This part of the Database catalogues practice underlying existing rules of customary international humanitarian law identified in 1. Rules.

There are three views:

  • View by Rule: Practice is divided in 161 documents, grouped in 6 clusters, presenting the practice relating to a specific rule. Each document has a corresponding rule document in Part 1. Rules.
  • View by Chapter: Practice is divided in 44 chapters, grouped in 6 clusters. Each chapter has a corresponding chapter in Part 1. Rules.
  • View by Country: National practice is presented according to the country names that were in use at the time of the practice in question.

Translations into English of source material from non-English speaking countries are, unless otherwise indicated, unofficial translations. The authoritative version of any material translated for the Database is the original version of the document, available on the ICRC library website or upon request.

We have organized the practice recorded under each rule into 12 categories of source material. The quick navigation button gives direct access to any of the 12 categories of material on a given rule.

In both Chapter and Rule views, there is a link to the corresponding rule(s) in the left-hand column.

Although comprehensive, the Database cannot purport to be exhaustive nor to be devoid of mistakes. If you know of any pertinent practice that is missing or any mistakes in the Database, please contact us using the Feedback button at the top right-hand corner of each page.

We are regularly updating this part of the Database, with the most recently incorporated practice marked in green.

Original Customary IHL Study and completed updates:

  • The original printed version of the Study, published in 2005, includes international and national practice up to the end of 2002, all of which has been incorporated in this online Database.
  • Since the publication of this online Database, international and national practice have been updated as follows:
    • International practice from the United Nations and from international and mixed judicial and quasi-judicial bodies was updated until the end of 2007 in August 2010.
    • National practice of 80 countries was updated until the end of 2007 in 2011 and 2012 [1].
    • National practice was updated up till the end of 2010 for a first set of 3 countries [2] in August 2013, for a second set of 14 countries [3] in March 2014, for a third set of 7 countries [4] in April 2014, for a fourth set of 11 countries [7] in June 2014 and for a fifth set of 9 countries [8]in July 2014. In November 2014, national practice was updated for a set of 5 countries [10]. In June 2016, national practice was updated for a further set of 5 countries [11]. In August 2016, national practice was updated for a further set of 5 countries [12]. In December 2016, national practice was updated for a further set of 2 countries[14]. In December 2017, national practice was updated for two counties [15].
    • International practice from international and mixed judicial and quasi-judicial bodies was updated until the end of 2010 for 2 such bodies in August 2013 [5], for 3 such bodies in April 2014 [6] and for 2 tribunals in July 2014 [9]. In August 2016, international practice from 2 international courts was updated until the end of 2013[13].

Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Spain, South Africa, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Viet Nam and Yemen.
Liberia, Norway, Sierra Leone.
Azerbaijan, Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji, France, Germany, Kenya, Mozambique, Morocco, Pakistan, Rwanda, Ukraine, Uganda, United Kingdom, Yemen.
Armenia, Brazil, Cuba, El Salvador, Georgia, Nepal and New Zealand.
Ethiopia-Eritrea Claims Commission and Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court.
Afghanistan, Australia, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Israel, Mexico, Russian Federation, Spain, Venezuela and Viet Nam.
Bangladesh, Guinea, Ireland, Malaysia, Nigeria, Peru, Sri Lanka, United States of America, Zimbabwe.
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
Denmark (2008-2010), Djibouti (until 2012), Poland (2008-2010), Somalia (2008-2011), Tajikistan (2008-2010).
Chad (2011), Côte d’Ivoire (2011), Cuba (2011), Russian Federation (2011-2012), Viet Nam (2011).
Afghanistan (2011-2012), Chad (2012-2014), Tajikistan (2011-2013), Uzbekistan (2008-2013), Zimbabwe (2011-2014).
International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court.
Canada (2008-2013), India (2008-2013).
Democratic Republic of the Congo (2008–2010), Switzerland (2008–2013).