Practice Relating to Rule 97. Human Shields
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) states: “It is prohibited to keep civilians in an area for the purpose of rendering it immune from attack.”
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Article 19 of the Geneva Convention I, Article 23 of the Geneva Convention III and Article 28 of the Geneva Convention IV, and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Articles 12(4) and 51(7), are punishable offences.
In 2009, Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, in a written response to a question on the situation in Sri Lanka, stated:
I believe that an independent review should consider the allegations of serious breaches of international humanitarian law in the course of the conflict, including … the use of civilians as human shields by the LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam].