Practice Relating to Rule 1. The Principle of Distinction between Civilians and Combatants

St. Petersburg Declaration
The preamble to the 1868 St. Petersburg Declaration states: “[T]he only legitimate object which States should endeavour to accomplish during war is to weaken the military forces of the enemy.” 
Declaration Renouncing the Use, in Time of War, of Explosive Projectiles Under 400 Grammes Weight, St. Petersburg, 29 November–11 December 1868, preamble.
Additional Protocol I
Article 48 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I states: “Parties to the conflict … shall direct their operations only against military objectives.” 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 48. Article 48 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 161.
Additional Protocol I
Article 52(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I states: “Attacks shall be limited strictly to military objectives.” 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 52(2). Article 52 was adopted by 79 votes in favour, none against and 7 abstentions. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 168.
Additional Protocol II (draft)
Article 24(1) of the draft Additional Protocol II submitted by the ICRC to the CDDH provided: “In order to ensure respect for the civilian population, the parties to the conflict shall confine their operations to the destruction or weakening of the military resources of the adversary.” 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. I, Part Three, Draft Additional Protocols, June 1973, p. 37.
This proposal was amended and adopted by consensus in Committee III of the CDDH. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/215/Rev.1, 3 February–18 April 1975, p. 288, § 113.
The approved text provided: “In order to ensure respect and protection for the civilian population … the Parties to the conflict … shall direct their operations only against military objectives.” 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/215/Rev.1, 3 February–18 April 1975, p. 319.
Eventually, however, it was deleted in the plenary, because it failed to obtain the necessary two-thirds majority (36 in favour, 19 against and 36 abstentions). 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VII, CDDH/SR.52, 6 June 1977, p. 135, § 78.
Convention on Cluster Munitions
According to the preamble to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, States Parties based their agreement on the prohibition of the use, development, production, stockpiling, retention or transfer of cluster munitions on various principles of IHL, including that they will “distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly direct their operations against military objectives only”. 
Convention on Cluster Munitions, Dublin, 30 May 2008, preamble, § 20.
Lieber Code
Article 15 of the 1863 Lieber Code states: “Military necessity admits of all direct destruction of life or limb of ‘armed’ enemies … it allows of the capturing of every armed enemy, and every enemy of importance to the hostile government, or of peculiar danger to the captor.” 
Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, prepared by Francis Lieber, promulgated as General Order No. 100 by President Abraham Lincoln, Washington D.C., 24 April 1863, Article 15.
Oxford Manual
The commentary on Article 3 of the 1880 Oxford Manual refers to the principle laid down in the 1868 St. Petersburg Declaration: “The only legitimate end which States may have in war being to weaken the military strength of the enemy.” 
The Laws of War on Land, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 September 1880, Commentary on Article 3.
Hague Rules of Air Warfare
According to Article 24(2) of the 1923 Hague Rules of Air Warfare, “military forces” are military objectives. 
Rules concerning the Control of Wireless Telegraphy in Time of War and Air Warfare, Part II, drafted by a Commission of Jurists, The Hague, December 1922–February 1923, Article 24(2).
New Delhi Draft Rules
Article 7 of the 1956 New Delhi Draft Rules states: “In order to limit the dangers incurred by the civilian population, attacks may only be directed against military objectives.” 
Draft Rules for the Limitation of the Dangers Incurred by the Civilian Population in Time of War, drafted by the International Committee of the Red Cross, September 1956, submitted to governments for their consideration on behalf of the 19th International Conference of the Red Cross, New Delhi, 28 October–7 November, Res. XIII, Article 7.
Paragraph I(1) of the proposed annex to Article 7(2) of the 1956 New Delhi Draft Rules stated that “armed forces, including auxiliary or complementary organizations, and persons who, though not belonging to the above-mentioned formations, nevertheless take part in the fighting” were military objectives considered to be of “generally recognized military importance”. 
Draft Rules for the Limitation of the Dangers Incurred by the Civilian Population in Time of War, drafted by the International Committee of the Red Cross, September 1956, submitted to governments for their consideration on behalf of the 19th International Conference of the Red Cross, New Delhi, 28 October–7 November, Res. XIII, Article 7(2), Annex, para. I(1).
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Paragraph 6 of the 1991 Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Articles 48 and 52(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of International Humanitarian Law between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Geneva, 27 November 1991, § 6.
Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Paragraph 2.5 of the 1992 Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Articles 48 and 52(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I.  
Agreement between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representatives of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 22 May 1992, § 2.5.
San Remo Manual
Paragraph 41 of the 1994 San Remo Manual provides: “Attacks shall be limited strictly to military objectives.” 
Louise Doswald-Beck (ed.), San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994, Prepared by international lawyers and naval experts convened by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995, § 41.
UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin
Section 5.1 of the 1999 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin states: “Military operations shall be directed only against combatants and military objectives.” 
Observance by United Nations Forces of International Humanitarian Law, Secretary-General’s Bulletin, UN Secretariat, UN Doc. ST/SGB/1999/13, 6 August 1999, Section 5.1.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states: “Military operations must only be conducted against enemy armed forces and military objects.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 210.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states: “Military operations must only be conducted against military objectives, including combatants”. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 2.11; see also § 5.16.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Soldiers states that only enemy combatants may be attacked. 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Dossier d’Instruction pour Soldat, à l’attention des officiers instructeurs, JS3, Etat-Major Général, Forces Armées belges (undated), pp. 7, 10, 14 and 41.
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) states: “A combatant must fight only combatants.” 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule I, p. 17; see also Fascicule II, p. 18.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “Only combatants … may be attacked.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 34; see also Part I bis, pp. 9, 25, 63 and 82.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states: “Combatants are legitimate targets and may be attacked.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-2, § 12.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) requires Canadian forces to “engage only opposing forces and military objectives”. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 1.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states:
406. Definition of legitimate targets
1. “Legitimate targets” include combatants, unlawful combatants and military objectives.
408. Combatants
1. Combatants are legitimate targets and may be attacked unless they have been captured, surrendered, expressed a clear intention to surrender, or are hors de combat (i.e., out of combat), provided they refrain from hostile acts and do not attempt to escape …
409. Airborne troops
1. Airborne troops are combatants and therefore legitimate targets. They may be attacked during their descent by parachute from aircraft. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, §§ 406.1 and 408–409.
Canada
Rule 1 of Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) instructs Canadian Forces (CF) personnel: “Engage only opposing forces and military objectives.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 1.
The Code of Conduct further explains:
1. Rule # 1 is the cornerstone of the Law of Armed Conflict. It is consistent with and in fact reflects two of the Principles of War, namely “selection and maintenance of the aim” and “economy of effort.” Any deviation from the military aim jeopardizes the mission. Thus, whether you are involved in defensive or offensive operations, your effort must be directed toward the continued maintenance of the aim. It would be considered a waste of resources to engage forces that are not hostile or that have been rendered incapable of further hostilities, or to attack objectives or other objects not used for a military purpose. It is unlawful as well as unsound from an operational point of view.
3. Force used during operations must be directed against opposing forces and military objectives. Therefore, civilians not taking part in hostilities must not be targeted. Rule #1 not only makes sense morally but also helps to ensure the most efficient use of military resources. In simple terms, “warriors fight warriors.”
5. An “opposing force” is any individual or group of individuals who pose a threat to you or your mission. It is sometimes difficult to identify who the opposing forces are. At one time most armed conflict involved organized armed forces. However, since World War II an increasing number of conflicts involve paramilitary, irregular or poorly organized armed groups. Sometimes these groups are fighting for ethnic or religious reasons. Often members of such paramilitary or irregular armed groups do not wear uniforms or operate in organized units. … In an armed conflict … the enemy forces are opposing forces whether or not they pose an immediate threat. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 1, §§ 1, 3 and 5.
Canada
Canada’s Use of Force Manual (2008) states:
In terms of use of force, an essential feature of the LOAC [law of armed conflict] is that it allows for the deliberate use of deadly force against individuals directly participating in hostilities (during international or non-international armed conflicts), whether or not they are presenting a threat at the moment. 
Canada, Use of Force for CF Operations, Canadian Forces Joint Publication, Chief of the Defence Staff, B-GJ-005-501/FP-001, August 2008, § 105.6.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 1 (Basic and team leader instruction): “Combatants must: … fight only other combatants”. 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 1: Formation élémentaire toutes armés (FETA), formation commune de base (FCB), certificat d’aptitude technique No. 1 (Chef d’équipe), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter III, Section IV.
In Volume 2 (Instruction for group and patrol leaders), the manual states: “In an international or non-international armed conflict, as a soldier you must display the following conducts and attitudes: … Fight only the adversary”. 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 2: Formation pour l’obtention du certificat technique No. 2 (Chef de Groupe), du certificat Inter-Armé (CIA), du certificat d’aptitude de Chef de Patrouille (CACP), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter V, Section II, § 2.
(emphasis in original)
In Volume 3 (Instruction for non-commissioned officers studying for the level 1 and 2 certificates and for future officers of the criminal police), the manual states that “attacking combatants and soldiers is allowed”. 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 3: Formation pour l’obtention du Brevet d’Armes No. 1, du Brevet d’Armes No. 2 et le stage d’Officier de Police Judiciaire (OPJ), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter I, Section II, 2.1.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states: “Fighting may only be directed against enemy combatants.” 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 87; see also pp. 16, 26, 35 and 47.
Colombia
Colombia’s Circular on Fundamental Rules of IHL (1992) states: “Neither the civilian population, as such, nor individual civilians may be made the object of attack. Attacks may only be directed against military objectives.” 
Colombia, Transcripción Normas Fundamentales del Derecho Humanitario Aplicables en los Conflictos Armados, Circular No. 033/DIPL-SERPO-526, Policía Nacional, Dirección General, Santafé de Bogotá, 14 May 1992, § 7.
Colombia
Colombia’s Instructors’ Manual (1999) states that it is a rule of combat to “fight only combatants”. 
Colombia, Derechos Humanos & Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual de Instrucción de la Guía de Conducta para el Soldado e Infante de Marina, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Oficina de Derechos Humanos, Fuerzas Militares de Colombia, Santafé de Bogotá, 1999, p. 15.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
Lesson 1 Basic notions of IHL
The principle of distinction specifies who and what can be attacked and who and what cannot be attacked.
- Who and what can be attacked?
- Combatants,
Lesson 3. Rules of behaviour in combat
[Basic Rule No. 3]:
Only fight enemy combatants, and only attack military objectives.
[Observation]:
- These two rules follow from the principle of distinction, which determines whom to attack during an armed conflict. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 13–14, 18 and 21; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre II: Instruction du gradé et du cadre, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 16; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 39; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 65.
In Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides:
II.1. Distinction
At all times, a distinction must be clearly made between combatants and civilians or the civilian population as such. Combatants can be attacked of course, insofar as they are not hors de combat. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 12; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 13.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
II.1.3. Combatants
Combatants are legitimate objectives and can be attacked, unless they have been captured, have surrendered, have clearly expressed their intention to surrender or are hors de combat, provided that they abstain from any hostile act and do not attempt to escape.
II.1.4. Airborne troops
Airborne troops are combatants and, consequently, legitimate objectives. They can be attacked while parachuting from aircraft. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 25–26.
Croatia
Croatia’s LOAC Compendium (1991) includes armed forces among military objectives. 
Croatia, Compendium “Law of Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1991, p. 7.
Croatia
Croatia’s Commanders’ Manual (1992) states: “Combatants may be attacked.” 
Croatia, Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflicts – Commanders’ Manual, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, § 8.
Djibouti
Djibouti’s Manual on International Humanitarian Law (2004) states under the heading “Rules of Combat”: “Fight only combatants.” 
Djibouti, Manuel sur le droit international humanitaire et les droits de l’homme applicables au travail du policier, Ministère de l’Intérieur, Direction Générale de la Police, 2004, p. 7.
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic’s Military Manual (1980) states that only combatants are proper targets for attack. 
Dominican Republic, La Conducta en Combate según las Leyes de la Guerra, Escuela Superior de las FF. AA. “General de Brigada Pablo Duarte”, Secretaría de Estado de las Fuerzas Armadas, May 1980, p. 3.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) states that only attacks against combatants and other military objectives are lawful. 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 8.1.
France
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) states that combatants are military objectives. 
France, Fiche de Synthèse sur les Règles Applicables dans les Conflits Armés, Note No. 432/DEF/EMA/OL.2/NP, Général de Corps d’Armée Voinot (pour l’Amiral Lanxade, Chef d’Etat-major des Armées), 1992, § 1.2.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides that military objectives include, in particular, armed forces. 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 443.
Germany
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (2006) states: “Combat operations may only be directed against the armed forces of the enemy and other military objectives, not however against the civilian population or civilian objects.” 
Germany, Druckschrift Insets Nar. 03, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Grundsätze, Rarities nachos ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, DSK SF009320187, Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, R II 3, August 2006, p. 3.
Guinea
Guinea’s Soldier’s Manual (2010) states: “Fight only combatants.” 
Guinea, Soldier’s Manual, Ministry of National Defence, 2010, p. 3; see also p. 15.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) states that armed forces are military objectives. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 18.
India
India’s Army Training Note (1995) defines the term “terrorist” as:
a person who indulges in wanton killing of persons or involves in violence or in the disruption of services or means of communications essential to the community or in damaging property with a view to putting the public or any section of the public in fear, or affecting adversely the harmony between different religious, social, linguistic groups or the sovereignty and integrity of a nation. 
India, Army Training Note, Chief of Staff, Army Training Command, Ministry of Defence, Government of India, 1995, p. 4/16, § 35.
According to the Report on the Practice of India, this definition is “intended to help the armed forces to identify the ‘terrorists’ who may be treated as combatants if the situation can be likened to an internal conflict”. 
Report on the Practice of India, 1998, Chapter 1.1.
Indonesia
Indonesia’s Air Force Manual (1990) states that a person who is not a member of the armed forces nor a member of a militia but participates in the hostilities is an unlawful combatant and is considered a military objective. 
Indonesia, The Basics of International Humanitarian Law in Air Warfare, Indonesian Air Force, 1990, §§ 22–23.
Ireland
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) states: “Enemy combatants and military objectives only may be the object of an attack.” 
Ireland, Basic Guide to the Law of Armed Conflict, TP/TRG/01-2005, Director of Defence Forces Training, Department of Defence, July 2005, p. 4.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) states: “Any soldier (male or female!) in the enemy’s army is a legitimate military target for attack, whether on the battlefield or outside of it.” 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 42.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states: “The fundamental rule is that war should be conducted between armies and each army should only attack the army of the enemy.” 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 23.
The manual further states: “Every soldier (including women soldiers!) in the enemy’s army is a legitimate military target to be attacked on and away from the battlefield.” 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 29.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Italy
According to Italy’s IHL Manual (1991), armed forces may be attacked. 
Italy, Manuale di diritto umanitario, Introduzione e Volume I, Usi e convenzioni di Guerra, SMD-G-014, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, Vol. I, § 12.
Italy
Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) states: “Combatants may participate directly in hostilities and may be attacked.” 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, § 8.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) states: “Fighting is only to be directed at the enemy combatant.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 2, p. 15; see also Précis No. 3, p. 2.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) states: “Combatants must fight only enemy combatants.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 1-T, § B; see also Fiche No. 3-O, § 8.
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009) states:
The underlying idea of this body of law [i.e. IHL] is to humanize war. The three main principles established to this end … [include]:
A. military operations may only be directed against combatants. 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 372(A).
Mexico
Mexico’s IHL Guidelines (2009), in a section titled “Basic rules of conduct in armed conflict”, states: “Fight only enemy combatants”. 
Mexico, Cartilla de Derecho Internacional Humanitario, Ministry of National Defence, 2009, § 14(d).
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states: “Operations may only be directed against military objectives.” It adds that “combatants who are part of the armed forces” are military objectives “under all circumstances”. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, pp. V-1 and V-3.
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands requires that soldiers “attack only combatants”. 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7–36.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “Attacks may be directed only against military targets.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, p. 34.
In its chapter on methods and means of warfare, the manual states: “Operations may be directed only at combatants and military targets.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0403.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides that attacks must be directed against military objectives and that combatants are military objectives. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, p. 5–21, § 515(1) and p. 5–22, § 516(1).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994) and Soldiers’ Code of Conduct state that combatants must “fight only combatants”.  
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, p. 39, § 5(a); Code of Conduct for Combatants, “The Soldier’s Rules”, Nigerian Army (undated), § 1.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Non-protected persons … [include] all combatants who take a direct part in the hostilities.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 33.b.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “Non-protected persons are combatants who directly participate in hostilities.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 34(c), p. 252.
Philippines
The Soldier’s Rules (1989) of the Philippines requires soldiers to “fight only enemy combatants”. 
Philippines, Soldier’s Rules, in Handbook on Discipline, Annex C(I), General Headquarters, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, 1989, § 2.
Philippines
The Joint Circular on Adherence to IHL and Human Rights (1991) of the Philippines states:
When the use of armed force is inevitable, strict controls must be exercised to insure that only reasonable force necessary for mission accomplishment shall be taken and shall be directed only against hostile elements, not against civilians or non-combatants. 
Philippines, Implementation Guidelines for Presidential Memorandum Order No. 393, dated 9 September 1991, Directing the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippines National Police to Reaffirm their Adherence to the Principles of Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in the Conduct of Security/Police Operations, Joint Circular Number 2-91, Department of National Defense, Department of Interior and Local Government, 1991, § (2)(a)(2).
Philippines
The AFP Standing Rules of Engagement (2005) of the Philippines provides:
8. General Rules for the Correct Use of Force towards Mission Accomplishment
l. Once a force is declared hostile by appropriate authority, AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] units need not observe a hostile act or a demonstration of hostile intent before engaging that force. 
Philippines, AFP Standing Rules of Engagement, Armed Forces of the Philippines, General Headquarters, Office of the Chief of Staff, 1 December 2005, § 8(l).
Philippines
The Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (2006) states: “By International Humanitarian Law, it is authorized to neutralize enemy forces by reasonable means while in combat.” 
Philippines, Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, A Practical Guide for Internal Security Operations, 2006, p. 59, § 4.
Republic of Korea
According to the Republic of Korea’s Military Law Manual (1996), it is only permissible to kill combatants. 
Republic of Korea, Military Law Manual, 1996, p. 86.
Romania
Romania’s Soldiers’ Manual (1991) states that combatants must “fight only combatants”. 
Romania, Manualul Soldatului, Ghid de comportare în luptă, Asociaţia Română de Drept Umanitar (ARDU), 1991, p. 4.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) provides: “Fight only enemy soldiers. This means that civilians are not to be attacked and are not to take part in hostilities.” 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, p. 34.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) requires soldiers in combat to “fight only enemy combatants”. 
South Africa, Presentation on the South African Approach to International Humanitarian Law, Appendix A, Chapter 4: International Humanitarian Law (The Law of Armed Conflict), National Defence Force, 1996, § 25(a). This manual is also included in Chapter 4 of the Draft Civic Education Manual of 1997.
South Africa
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) requires soldiers in combat to “[f]ight only enemy combatants”. 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 48(a).
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Teaching Manual (2008) states: “As was said in a previous learning unit, the most important distinction in the LOAC [law of armed conflict] is the distinction between combatants and non-combatants. Only combatants and military objectives may be made the object of attack.” 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 2, p. 50; see also pp. 56–57.
In a chapter entitled “Internal and Non-international armed conflict”, in a table comparing human rights law and the law of armed conflict (LOAC), the manual states under LOAC: “Right to life is protected under certain conditions – combatants may lawfully be killed in combat.” 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 4, p. 232.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) states that the armed forces of the enemy are considered a legitimate target of attack. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, División de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 4.2.b.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “Attacks must be strictly limited to military objectives.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 4.2.b.
The manual further states: “Combatants may only fight other combatants.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 7.3.a.(1); see also § 10.3.e.(1).
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) states: “A distinction shall always be made between persons participating in hostilities and who are thereby legitimate objectives, and members of the civilian population, who may not constitute objectives in warfare.” 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 3.2.1.5, p. 40.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) states that only military objectives may be attacked, including enemy armed forces. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 28.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Aide-Memoire on the Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict (2005) states: “I exclusively engage combatants”. 
Switzerland, The Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict, Aide-memoire 51.007/IIIe, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports dated 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, Rule 1.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
10 General provisions
153 All harmful acts perpetrated against the adversary, in particular the killing of enemy units or combatants during hostilities, constitute neither an offence under international law nor a violation of national law (see para. 234 et seq.).
12.1 The principle of distinction
159 Hostilities must be directed exclusively against combatants and military objectives. …
1 Combatants are members of the armed forces of a party to the conflict, with the exception of medical and religious personnel. In war, they may engage in harmful acts as long as they comply with the rules of the law of armed conflict. Any persons who engage in harmful acts or openly bear weapons may also be fought against. 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance on the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, §§ 153 and 159. In the first sentence of § 159(1), the German language version notes: “Combatants are members of organized [“organisierten”] armed forces, with the exception of medical and religious personnel”.
The Regulation also explains that, in application of the principle of distinction, a wounded combatant who continues to shoot can be shot at because “he remains a combatant until he lays down his weapons”. 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance on the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, § 172.
The Regulation further states: “Airborne troops – descending by parachute individually or in formation – are considered combatants. They can therefore be attacked even when they are still in the air.” 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance on the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, § 184; see also § 172.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) states: “A combatant must fight only enemy combatants.” 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule I, p. 18; see also Fascicule II, p. 18.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) states:
The most important powers of resistance possessed by a belligerent … are his armed forces with their military stores and equipment, and his defence installations of all kinds. The means of reducing these powers of resistance [include] killing and disabling enemy combatants. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 108.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004), as amended in 2010, states:
The principle of distinction separates those who may be legitimately the subject of direct attack, namely combatants and those who take a direct part in hostilities, from those who may not be so subject. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, as amended by Amendment 3, Ministry of Defence, September 2010, §§ 2.5–2.5.1.
United States of America
The US Rules of Engagement for Operation Desert Storm (1991) sets as a basic rule “fight only combatants”. 
United States, Desert Storm – Rules of Engagement, Pocket Card, US Central Command, January 1991, reprinted in Operational Law Handbook, International and Operational Law Department, The Judge Advocate General’s School, United States Army, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1995, pp. 8-7 and 8-8, § 1.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) states that only attacks against combatants and other military objectives are lawful. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), § 8.1.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “Only military objectives may be attacked. Military objectives are combatants … ”. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 8.2.
The Handbook also states: “Lawful combatants … are subject to attack at anytime during hostilities unless they are hors de combat.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 8.2.1.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) states:
The armed forces are an instrument of force and [may be] the direct object of attack. It is permitted to kill, wound or disable their members in combat, except where they surrender or when due to wounds or sickness they are disabled for combat. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 49.
The manual further specifies: “It is permitted to directly attack only members of the armed forces and other persons – only if they directly participate in military operations.” 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 67.
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Code of Conduct for Combatants (1993) states: “Fight only combatants.” 
Zimbabwe, Code of Conduct for Combatants, Joint publication of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross Regional Delegation in Harare, 1993, p. 2.
Egypt
The Report on the Practice of Egypt (1997) states that according to Egypt’s Military Criminal Code, “armed gangs and rebels” are considered to be “enemies”. 
Report on the Practice of Egypt, 1997, Chapter 1.1, referring to Military Criminal Code, 1966, Article 85 and its explanatory memorandum.
Ghana
Ghana’s Armed Forces Act (1962) defines “enemy” as any person engaged in armed operations against any part of the armed forces of Ghana, including armed mutineers, armed rebels, armed rioters and pirates. 
Ghana, Armed Forces Act, 1962, Article 98.
India
India’s Army Act (1950) defines the term “enemy” as including “all armed mutineers, armed rebels, armed rioters, pirates and any person in arms against whom it is the duty of any person subject to military law to act”. 
India, Army Act, 1950, Section 3(x).
Ireland
Under Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, any “minor breach” of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Articles 48 and 52(2), is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, 1962, Section 4(1) and (4).
Italy
According to Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, armed forces may be attacked. 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, as amended in 1992, 1938, Article 40.
Malaysia
Malaysia’s Armed Forces Act (1972) defines the “enemy” as “all persons engaged in armed operations against any of His Majesty’s armed forces or any force co-operating therewith and also includes armed mutineers, armed rebels, armed rioters and pirates”. 
Malaysia, Armed Forces Act, 1972, Part I, Section 2.
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the two additional protocols to [the 1949 Geneva] Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, 1902, § 108(b).
Pakistan
Pakistan’s Army Act (1952) defines the “enemy” as including “all armed mutineers, armed rebels, armed rioters, pirates and any person in arms against whom it is the duty of any person subject to the Act to act”. 
Pakistan, Army Act, 1952, Chapter I, Section 8(8); see also Air Force Act, 1953, Chapter I, Section 4(xvii) and Navy Ordinance, 1961, Chapter I, Section 4(x).
Germany
In 2010, in the Fuel Tankers case, the Federal Prosecutor General at Germany’s Federal Court of Justice investigated whether war crimes or other crimes under domestic law had been committed in the course of an airstrike which was ordered by a colonel (Oberst) of the German armed forces against two tankers transporting fuel for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan stolen by the Taliban near Kunduz and which resulted in the deaths of a number of civilians. The Federal Prosecutor General stated:
Pursuant to § 170 para. 2 StPO [Penal Procedure Code], the investigation proceedings which were initiated by the order of 12 March 2010 against Colonel (Oberst) Klein and Company Sergeant Major (Hauptfeldwebel) Wilhelm due to suspected offences under the Stub [International Crimes Code] and other offences are to be terminated as a result of the investigations conducted and based on the sources of information set out hereafter and on the reasons given in detail hereafter. 
Germany, Federal Court of Justice, Federal Prosecutor General, Fuel Tankers case, Decision, 16 April 2010, p. 1.
In examining murder under Germany’s Penal Code, the Federal Prosecutor General also stated:
Colonel (Oberst) Klein’s actions were lawful under international law and therefore justified under domestic criminal law [hence not constituting murder] …
In the assessment of the lawfulness of military attacks in non-international armed conflict which result in the killing of persons, the victims’ status under the international law of armed conflict is of particular relevance. One must distinguish whether the victims are armed fighters of the adverse party, civilians directly participating in hostilities, or other civilians. Persons who belong to the first two categories are in principle legitimate targets of military attacks. 
Germany, Federal Court of Justice, Federal Prosecutor General, Fuel Tankers case, Decision, 16 April 2010, p. 59.
Israel
In its judgment in the Public Committee against Torture in Israel case in 2006, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated: “In general, combatants and military objectives are legitimate targets for military attack. Their lives and bodies are endangered by the combat. They can be killed and wounded.” 
Israel, High Court of Justice, Public Committee against Torture in Israel case, Judgment, 14 December 2006, § 23.
South Africa
In 1987, in the Petane case, the Cape Provincial Division of South Africa’s Supreme Court dismissed the accused’s claim that the 1977 Additional Protocol I reflected customary international law. The Court stated:
The accused has been indicted before this Court on three counts of terrorism, that is to say, contraventions of s 54(1) of the Internal Security Act 74 of 1982. He has also been indicted on three counts of attempted murder.
The accused’s position is stated to be that this Court has no jurisdiction to try him.
… The point in its early formulation was this. By the terms of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I to the [1949] Geneva Conventions the accused was entitled to be treated as a prisoner-of-war. A prisoner-of-war is entitled to have notice of an impending prosecution for an alleged offence given to the so-called “protecting power” appointed to watch over prisoners-of-war. Since, if such a notice were necessary, the trial could not proceed without it, Mr Donen suggested that the necessity or otherwise for giving such a notice should be determined before evidence was led. …
On 12 August 1949 there were concluded at Geneva in Switzerland four treaties known as the Geneva Conventions. …
South Africa was among the nations which concluded the treaties. … Except for the common art 3, which binds parties to observe a limited number of fundamental humanitarian principles in armed conflicts not of an international character, they apply to wars between States.
After the Second World War many conflicts arose which could not be characterised as international. It was therefore considered desirable by some States to extend and augment the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, so as to afford protection to victims of and combatants in conflicts which fell outside the ambit of these Conventions. The result of these endeavours was Protocol I and Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions, both of which came into force on 7 December 1978.
Protocol II relates to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts. Since the State of affairs which exists in South Africa has by Protocol I been characterised as an international armed conflict, Protocol II does not concern me at all.
The extension of the scope of art 2 of the Geneva Conventions was, at the time of its adoption, controversial. …
The article has remained controversial. More debate has raged about its field of operation than about any other articles in Protocol I. …
South Africa is one of the countries which has not acceded to Protocol I. Nevertheless, I am asked to decide, as I indicated earlier, as a preliminary point, whether Protocol I has become part of customary international law. If so, it is argued that it would have been incorporated into South African law. If it has been so incorporated it would have to be proved by one or other of the parties that the turmoil which existed at the time when the accused is alleged to have committed his offences was such that it could properly be described as an “armed conflict” conducted by “peoples” against a “ra[c]ist regime” in the exercise of their “right of self-determination”. Once all this has been shown it would have to be demonstrated to the Court that the accused conducted himself in such a manner as to become entitled to the benefits conferred by Protocol I on combatants, for example that, broadly speaking, he had, while he was launching an attack, distinguished himself from civilians and had not attacked civilian targets. …
… I am prepared to accept that where a rule of customary international law is recognised as such by international law it will be so recognised by our law.
To my way of thinking, the trouble with the first Protocol giving rise to State practice is that its terms have not been capable of being observed by all that many States. At the end of 1977 when the treaty first lay open for ratification there were few States which were involved in colonial domination or the occupation of other States and there were only two, South Africa and Israel, which were considered to fall within the third category of ra[c]ist regimes. Accordingly, the situation sought to be regulated by the first Protocol was one faced by few countries; too few countries in my view, to permit any general usage in dealing with armed conflicts of the kind envisaged by the Protocol to develop.
Mr Donen contended that the provisions of multilateral treaties can become customary international law under certain circumstances. I accept that this is so. There seems in principle to be no reason why treaty rules cannot acquire wider application than among the parties to the treaty.
Brownlie Principles of International Law 3rd ed at 13 agrees that non-parties to a treaty may by their conduct accept the provisions of a multilateral convention as representing general international law. …
I incline to the view that non-ratification of a treaty is strong evidence of non-acceptance.
It is interesting to note that the first Protocol makes extensive provision for the protection of civilians in armed conflict. It enunciates as a basic rule in art 48:
“In order to ensure respect for, and protection of, the civilian population and civilian objects, the parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objectives and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives.”
The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. That is provided by art 51(2). Moreover, acts or threats of violence, the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population, are prohibited. Indiscriminate attacks, also, are prohibited. They are defined as attacks which, inter alia, are not directed at a specific military objective, or which employ a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective. Article 52 then provides that civilian objects shall not be the object of attack or of reprisals. The Protocol explains in subart (2) of art 52 what are to be regarded as military objectives:
“Military objectives are limited to those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action, and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralisation, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage.”
In this sense, Protocol I may be described as an enlightened humanitarian document. If the strife in South Africa should deteriorate into an armed conflict we may all one day find it a cause for regret that the ideologically provocative tone of s 1(4) has made it impossible for the Government to accept its terms.
To my mind it can hardly be said that Protocol I has been greeted with acclaim by the States of the world. Their lack of enthusiasm must be due to the bizarre mixture of political and humanitarian objects sought to be realised by the Protocol. …
According to the International Review of the Red Cross (January/February 1987) No 256, as at December 1986, 66 States were parties to Protocol I and 60 to Protocol II, which, it will be remembered, deals with internal non-international armed conflicts. With the exception of France, which acceded only to Protocol II, not one of the world’s major powers has acceded to or ratified either of the Protocols. This position should be compared to the 165 States which are parties to the Geneva Conventions.
This approach of the world community to Protocol I is, on principle, far too half-hearted to justify an inference that its principles have been so widely accepted as to qualify them as rules of customary international law. The reasons for this are, I imagine, not far to seek. For those States which are contending with “peoples[’]” struggles for self-determination, adoption of the Protocol may prove awkward. For liberation movements who rely on strategies of urban terror for achieving their aims the terms of the Protocol, with its emphasis on the protection of civilians, may prove disastrously restrictive. I therefore do not find it altogether surprising that Mr Donen was unable to refer me to any statement in the published literature that Protocol I has attained the status o[f] customary international [law].
I have not been persuaded by the arguments which I have heard on behalf of the accused that the assessment of Professor Dugard, writing in the Annual Survey of South African Law (1983) at 66, that “it is argued with growing conviction that under contemporary international law members of SWAPO [South-West Africa People’s Organisation] and the ANC [African National Congress] are members of liberation movements entitled to prisoner-of-war status, in terms of a new customary rule spawned by the 1977 Protocols”, is correct. On what I have heard in argument I disagree with his assessment that there is growing support for the view that the Protocols reflect a new rule of customary international law. No writer has been cited who supports this proposition. Here and there someone says that it may one day come about. I am not sure that the provisions relating to the field of application of Protocol I are capable of ever becoming a rule of customary international law, but I need not decide that point today.
For the reasons which I have given I have concluded that the provisions of Protocol I have not been accepted in customary international law. They accordingly form no part of South African law.
This conclusion has made it unnecessary for me to give a decision on the question of whether rules of customary international law which conflict with the statutory or common law of this country will be enforced by its courts.
In the result, the preliminary point is dismissed. The trial must proceed. 
South Africa, Supreme Court, Petane case, Judgment, 3 November 1987, pp. 2–8.
South Africa
In 2010, in the Boeremag case, South Africa’s North Gauteng High Court stated:
In Petane, … Conradie J found that the provisions of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I are not part of customary international law, and therefore are also not part of South African law.
Referring to the fact that in December 1986 only 66 of the 165 States party to the Geneva Conventions had ratified Protocol I, the Court [in Petane] stated:
This approach of the world community to Protocol I is, on principle, far too half-hearted to justify an inference that its principles have been so widely accepted as to qualify them as rules of customary international law. The reasons for this are, I imagine, not far to seek. For those States which are contending with “peoples[’]” struggles for self-determination, adoption of the Protocol may prove awkward. For liberation movements who rely on strategies of urban terror for achieving their aims the terms of the Protocol, with its emphasis on the protection of civilians, may prove disastrously restrictive. I therefore do not find it altogether surprising that Mr Donen was unable to refer me to any statement in the published literature that Protocol I has attained the status of customary international law.
Important changes with respect to certain aspects applicable at the time of Petane have taken place. The ANC [African National Congress] has become South Africa’s ruling party and in 1995 ratified Protocol I. The total number of States that have ratified it, is now … 162.
This last aspect forms the basis on which the First Respondent [the State] and the applicants agree that Protocol I forms part of customary international law as well as of South African law. As requested, this position is accepted for the purposes of the decision, without deciding on the matter.
Despite these changes, it remains debatable whether the provisions of Protocol I have become a part of South African law in this way.
The consensus of both parties to the conflict is required. See Petane … and Article 96 of Protocol I. …
Parliament’s failure to incorporate Protocol I into legislation in accordance with Article 231(4) of the Constitution in fact points to the contrary, and is indicative that the requirements of usus and/or opinio juris have not been met. See Petane. 
South Africa, North Gauteng High Court, Boeremag case, Judgment, 26 August 2010, pp. 21–22.
[footnotes in original omitted]
The Court also held:
If the [1977 Additional Protocol I] applies in South Africa as customary international law, the two requirements that form the basis of customary law must be met. It is arguable that the requirement of usus has been met by the vast number of States that have acceded or ratified it. By ratifying Protocol I the Republic of South Africa has indicated its intention to apply the Protocol, thereby fulfilling the requirement of opinio juris. 
South Africa, North Gauteng High Court, Boeremag case, Judgment, 26 August 2010, p. 66.
Australia
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Australia stated:
It is the understanding of Australia that the first sentence of paragraph 2 of Article 52 is not intended to, nor does it, deal with the question of incidental or collateral damage resulting from an attack directed against a military objective. 
Australia, Declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 21 June 1991, § 5.
Canada
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Canada stated:
It is the understanding of the Government of Canada in relation to Article 52 that … the first sentence of paragraph 2 of the Article is not intended to, nor does it, deal with the question of incidental or collateral damage resulting from an attack directed against a military objective. 
Canada, Reservations and statements of understanding made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 20 November 1990, § 8(b).
Canada
At the CDDH, Canada stated that the first sentence of Article 47(2) of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52(2)) “prohibits only attacks that could be directed against non-military objectives. It does not deal with the result of a legitimate attack on military objectives and incidental damage that such attack may cause.” 
Canada, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 179.
Colombia
In reaction to an article in the press, the Office of the Human Rights Adviser in the Office of the President of Colombia stated:
In a non-international armed conflict, civilians can take up arms and form armed rebel groups, putting themselves outside the laws of the country. They thus become combatants which the State can attack and fight against with perfect legitimacy. As a result, such rebels are criminals and combatants at the same time. 
Colombia, Presidencia de la República de Colombia, Consejería para los Derechos Humanos, Comentarios sobre el artículo publicado en La Prensa por Pablo E. Victoria sobre el Protocolo II, undated, § 5, reprinted in Congressional record concerning the enactment of Law 171 of 16 December 1994.
Colombia
Colombia’s Defensoría del Pueblo (Ombudsman’s Office), with respect to “convivir”, considered that:
These organizations, nurtured by the national government itself, contribute nothing to the immunity of the civilian population, since they involve citizens in the armed conflict, divesting them of their protected status and making them into legitimate targets of attack … In the view of the Ombudsman’s Office, the operation of the Convivir cooperatives means that civilians participate directly in the armed conflict, thereby becoming combatants. 
Colombia, Defensoría del Pueblo, Cuarto informe anual del defensor del pueblo al congreso de Colombia, Santafé de Bogotá, September 1997, pp. 48–49.
Colombia
The Report on the Practice of Colombia states:
In Colombia, communal guard and private security services have been created under the name “convivir”. These services take the form of rural security cooperatives composed of individuals whom the State has authorized to bear arms, and who collaborate with the authorities by providing information to the public security forces concerning the activities of the guerrilla organizations. There is a public debate over the question of whether the members of these services should be considered civilians or combatants.  
Report on the Practice of Colombia, 1998, Chapter 1.2.
Djibouti
In 2011, in the History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, under the heading “Codes and wisdom”, stated: “Kill only those who are armed and only during a conflict.” 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, 2011, p. 214.
France
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, France stated:
The Government of the French Republic considers that the first sentence of paragraph 2 of Article 52 does not deal with the question of collateral damage resulting from attacks directed against military objectives. 
France, Declarations and reservations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 11 April 2001, § 12.
Germany, Federal Republic of
At the CDDH, the Federal Republic of Germany stated that the first sentence of Article 47(2) of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52(2))
is a restatement of the basic rule contained in Article 43 [now Article 48], namely that the Parties to a conflict shall direct their operations only against military objectives. It does not deal with the question of collateral damage caused by attacks directed against military objectives. 
Germany, Federal Republic of, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 188.
Germany
In 2010, in reply to a Minor Interpellation in the Bundestag (Lower House of Parliament) titled “Killing of German nationals by a US drone attack – Intervention of the German judiciary”, Germany’s Federal Government wrote:
15. How does the Federal Government evaluate the legality of acts of targeted killing of persons within the context of international and non-international armed conflicts …?
… [M]embers of the opposing armed forces (combatants) in international armed conflict and, in non-international armed conflict, members of organized armed groups exercising a continuous combat function may be lawfully targeted at all times as enemy fighters under international humanitarian law, including with the use of lethal force. 
Germany, Lower House of Federal Parliament (Bundestag), Reply by the Federal Government to the Minor Interpellation by Members Jerzy Montag, Hans-Christian Ströbele, Omit Nouripour, further Members and the Parliamentary Group BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN, BT-Drs. 17/3916, 23 November 2010, p. 6.
India
According to the Report on the Practice of India, “any person in arms and acting against governmental authority” or “who contributes towards the furtherance of armed conflict” would fall within the definition of enemy and lose protection. 
Report on the Practice of India, 1997, Chapter 1.2.
Israel
In 2009, in a report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 (the “Gaza Operation”, also known as “Operation Cast Lead”), Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that “by definition, the principle of distinction does not forbid the targeting of combatants”. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 96.
[footnote in original omitted]
Israel
In July 2010, in a second update of its July 2009 report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “The principle of distinction is a core element of IDF [Israel Defense Forces] standing orders. All IDF soldiers are instructed that strikes are to be directed only against … combatants”. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gaza Operation Investigations: Second Update, 19 July 2010, § 58.
Israel
In 2010, in a position paper submitted to the Public Commission to Examine the Maritime Incident of 31 May 2010 (Turkel Commission), established by the Israeli Government to examine the Gaza flotilla incident, Israel’s Military Advocate General stated:
[T]he law of armed conflict is based, inter alia, upon the fundamental principles of distinction and proportionality. According to the first principle, a person who belongs to the armed forces of the opposing side constitutes a legitimate target for attack, and therefore he can be attacked intentionally and directly, in order to kill him or wound him, and thus take him out of the “cycle of combat.” 
Israel, position paper by the Military Advocate General on investigating allegations of violations of IHL, submitted to the Public Commission to Examine the Maritime Incident of 31 May 2010 (Turkel Commission), 19 December 2010, Part B.
Italy
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Italy declared:
The first sentence of paragraph 2 of [Article 52] prohibits only such attacks as may be directed against non-military objectives. Such a sentence does not deal with the question of collateral damage caused by attacks directed against military objectives. 
Italy, Declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 27 February 1986, § 8.
Jordan
The Report on the Practice of Jordan notes that a booklet on the law of armed conflict prepared by the ICRC is used by military commanders. The booklet gives a list of principles to apply in military action, among which is the obligation of the armed forces to fight only combatants. 
Report on the Practice of Jordan, 1997, Answers to additional questions on Chapter 1.1.
Malaysia
The Report on the Practice of Malaysia states that attacks should only be “directed against combatant targets which shall be distinguished and confirmed”. 
Report on the Practice of Malaysia, 1997, Answers to additional questions on Chapter 1.4.
Malaysia
In 2010, during the consideration of the Status of the 1977 Additional Protocols by the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, a statement of the delegation of Malaysia was summarized by the Committee in its records as follows:
8. [The delegate of Malaysia] said that …
10. … [t]he laws of naval warfare incorporated the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, including necessity and proportionality …
11. [In the case of the attacks by the Israel Defense Forces on the Mavi Marmara and five accompanying vessels in May 2010] … [n]aval forces were … under an obligation to … limit attacks to military objectives. 
Malaysia, Statement by the delegation of Malaysia before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflict, 18 October 2010, as published in the summary record of the 13th meeting, 8 December 2010, UN Doc. A/C.6/65/SR.13, §§ 8, 10 and 11.
Mexico
At the CDDH, Mexico stated that it believed Article 47 of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52) to be so essential that it “cannot be the subject of any reservations whatsoever since these would be inconsistent with the aim and purpose of Protocol I and undermine its basis”. 
Mexico, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 193.
Netherlands
At the CDDH, the Netherlands stated that the first sentence of Article 47(2) of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52(2)) “prohibits only such attacks as may be directed against non-military objectives and consequently does not deal with the question of collateral damage caused by attacks directed against military objectives”. 
Netherlands, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 195.
New Zealand
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, New Zealand stated:
The first sentence of paragraph 2 of [Article 52] is not intended to, nor does it, deal with the question of incidental or collateral damage resulting from an attack directed against a military objective. 
New Zealand, Declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 8 February 1988, § 4.
Serbia and Montenegro
In its oral pleadings before the ICJ in the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide case (Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro) in 2006, Serbia and Montenegro noted:
As for the events in Srebrenica in July 1995, it was never denied before the Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia that the men killed were of military age. However, no one knows and no one has ever sought to determine the number of soldiers in the column which left Srebrenica. No one knows and no one has ever sought to determine how many men were killed in combat. These questions have to be answered before the act can be given legal characterization. The killing of men in combat in wartime is not a criminal act; unfortunately, it is the legitimate aim of the military operation. 
Serbia and Montenegro, Oral pleadings before the ICJ, Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide case (Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro), 4 May 2006, Verbatim Record CR 2006/42, p. 29, § 58.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, the United Kingdom stated:
It is the understanding of the United Kingdom that … the first sentence of paragraph 2 [of Article 52] prohibits only such attacks as may be directed against non-military objectives; it does not deal with the question of collateral damage resulting from attacks directed against military objectives. 
United Kingdom, Reservations and declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 28 January 1998, § j.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
At the CDDH, the United Kingdom stated that it did not interpret the obligation in the first sentence of Article 47(2) of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52(2))
as dealing with the question of incidental damage caused by attacks directed against military objectives. In its view, the purpose of the first sentence of the paragraph was to prohibit only such attacks as might be directed against non-military objectives. 
United Kingdom, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 169, § 153.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2003, in reply to an oral question in the House of Lords asking “what in the circumstances of the Iraq of today constitutes the enemy”, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence stated: “My Lords, the potential enemy are all those, wherever and whoever they are, who seek to engage British forces in a hostile manner.” 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Statement by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, Hansard, 13 October 2003, Vol. 653, Debates, col. 600.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Government Strategy on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict (2010) states: “IHL requires parties to a conflict to respect and protect civilians. In the conduct of military operations they must distinguish at all times between combatants and civilians, and only direct attacks against suspected combatants”. 
United Kingdom, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Government Strategy on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, March 2010, p. 4.
United States of America
At the CDDH, the United States stated that the first sentence of Article 47(2) of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52(2)) “prohibits only such attacks as may be directed against non-military objectives. It does not deal with the question of collateral damage caused by attacks directed against military objectives.” 
United States, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 204.
United States of America
In March 2010, in a speech given at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law, the Legal Adviser of the US State Department stated:
Recently, a number of legal objections have been raised against U.S. targeting practices. …
First, some have suggested that the very act of targeting a particular leader of an enemy force in an armed conflict must violate the laws of war. But individuals who are part of such an armed group are belligerents and, therefore, lawful targets under international law. During World War II, for example, American aviators tracked and shot down the airplane carrying the architect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, who was also the leader of enemy forces in the Battle of Midway. This was a lawful operation then, and would be if conducted today. Indeed, targeting particular individuals serves to narrow the focus when force is employed and to avoid broader harm to civilians and civilian objects. 
United States, ‘The Obama Administration and International Law’, Speech by the Legal Adviser of the US Department of State, given at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law, Washington DC, 25 March 2010.
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International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In its judgment in the Kordić and Čerkez case in 2004, the ICTY Appeals Chamber stated:
Particular attention has to be paid to the situation of members of a Territorial Defence (TO) and as to whether they are to be considered as combatants at all times during the conflict or only when they directly take part in hostilities, that is, when they participate in acts of war which by nature or purpose are likely to cause actual harm to the personnel and equipment of the enemy’s armed forces … [T]he Appeals Chamber considers that members of the armed forces resting in their homes in the area of the conflict, as well as members of the TO residing in their homes, remain combatants whether or not they are in combat, or for the time being armed. 
ICTY, Kordić and Čerkez case, Judgment on Appeal, 17 December 2004, § 51.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In its judgment in the Galić case in 2003, the ICTY Trial Chamber stated: “Combatants … are considered to be legitimate military targets.” 
ICTY, Galić case, Judgment, 5 December 2003, § 48.
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that: “Combatants may be attacked.” 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 210.
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A)
The Penal and Disciplinary Laws (1984) of the SPLM/A state that the following are “declared enemies of the people and therefore target of the SPLA/SPLM”:
a) The incumbent administration of Jaafer Mohammed Nimeiri, its appendages and supporting institutions.
b) Any subsequent reactionary administration that may emerge while the revolutionary war is still being waged.
c) Any individual or group of individuals directly or indirectly cooperating with the autocratic regime in Khartoum in order to sustain or consolidate its rule and to undermine the objectives and efforts of the People’s Revolution.
d) Any individual or group of individuals who wage counter-revolutionary war against the SPLA/SPLM or who circulate any subversive literature, verbally or in written form against the SPLA/SPLM with the intent to discredit it or turn public opinion against it.
e) Persons acting as agents or spies for the Sudan Government.
f) Armed bandits that operate to rob ordinary citizens, rape their women or commit any other crime against them, their movable or immovable properties or any other property of the People’s revolution.
g) Individuals or groups of people who propagate or advocate ideas, ideologies or philosophies or organize societies and organizations inside the country or abroad, that tend to uphold or perpetuate the oppression of the people or their exploitation by the Khartoum regime or by any other system of similar nature. 
SPLM/A, Penal and Disciplinary Laws, 4 July 1984, Section 29, § 1c, Report on SPLM/A Practice, 1998, Chapter 1.2.