Practice Relating to Rule 146. Reprisals against Protected Persons
Section C. Medical and religious personnel in the power of the adversary
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994), referring to Article 46 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I, Article 47 of the 1949 Geneva Convention II and Article 20 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, states: “Protected persons, such as medical personnel … should not be the subject of reprisals.”
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides: “Reprisals against … medical personnel … are forbidden.” It also states: “Protected persons, such as medical personnel … should not be the subject of reprisals.”
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states: “Reprisals are never lawful if directed against any of the following [including] … medical personnel.”
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
At the CDDH, Australia proposed an amendment to Article 20 of the draft Additional Protocol I which read: “Measures in the nature of reprisals against the persons and objects protected by this Part are prohibited.”
However, the Australian delegation noted: “The law concerning reprisals was far from settled and it might be found not to be applicable to peoples fighting wars of self-determination to which draft [Additional Protocol I] had now been extended.”