Practice Relating to Rule 36. Demilitarized Zones
Section B. Attacks on demilitarized zones
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states:
Any material breach of [the conditions for a zone to be established as a demilitarized zone] releases the other Party from its obligations under the agreement and the zone loses its special status. It shall, however, continue to enjoy the normal protection provided by the customary and treaty law of armed conflict.
The manual further states that “making … demilitarized zones the object of attack” constitutes a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I.
New Zealand’s Geneva Conventions Act (1958), as amended in 1987, provides:
Any person who in New Zealand or elsewhere commits, or aids or abets or procures the commission by another person of, a grave breach … of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] is guilty of an indictable offence.