Practice Relating to Rule 81. Restrictions on the Use of Landmines
France’s LOAC Teaching Note (2000) states:
The use of mines except from anti-personnel mines is allowed on the condition that the exact location of mine fields is recorded. All feasible precautions must be taken to protect civilians from the effects of these mines.
According to France’s LOAC Manual (2001), employing landmines (except anti-personnel mines) is allowed on condition that all feasible precautions are taken to protect civilians from the effects of these mines. At the end of hostilities, the mine fields have to be indicated and as far as possible neutralized.
Upon ratification of the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, France stated:
With reference to the scope of application defined in article 1 of the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons, … it will apply the provisions of the Convention and its three Protocols [I, II and III] to all armed conflicts referred to in articles 2 and 3 common to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 [international and non-international armed conflicts].
In 1993, during a debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, France stated that while it
strongly supported international action on the indiscriminate laying of non-self-destructing mines … Protocol II to the inhuman weapons convention permitted self-destructing or self-neutralizing anti-personnel mines as legitimate forms of self-defence if directed at military targets.
Upon acceptance of the 1996 Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, France stated:
The provisions of the amended Protocol which by their contents or nature may be applied also in peacetime, shall be observed at all times …
It is the understanding of France that the word “primarily” is included in article 2, paragraph 3 of the amended Protocol to clarify that mines designed to be detonated by the presence, proximity or contact of a vehicle as opposed to a person, that are equipped with anti-handling devices are not considered anti-personnel mines as a result of being so equipped.