Practice Relating to Rule 51. Public and Private Property in Occupied Territory
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides that, in occupied territory, “property belonging to the State or public authorities, to social or cooperative organizations, shall not be destroyed, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations”.
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides: The occupying State shall only be considered as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the enemy State, and situated in the occupied territory.”
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) states, with respect to occupied territory: “Foodstuffs, articles or medical supplies may in principle not be requisitioned. In exceptional circumstances, the occupying Power may requisition such objects against indemnity, provided that they are used to satisfy directly the needs of the occupying forces and administration.”
The manual further states: “Private property may not be confiscated. The destruction of movable or immovable property belonging individually or collectively to private persons is prohibited, except if imperative military reasons exist.”