Practice Relating to Rule 146. Reprisals against Protected Persons
Section E. Civilians in general
In 1994, in its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons (WHO) case, Solomon Islands, referring to Articles 20, 51(6), 52(1), 53, 54(4), 55(2) and 56(4) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, stated:
During hostilities, it is forbidden to resort to reprisals against … civilian populations, property and various categories of civilian property which are subject to special protection … The prohibition applies in respect of all weapons, including nuclear weapons. This rule had previously been established in a general manner by Art. 60(5) of the 1969 Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties … A similar provision is set forth in paragraph 7 of the UN General Assembly resolution 2675 (XXV) … The prohibition of reprisals in these situations appears also in Principle 1, paragraph 6 of UN General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV) on friendly relations. Even if, in that case, it relates to jus ad
rather than jus in bello
, it is nonetheless applicable to the second. It follows from the above that reprisals can, in no circumstances, be lawful against this category of targets.