Practice Relating to Rule 145. Reprisals
Section A. Definition and purpose of reprisals
During discussions on reprisals in Committee I of the CDDH, the representative of Poland noted:
To admit reprisals, even on a limited or exceptional scale, would be a backward step. All reprisals against persons and objects were prohibited by the Hague and Geneva Conventions, and … prohibition should be confirmed and extended by the Protocol. Moreover, reprisals would be contrary to the spirit of both the United Nations Charter and the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States (General Assembly Resolution 2625 (XXV)) … His delegation did not share the view of those who held that reprisals might help to ensure respect for international law. They could only lead to counter-reprisals, even if the strictest conditions were laid down … The Second World War had shown that it was completely possible to refrain from taking reprisals.