Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries
  • Print page
Commentary of 1952 
[p.24] CHAPTER I


Like all treaties, the Geneva Conventions contain certain provisions of a general character and others which are merely executive regulations more limited in their application.
In the 1929 Convention, as in the earlier Conventions, these two different kinds of provisions were intermingled. But when it was proposed to revise the former Conventions and to draw up a new one in addition, it was thought necessary to arrange the provisions methodically. The International Committee of the Red Cross accordingly placed at the beginning of each of the four draft Conventions the principal provisions of a general character, in particular those which enunciated fundamental principles and so should, by rights, be repeated in the various Conventions. This more logical arrangement had the advantage of preparing the way for the combination of the four Conventions in a single instrument, which was contemplated at the time. The suggested arrangement was adopted by the XVIIth International Red Cross Conference, and later by the Diplomatic Conference.
Most of the Articles in the present Chapter are accordingly to be found in identical, or slightly modified, form in the three other Conventions. Attention will be drawn to each individual case.