Practice Relating to Rule 38. Attacks against Cultural Property
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that grave breaches of the 1977 Additional Protocol I are punishable offences.
The Act adds that any “minor breach” of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 53, as well as any “contravention” of the 1977 Additional Protocol II, including violations of Article 16, are also punishable offences.
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) provides a list of “Soldiers Rules”, one of which is: “Respect all cultural objects and places of worship.”
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Ireland stated:
It is the understanding of Ireland in relation to the protection of cultural objects in Article 53 that if the objects protected by this Article are unlawfully used for military purposes they will thereby lose protection from attacks directed against such unlawful military use.