Practice Relating to Rule 87. Humane Treatment
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states: “The general rule is that persons are to be treated humanely.” It also states: “An obligation is imposed on all parties to deal humanely with protected persons.”
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states: “All persons are to be treated humanely in all circumstances.”
The manual further states: “An obligation is imposed on all parties to deal humanely with protected persons.”
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Australia’s Criminal Code Act (1995), as amended to 2007, states in Chapter 8, Subdivision D—War crimes that are grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and of Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions:
268.26 War crime – inhumane treatment
(1) A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) the perpetrator inflicts severe physical or mental pain or suffering upon one or more persons; and
(b) the person or persons are protected under one or more of the Geneva Conventions or under Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions; and
(c) the perpetrator knows of, or is reckless as to, the factual circumstances that establish that the person or persons are so protected; and
(d) the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an international armed conflict.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 25 years.
(2) Strict liability applies to paragraph (1)(b).