Practice Relating to Rule 4. Definition of Armed Forces
Section A. General definition
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states:
The armed forces of a party to a conflict consist of all its organized armed forces, groups and units. They also include militias and voluntary corps integrated in the armed forces. The armed forces shall be:
–under a command responsible to that party for the conduct of its subordinates, and
–subject to an internal disciplinary system which, inter alia, shall enforce compliance with the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict.
In an explanatory memorandum submitted to the German Parliament in 1990 in the context of the ratification procedure of the Additional Protocols, the German Government stated that the 1977 Additional Protocol I contained the first treaty definition of the term “armed forces” and acknowledged that armed forces must be organized, under responsible leadership and have an internal disciplinary system.