Practice Relating to Rule 145. Reprisals
Section A. Definition and purpose of reprisals
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) defines a reprisal as a “direct law enforcement procedure” and as a “breach of the L.O.W. [laws of war] for the purpose of terminating enemy violations”. It also provides that a condition for a reprisal is that it is directed “against [a] serious, manifest and deliberate breach of [the] L.O.W.”.
During discussions on reprisals in Committee I of the CDDH, Hungary, opposing the French proposal on a prohibition of reprisals, stated:
If the parties to the conflict were evenly balanced, reprisals would lead to counter-reprisals and thus to escalation, rather than to respect for law. When the forces were not evenly balanced, reprisals would merely increase the advantage of the stronger power.