sandra Manzi.
The print production was organized by Sarah Fleming and Christina Grisewood at the ICRC and Finola O’Sullivan and Emma Collison at Cambridge University Press.