Practice Relating to Rule 148. Reprisals in Non-International Armed Conflicts
At the CDDH, Canada proposed an amendment to the draft Additional Protocol II which read, inter alia
: “Measures of reprisal against [persons whose liberty has been restricted by capture or otherwise for reasons relative to the armed conflict] are prohibited.”
At the CDDH, the Canadian delegation submitted a proposal for a new Article 9(4) of the Additional Protocol II which read: “Acts of retaliation comparable to reprisals against [all persons who do not take a direct part or who have ceased to take a part in hostilities, whether or not their liberty has been restricted] are prohibited.”
The Canadian delegation further proposed a new Article 17 which read: “Acts of retaliation comparable to reprisals against the wounded and sick and the shipwrecked as well as against medical personnel, medical units and means of medical transports are prohibited.”
A proposal for a new Article 22(3) read: “Attacks against the civilian population or civilians by way of acts of retaliation comparable to reprisals are prohibited.”
At the CDDH, Canada made another draft proposal for an article to be inserted in the Additional Protocol II, which provided:
If a Party to the conflict persistently violates the provisions of the Protocol and refuses to comply with those provisions after being called upon to do so, then, except concerning the persons protected by articles … [footnote: these would be the articles that concern, in particular, the protection of persons within the power of one of the Parties to the conflict], the adverse Party may nevertheless resort to measures which are in breach of the Protocol, provided it had warned the offending party that such action will be resorted to if the offensive acts are not terminated within a specific time [footnote: As is clear from the language of the proposal, this is intended to be of general application affecting the entire Protocol].
At the CDDH, during discussions on draft Article 10 bis of the Additional Protocol II, the representative of Canada stated:
As his delegation regarded the concept of reprisals as appertaining to international law, it considered that there was no place for that concept in Protocol II. There was a risk that the introduction of such a concept in Protocol II might increase the danger of reprisals followed by counter-reprisals and result in an escalation of hostilities. Its conclusion might also inhibit some States from becoming Parties to the Protocol.
In 1986, in an annex to a memorandum on Canada’s attitude to possible reservations with regard to the 1977 Additional Protocol I, the Canadian Ministry of Defence stated:
It should be noted that the … limitations on the use of reprisals apply only in the event of an international armed conflict. Common Article 3 of the  Geneva Conventions, which is the only treaty law concerning internal armed conflict other than [the 1977 Additional Protocol II], does not make any explicit reference to reprisals …
[The 1977 Additional Protocol II], concerned with internal armed conflicts, does not contain the word “reprisal” or any similar expression.