Practice Relating to Rule 146. Reprisals against Protected Persons

Additional Protocol I
Article 51(6) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides: “Attacks against the civilian population or civilians by way of reprisals are prohibited.” 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 51(6). Article 51 was adopted by 77 votes in favour, one against and 16 abstentions. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 163.
Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
Article 3(2) of the 1980 Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons provides: “It is prohibited in all circumstances to direct [mines, booby-traps and other devices], either in offence, defence or by way of reprisals, against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians.” 
Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices, to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, Geneva, 10 October 1980, Article 3(2).
Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
Article 3(7) of the 1996 Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons provides: “It is prohibited in all circumstances to direct [mines, booby-traps and other devices], either in offence, defence or by way of reprisals, against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians or civilian objects.” 
Protocol on Prohibitions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices, as amended, to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, Geneva, 3 May 1996, Article 3(7).
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Paragraph 6 of the 1991 Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Articles 48–58 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of International Humanitarian Law between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Geneva, 27 November 1991, § 6.
Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Paragraph 2.5 of the 1992 Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Articles 48–58 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Agreement between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representatives of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 22 May 1992, § 2.5.
UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin
Section 5.6 of the 1999 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin provides: “The United Nations force shall not engage in reprisals against civilians.” 
Observance by United Nations Forces of International Humanitarian Law, Secretary-General’s Bulletin, UN Secretariat, UN Doc. ST/SGB/1999/13, 6 August 1999, Section 5.6.
UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin
Section 7.2 of the 1999 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin which deals in Section 7.1 with the protection of, inter alia, “persons not, or no longer, taking part in military operations, including civilians”, states: “The following acts against any of the persons mentioned in section 7.1 are prohibited at any time and in any place: … reprisals”. 
Observance by United Nations Forces of International Humanitarian Law, Secretary-General’s Bulletin, UN Secretariat, UN Doc. ST/SGB/1999/13, 6 August 1999, Section 7.2.
ILC Draft Articles on State Responsibility
Article 50(1) of the 2001 ILC Draft Articles on State Responsibility, dealing with “Obligations not affected by countermeasures”, states: “Countermeasures shall not affect: … (c) obligations of a humanitarian character prohibiting reprisals”. 
Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, adopted by the International Law Commission, reprinted in Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its fifty-third session, 23 April–1 June and 2 July–10 August 2001, UN Doc. A/56/10, 2001, Article 50(1).
Australia
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) provides: “Specific prohibitions dictate that civilians are not to be made the express object of an attack or reprisal.” 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 604.
In another provision, the manual refers to Articles 51–56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and states: “Protected persons, such as … civilians … should not be the subject of reprisals.” 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 1212.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides: “Reprisal actions against civilians are … prohibited.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 531.
In another provision, the manual states: “Reprisals against civilians … are prohibited.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 920.
The manual further provides: “Protected persons, such as … civilians … should not be the subject of reprisals.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 1311.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states: “Reprisal actions against civilians are … prohibited”. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 5.35; see also § 9.21.
The manual further states: “G. P. I [1977 Additional Protocol I] extends the categories of persons and objects against whom reprisals are prohibited to [include] … civilians and the civilian population”. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 13.20.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) states: “The following prohibitions must be respected: … to launch reprisals against protected persons and property.” It adds that reprisals “may only be used if: … they are carried out only against combatants and military objectives”. 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule III, pp. 12 and 13.
Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso’s Disciplinary Regulations (1994), in a provision entitled “Laws and customs of war” dealing with the duties of and prohibitions for combatants, states: “It is prohibited to soldiers in combat: … to take hostages, to engage in reprisals or collective punishments”. 
Burkina Faso, Règlement de Discipline Générale dans les Forces Armées, Décret No. 94-159/IPRES/DEF, Ministère de la Défense, 1994, Article 35(2).
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “Reprisals against the civilian population are prohibited.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 15.
The Regulations also states that “Civilians must be … protected against acts of vengeance”. 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 55.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975) states: “It is prohibited to soldiers in combat: … to engage in reprisals or collective punishments”. 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline dans les Forces Armées, Décret No. 75/700, 6 November 1975, Article 32.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992), in a part listing the rules of conduct in combat and referring to “civilian persons”, provides: “Protect them against ill treatment [and] acts of vengeance. The taking of hostages is prohibited.” 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 151.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006), under the heading “Civilian Victims of Armed Conflict”, lists “the taking of reprisals against populations” as an example of “conduct that is prohibited and remains contrary to the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law during all military operations, whether in offence or in defence”. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 60, § 252; see also p. 86, § 342 and p. 230, § 542.
The manual, under the heading “Rules for Conduct in Combat” and referring to “civilians”, states: “[P]rotect them against … acts of vengeance”. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 31; see also pp. 51, 77 and 107.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (2007) states: “It is prohibited to soldiers in combat … to take hostages, to engage in reprisals or collective punishments”. 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline générale dans les Forces de Défense, Décret N° 2007/199, Président de la République, 7 July 2007, Article 32.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides: “Reprisals against civilians … are prohibited.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-5, § 39.
In a part dealing with enforcement measures, the manual states: “Reprisals against the following categories of persons and objects are prohibited: … e. civilians”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 15-2, § 15.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on targeting: “Reprisals against civilians and civilian objects are prohibited.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 430.
In its chapter entitled “Preventative and enforcement measures and the role of protecting powers”, the manual states:
4. Reprisals against the following categories of persons and objects are prohibited.
e. civilians;
5. Reprisals are permitted against combatants and against objects constituting military objectives. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1507.4.e and 5.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 3 (Instruction for non-commissioned officers studying for the level 1 and 2 certificates and for future officers of the criminal police): “The following prohibitions must be respected: … launching reprisals against protected persons”. 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 3: Formation pour l’obtention du Brevet d’Armes No. 1, du Brevet d’Armes No. 2 et le stage d’Officier de Police Judiciaire (OPJ), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter III, Section I.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states that “reprisals are prohibited against … civilian persons”. 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 93.
Congo
The Congo’s Disciplinary Regulations (1986), in a provision entitled “International conventions, laws and customs of war”, states: “According to the conventions adhered to by the Congo … it is prohibited [to soldiers in combat]: … to take hostages, to engage in reprisals or collective punishments”. 
Congo, Décret No. 86/057 du 14 janvier 1986 portant Règlement du Service dans l’Armée Populaire Nationale, 1986, Article 32(2).
Croatia
Croatia’s LOAC Compendium (1991) provides for the prohibition of reprisals against “civilian persons and objects”. It further provides for the prohibition of taking reprisals against “specifically protected persons and objects”. 
Croatia, Compendium “Law of Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1991, p. 19.
Croatia
Croatia’s Soldiers’ Manual (1992), in a part dealing with civilians, provides: “Measures of reprisal and the taking of hostages are prohibited.” 
Croatia, Rules of Conduct for Soldiers, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, p. 5, § 3.
Djibouti
Djibouti’s Manual on International Humanitarian Law (2004) states with regard to civilians that “acts of vengeance … are prohibited”. 
Djibouti, Manuel sur le droit international humanitaire et les droits de l’homme applicables au travail du policier, Ministère de l’Intérieur, Direction Générale de la Police, 2004, p. 7.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) provides: “Reprisals may be taken against enemy armed forces, [and] enemy civilians other than those in occupied territory.” 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 6.2.3.
France
France’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975), as amended, in a provision entitled “Respect for the rules of international law applicable in armed conflicts” dealing with the duties of and prohibitions for combatants, states: “By virtue of the international conventions ratified or approved: … it is prohibited [to soldiers in combat]: … to take hostages, to engage in reprisals or collective punishments”. 
France, Règlement de Discipline Générale dans les Armées, Decree No. 75-675 of 28 July 1975, replacing Decree No. 66-749, completed by Decree of 11 October 1978, implemented by Instruction No. 52000/DEF/C/5 of 10 December 1979, and modified by Decree of 12 July 1982, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-Major de l’Armée de Terre, Bureau Emploi, Article 9 bis (2).
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001), in the chapter dealing with means and methods of warfare, states: “The law of armed conflict prohibits … the methods of warfare which consist in the recourse: … to reprisals against non-military objectives”. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 85.
The manual further refers to Articles 51–56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and states: “Reprisals are prohibited against civilians.” 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 108.
Germany
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (1991) states: “Reprisals against the civilian population are prohibited.” 
Germany, Taschenkarte, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Grundsätze, Bearbeitet nach ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, Zentrum Innere Führung, June 1991, p. 4.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992), in a chapter dealing with “Certain Conventional Weapons” and referring to Article 3(2) of the 1980 Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, provides: “It is prohibited to direct the above-mentioned munitions – neither by way of reprisals – against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 410.
In the chapter dealing with reprisals, the manual, referring to Article 33 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV and Article 51 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, provides: “It is expressly prohibited by agreement to make reprisals against: … civilians”. 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 479.
Referring to Article 33 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV and Articles 20 and 51 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, the manual further states: “Reprisals against the civilian population … are prohibited”. 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 507.
In a chapter entitled “Belligerent occupation”, the manual, referring to Article 33 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV and Articles 20 and 51 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, further states: “Reprisals against civilians … are prohibited.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 535.
Germany
Germany’s IHL Manual (1996) provides: “Reprisals are expressly prohibited against … civilians”. 
Germany, ZDv 15/1, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Grundsätze, DSK VV230120023, Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, June 1996, § 320.
Germany
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (2006) states: “Reprisals against the civilian population are prohibited, likewise taking of hostages, collective penalties, pillage as well as measures of intimidation or terrorization.” 
Germany, Druckschrift Einsatz Nr. 03, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Grundsätze, Erarbeitet nach ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, DSK SF009320187, Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, R II 3, August 2006, p. 4.
Greece
The Hellenic Navy’s International Law Manual (1995) provides: “In the context of armed conflict, reprisals are prohibited … [a]gainst civilians.” 
Greece, International Law Manual, Hellenic Navy General Staff, Directorate A2, Division IV, 1995, Chapter 4, § 7(a).
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) provides for the prohibition of reprisals against “civilian persons and objects”. It further provides for the prohibition of taking reprisals against “specifically protected persons and objects”. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 35.
India
India’s Manual of Military Law (1983) prohibits reprisals. This provision is in a section relative to the action by a commander acting in aid of civil authorities for the handling of crowds and mobs. It adds that action is preventive and not punitive and that no soldier can punish a civilian, except under martial law. 
India, Manual of Military Law, Three Volumes, Ministry of Defence, Government of India, 1983, Vol. 1, Chapter VII, § 8.
Indonesia
Indonesia’s Air Force Manual (1990) provides that a “reprisal is absolutely prohibited against protected persons and objects”. 
Indonesia, The Basics of International Humanitarian Law in Air Warfare, Indonesian Air Force, 1990, § 15(c).
According to the Report on the Practice of Indonesia:
The meaning of protected persons is not exclusively referring to the Geneva Conventions … but also referring to the customary sources, such as the moral values which are generally recognized and exist among the international community, and other Conventions … Reprisals against civilian[s] other than protected civilians under Geneva Convention IV [are] prohibited as far as they are not engage[d in] the conflict and [do] not violate the law[s] and customs of war. The civilian[s] other than protected civilians under Geneva Convention IV will [be] protected … as necessary. 
Report on the Practice of Indonesia, 1997, Chapter 2.9.
Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) provides that reprisals cannot be directed against the civilian population, except in case of absolute necessity. However, providing for the prohibition of reprisals against, inter alia, protected civilian persons and protected persons, the manual also states: “The observance of international rules which expressly provide for the obligation to abide by them in any circumstances cannot be suspended by way of reprisals.” 
Italy, Manuale di diritto umanitario, Introduzione e Volume I, Usi e convenzioni di Guerra, SMD-G-014, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, Vol. I, §§ 23 and 25.
Italy
Italy’s Combatant’s Manual (1998) instructs: “[D]o not engage in reprisals”. 
Italy, Manuale del Combattente, SME 1000/A/2, Stato Maggiore Esercito/Reparto Impiego delle Forze, Ufficio Dottrina, Addestramento e Regolamenti, 1998, § 250.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) states: “It is forbidden: … (e) to carry out reprisals against protected persons or property.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 4, p. 2.
In a chapter dealing with reprisals, the manual further provides that reprisals “are carried out only against combatants and military objectives … The Geneva Conventions and [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] prohibit reprisals against … civilians.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 4, p. 4.
Lebanon
Lebanon’s Teaching Manual (1997) prohibits reprisals against civilians. 
Lebanon, Manuel de l’Instruction Nationale dans l’Armée Libanaise, 1997, p. 78.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994), in the part of its instructions dealing with civilian persons, instructs soldiers to “protect them against ill treatment”. It states: “Acts of vengeance and the taking of hostages are prohibited.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 4-T, § 23(3).
The manual further instructs soldiers not to take hostages and to refrain from all acts of revenge. 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 5-T, §§ 8 and 9.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands, in a chapter dealing with reprisals and referring to Article 51 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, states: “Attacking the civilian population by measures of reprisal is forbidden.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. IV-6; see also p. V-5.
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands states: “Protected persons under the laws of war are: … personnel of civil defence organizations such as the fire brigade … civilians … Reprisals against them must not be taken.” It further states: “reprisals against the civilian population are prohibited”. 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, pp. 7-38 and 7-43.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
In the history of warfare, reprisals carried out have often exceeded the set limits. This has led to the current prohibition, in the humanitarian law of war and specifically in AP I [1977 Additional Protocol I], of reprisals against several groups of people and objects.
The following are now forbidden as reprisals:
- attacks on the civilian population or civilians. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0424.
In its chapter on behaviour in battle, the manual states: “Attacks on the civilian population or civilians by way of reprisals are prohibited.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0518.
In its chapter on the protection of the civilian population, the manual states that “reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited”. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0808.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states that “[i]t is prohibited in all circumstances to direct any form of reprisal against the civilian population or to waive fundamental guarantees as a form of reprisal”. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1048.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992), referring to Article 52(6) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, states: “Reprisals against the following categories of persons and objects are prohibited … e) civilians”. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1606(2).
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states that reprisals against “civilians” are prohibited. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 25.c.(2).(a); see also § 92.d.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states that reprisals against “civilians” are prohibited. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 29(c)(2)(a), p. 234.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) provides: “Reprisals against civilians/war victims are prohibited”. 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, p. 36.
The manual further states: “Since civilians do not take part in hostilities, it is always our Duty to… [p]rotect them against … vengeance (reprisals).” 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, p. 36.
(emphasis in original)
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) states: “Reprisals against the persons and property of … protected civilians are prohibited.” 
South Africa, Presentation on the South African Approach to International Humanitarian Law, Appendix A, Chapter 4: International Humanitarian Law (The Law of Armed Conflict), National Defence Force, 1996, § 34(e).
South Africa
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) states: “Reprisals against the persons or property of … protected civilians are prohibited.” 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 56(e).
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Teaching Manual (2008) states:
2.4 Specifically Protected Persons and Objects:
a. Civilians
[1977] Additional Protocol I article 51 also provides for the following specific prohibitions:
- Reprisal attacks against an adverse Party’s civilian population under that Party’s control.
Protection of protected persons entails the following:
- Reprisal attacks against an adverse Party’s civilian population under that Party’s control are prohibited. 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 2, pp. 112, 118–119 and 124–125.
The manual also states:
Reprisals
- The LOAC [law of armed conflict] prohibits reprisals against the following:
- Civilians, civilian objects and the civilian population. 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 3, p. 194.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) lists among the persons against whom the taking of reprisals is prohibited “civilian persons and objects”. It refers, however, to Article 46 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I (relative to the prohibition of reprisals against the wounded, the sick and medical personnel protected under the Convention). 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 3.3.c.(5)(b).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) lists “civilians” among the persons against whom the taking of reprisals is prohibited. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 3.3.c.(5); see also § 11.8.c.
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991), referring to Article 51(6) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and stating that this provision “contains another rule prohibiting reprisal attacks on civilian populations and individual civilians”, states:
It may appear remarkable that not until the advent of the Additional Protocol was it possible to obtain general protection for civilians against reprisals. Protection for civilians in this respect remains inadequate, however, as long as the majority of states have not ratified the Protocol.
The [Swedish] International Humanitarian Law Committee considers that Article 51 can be of great importance in improving protection for civilian populations and civilian objects. It is of the greatest importance for the article to be applied in such a way that the intended humanitarian purpose is achieved as far as possible. 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section § 3.2.1.5, pp. 50 and 51.
While noting that the Swedish IHL Committee strongly discourages even this possibility in view of its manifestly inhuman effect, the manual further states:
Under Additional Protocol I, reprisals are permitted only against military personnel. A state acceding to Additional Protocol I thereby accepts a limitation of its freedom to employ reprisals. The [Swedish International Humanitarian Law] Committee believes that this involves a considerable humanitarian advance. 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 3.5, p. 89.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987), in a part dealing with “Hostilities and their limits”, refers, inter alia, to Article 33 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV and Articles 51, 54 and 55 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and states: “Reprisals against the civilian population are prohibited.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 25(2).
In a part dealing with civilians and, more specifically, “civilian persons who are in the power of the troops at the moment of combat”, the manual refers to Article 33 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV and Article 51 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and states: “Measures of reprisal or attacks [carried out] as measures of reprisal are prohibited.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 149.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) states: “The following prohibitions must be respected: … to launch reprisals against protected persons and property”. It adds that reprisals “may only be used if: … they are carried out only against combatants and military objectives”. 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule III, pp. 12 and 13.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Reprisals are prohibited against … civilian persons”. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.2.18.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981), in a part dealing with the protection of civilians, states: “It is forbidden: … to carry out reprisals against protected persons or property.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 4, p. 14, § 5(e).
The Pamphlet further states: “The Geneva Conventions and [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] prohibit reprisals against … enemy civilians in territory controlled by a belligerent.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 4, p. 17, § 16.
However, the Pamphlet also states:
The United Kingdom reserves the right to take proportionate reprisals against an enemy’s civilian population or civilian objects where the enemy has attacked our own civilians or civilian objects in violation of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I]. 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 4, p. 17, § 17.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states: “Additional Protocol I extends the categories of persons and objects against whom reprisals are prohibited to: a. civilians and the civilian population”. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 16.19.1.
The manual also restates the interpretative declaration made by the UK upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 16.19.1.
The manual explains:
This means that reprisals taken in accordance with the statement are permissible by and against the United Kingdom. However, commanders and commanders-in-chief are not to take reprisal action on their own initiative. Requests for authority to take reprisal action must be submitted to the Ministry of Defence and require clearance at Cabinet level. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 16.19.2.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976), referring to Articles 4 and 33 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, states: “The protection against reprisals expressed in the Conventions … does not protect civilians who are under the control of their own country.” 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 10-7(b)(2).
United States of America
The US Air Force Commander’s Handbook (1980), under the heading “Persons and Things Not Subject to Reprisals”, lists a number of persons and objects protected under the 1949 Geneva Conventions against which it is prohibited to take reprisals, among which are “inhabitants of occupied territory”. The Handbook adds, however: “A Protocol to the 1949 Geneva Conventions would expand this list to include all civilians … The United States signed this Protocol in 1977, but has not yet ratified it. Consult the Staff Judge Advocate for further guidance.” 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-34, Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Armed Conflict, Judge Advocate General, US Department of the Air Force, 25 July 1980, § 8-4(c).
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) provides: “Reprisals may be taken against enemy armed forces, enemy civilians other than those in occupied territory, and enemy property.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), § 6.2.3.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “Reprisals may be taken against … enemy civilians other than those in occupied territory”. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 6.2.4.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) states: “The laws of war prohibit reprisals against the following persons and objects: … civilian persons and their property”. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 31(1).
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War (1995) provides:
The Armed Forces of [the] Azerbaijan Republic, the appropriate authorities and governmental bodies, as an answer to the same actions of the adverse party to the conflict or to put an end to these all, don’t give opportunity to carry out any action which is considered to be [a] measure of pressure concerning civilian persons, medical organizations and their personnel, civilian objectives, civilian property … During military operations in the condition of final necessity the measures taken compulsorily by the Armed Forces of [the] Azerbaijan Republic can’t be considered as such measures of pressure. 
Azerbaijan, Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War, 1995, Article 16.
Colombia
Under Colombia’s Penal Code (2000), reprisals against “the civilian population” and against protected persons and objects taken “in the event of and during armed conflict” are punishable offences. 
Colombia, Penal Code, 2000, Articles 144 and 158.
Côte d’Ivoire
Under Côte d’Ivoire’s Penal Code (1981), as amended in 1998, organizing, ordering or implementing reprisals, in times of war or occupation, is punishable when resulting in grave injury to the physical integrity of the civilian population. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Penal Code, 1981, as amended in 1998, Article 138(5).
Czech Republic
Under the Czech Republic’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended in 1999, “a commander who, contrary to the provisions of international law on means and methods of warfare, intentionally: (a) … leads an attack against [the civilian population or civilians] for the reason of reprisals” is punishable. 
Czech Republic, Criminal Code, 1961, as amended in 1999, Article 262(2)(a).
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s Criminal Code (2004) states:
Article 270.- War Crimes against the Civilian Population.
Whoever, in time of war, armed conflict or occupation organizes, orders or engages in, against the civilian population and in violation of the rules of public international law and of international humanitarian conventions:
(g) … reprisals …
is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from five years to twenty-five years, or, in more serious cases, with life imprisonment or death. 
Ethiopia, Criminal Code, 2004, Article 270.
France
France’s Code of Defence (2004), as amended in 2008, states: “[C]ivilians … are protected persons. … Reprisals against protected persons are prohibited.” 
France, Code of Defence, 2004, as amended in 2008, Article D4122-8.
Italy
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, provides: “Respect for rules adopted in order to comply with international conventions which expressly exclude reprisals cannot be suspended.” 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, as amended in 1992, Article 8.
Slovakia
Under Slovakia’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended, “a commander who, contrary to the provisions of international law on means and methods of warfare, intentionally: (a) … leads an attack against [the civilian population or civilians] for the reason of reprisals” is punishable. 
Slovakia, Criminal Code, 1961, as amended, Article 262(2)(a).
South Africa
South Africa’s Prohibition or Restriction of Certain Conventional Weapons Act (2008) states:
Mines, booby-traps or other devices
6. (1) No person may use or direct any mine, booby-trap or other device –
(d) either in offence, defence or by way of reprisals, against the civilian population or against individual civilians or civilian objects. 
South Africa, Prohibition or Restriction of Certain Conventional Weapons Act, 2008, Section 6(1)(d).
Spain
Spain’s Penal Code (1995) provides for the punishment of “anyone who [in the event of armed conflict] should … carry out or order … reprisals or violent acts or threats in order to terrify [the civilian population]”. 
Spain, Penal Code, 1995, Article 611.
South Africa
In 1987, in the Petane case, the Cape Provincial Division of South Africa’s Supreme Court dismissed the accused’s claim that the 1977 Additional Protocol I reflected customary international law. The Court stated:
The accused has been indicted before this Court on three counts of terrorism, that is to say, contraventions of s 54(1) of the Internal Security Act 74 of 1982. He has also been indicted on three counts of attempted murder.
The accused’s position is stated to be that this Court has no jurisdiction to try him.
… The point in its early formulation was this. By the terms of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I to the [1949] Geneva Conventions the accused was entitled to be treated as a prisoner-of-war. A prisoner-of-war is entitled to have notice of an impending prosecution for an alleged offence given to the so-called “protecting power” appointed to watch over prisoners-of-war. Since, if such a notice were necessary, the trial could not proceed without it, Mr Donen suggested that the necessity or otherwise for giving such a notice should be determined before evidence was led. …
On 12 August 1949 there were concluded at Geneva in Switzerland four treaties known as the Geneva Conventions. …
South Africa was among the nations which concluded the treaties. … Except for the common art 3, which binds parties to observe a limited number of fundamental humanitarian principles in armed conflicts not of an international character, they apply to wars between States.
After the Second World War many conflicts arose which could not be characterised as international. It was therefore considered desirable by some States to extend and augment the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, so as to afford protection to victims of and combatants in conflicts which fell outside the ambit of these Conventions. The result of these endeavours was Protocol I and Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions, both of which came into force on 7 December 1978.
Protocol II relates to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts. Since the State of affairs which exists in South Africa has by Protocol I been characterised as an international armed conflict, Protocol II does not concern me at all.
The extension of the scope of art 2 of the Geneva Conventions was, at the time of its adoption, controversial. …
The article has remained controversial. More debate has raged about its field of operation than about any other articles in Protocol I. …
South Africa is one of the countries which has not acceded to Protocol I. Nevertheless, I am asked to decide, as I indicated earlier, as a preliminary point, whether Protocol I has become part of customary international law. If so, it is argued that it would have been incorporated into South African law. If it has been so incorporated it would have to be proved by one or other of the parties that the turmoil which existed at the time when the accused is alleged to have committed his offences was such that it could properly be described as an “armed conflict” conducted by “peoples” against a “ra[c]ist regime” in the exercise of their “right of self-determination”. Once all this has been shown it would have to be demonstrated to the Court that the accused conducted himself in such a manner as to become entitled to the benefits conferred by Protocol I on combatants, for example that, broadly speaking, he had, while he was launching an attack, distinguished himself from civilians and had not attacked civilian targets. …
… I am prepared to accept that where a rule of customary international law is recognised as such by international law it will be so recognised by our law.
To my way of thinking, the trouble with the first Protocol giving rise to State practice is that its terms have not been capable of being observed by all that many States. At the end of 1977 when the treaty first lay open for ratification there were few States which were involved in colonial domination or the occupation of other States and there were only two, South Africa and Israel, which were considered to fall within the third category of ra[c]ist regimes. Accordingly, the situation sought to be regulated by the first Protocol was one faced by few countries; too few countries in my view, to permit any general usage in dealing with armed conflicts of the kind envisaged by the Protocol to develop.
Mr Donen contended that the provisions of multilateral treaties can become customary international law under certain circumstances. I accept that this is so. There seems in principle to be no reason why treaty rules cannot acquire wider application than among the parties to the treaty.
Brownlie Principles of International Law 3rd ed at 13 agrees that non-parties to a treaty may by their conduct accept the provisions of a multilateral convention as representing general international law. …
I incline to the view that non-ratification of a treaty is strong evidence of non-acceptance.
It is interesting to note that the first Protocol makes extensive provision for the protection of civilians in armed conflict. …
In this sense, Protocol I may be described as an enlightened humanitarian document. If the strife in South Africa should deteriorate into an armed conflict we may all one day find it a cause for regret that the ideologically provocative tone of s 1(4) has made it impossible for the Government to accept its terms.
To my mind it can hardly be said that Protocol I has been greeted with acclaim by the States of the world. Their lack of enthusiasm must be due to the bizarre mixture of political and humanitarian objects sought to be realised by the Protocol. …
According to the International Review of the Red Cross (January/February 1987) No 256, as at December 1986, 66 States were parties to Protocol I and 60 to Protocol II, which, it will be remembered, deals with internal non-international armed conflicts. With the exception of France, which acceded only to Protocol II, not one of the world’s major powers has acceded to or ratified either of the Protocols. This position should be compared to the 165 States which are parties to the Geneva Conventions.
This approach of the world community to Protocol I is, on principle, far too half-hearted to justify an inference that its principles have been so widely accepted as to qualify them as rules of customary international law. The reasons for this are, I imagine, not far to seek. For those States which are contending with “peoples[’]” struggles for self-determination, adoption of the Protocol may prove awkward. For liberation movements who rely on strategies of urban terror for achieving their aims the terms of the Protocol, with its emphasis on the protection of civilians, may prove disastrously restrictive. I therefore do not find it altogether surprising that Mr Donen was unable to refer me to any statement in the published literature that Protocol I has attained the status o[f] customary international [law].
I have not been persuaded by the arguments which I have heard on behalf of the accused that the assessment of Professor Dugard, writing in the Annual Survey of South African Law (1983) at 66, that “it is argued with growing conviction that under contemporary international law members of SWAPO [South-West Africa People’s Organisation] and the ANC [African National Congress] are members of liberation movements entitled to prisoner-of-war status, in terms of a new customary rule spawned by the 1977 Protocols”, is correct. On what I have heard in argument I disagree with his assessment that there is growing support for the view that the Protocols reflect a new rule of customary international law. No writer has been cited who supports this proposition. Here and there someone says that it may one day come about. I am not sure that the provisions relating to the field of application of Protocol I are capable of ever becoming a rule of customary international law, but I need not decide that point today.
For the reasons which I have given I have concluded that the provisions of Protocol I have not been accepted in customary international law. They accordingly form no part of South African law.
This conclusion has made it unnecessary for me to give a decision on the question of whether rules of customary international law which conflict with the statutory or common law of this country will be enforced by its courts.
In the result, the preliminary point is dismissed. The trial must proceed. 
South Africa, Supreme Court, Petane case, Judgment, 3 November 1987, pp. 2–8.
South Africa
In 2010, in the Boeremag case, South Africa’s North Gauteng High Court stated:
In Petane, … Conradie J found that the provisions of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I are not part of customary international law, and therefore are also not part of South African law.
Referring to the fact that in December 1986 only 66 of the 165 States party to the Geneva Conventions had ratified Protocol I, the Court [in Petane] stated:
This approach of the world community to Protocol I is, on principle, far too half-hearted to justify an inference that its principles have been so widely accepted as to qualify them as rules of customary international law. The reasons for this are, I imagine, not far to seek. For those States which are contending with “peoples[’]” struggles for self-determination, adoption of the Protocol may prove awkward. For liberation movements who rely on strategies of urban terror for achieving their aims the terms of the Protocol, with its emphasis on the protection of civilians, may prove disastrously restrictive. I therefore do not find it altogether surprising that Mr Donen was unable to refer me to any statement in the published literature that Protocol I has attained the status of customary international law.
Important changes with respect to certain aspects applicable at the time of Petane have taken place. The ANC [African National Congress] has become South Africa’s ruling party and in 1995 ratified Protocol I. The total number of States that have ratified it, is now … 162.
This last aspect forms the basis on which the First Respondent [the State] and the applicants agree that Protocol I forms part of customary international law as well as of South African law. As requested, this position is accepted for the purposes of the decision, without deciding on the matter.
Despite these changes, it remains debatable whether the provisions of Protocol I have become a part of South African law in this way.
The consensus of both parties to the conflict is required. See Petane … and Article 96 of Protocol I. …
Parliament’s failure to incorporate Protocol I into legislation in accordance with Article 231(4) of the Constitution in fact points to the contrary, and is indicative that the requirements of usus and/or opinio juris have not been met. See Petane. 
South Africa, North Gauteng High Court, Boeremag case, Judgment, 26 August 2010, pp. 21–22.
[footnotes in original omitted]
The Court also held:
If the [1977 Additional Protocol I] applies in South Africa as customary international law, the two requirements that form the basis of customary law must be met. It is arguable that the requirement of usus has been met by the vast number of States that have acceded or ratified it. By ratifying Protocol I the Republic of South Africa has indicated its intention to apply the Protocol, thereby fulfilling the requirement of opinio juris. 
South Africa, North Gauteng High Court, Boeremag case, Judgment, 26 August 2010, p. 66.
Spain
In 2010, in the Couso case, the Criminal Chamber of Spain’s Supreme Court was called upon to decide an appeal in the case concerning the killing of a Spanish journalist in Baghdad on 8 April 2003 by troops of the United States of America. In deciding upon one of the issues raised in the appeal on breach of the law due to the failure to apply Article 611 of the Penal Code (1995), the Court noted:
2. Article 611 of the PC [Penal Code] effectively punishes
“anyone who in the event of an armed conflict commits [any of the following acts], without prejudice to the penalty for the results of such acts, shall be punished with ten to fifteen years’ imprisonment:
1. … [M]akes the civilian population the object of … reprisals”. 
Spain, Supreme Court, Couso case, Judgment, 13 July 2010, Section II(II), Sexto, § 2, p. 11.
[emphasis in original]
The Court upheld the appeal concerning breach of the law and held:
The appealed decision declared the termination of the proceedings … as it considered that the “facts [of] the case did not constitute an offence” … [H]owever, the proceedings carried out do not permit sharing the conclusions of the first instance tribunal; rather, the facts [denounced] merit being subsumed under the cited penal provisions and the aforementioned norms of International Humanitarian Law. 
Spain, Supreme Court, Couso case, Judgment, 13 July 2010, Section II(II), Sexto, § 2, p. 16.
[emphasis in original]
The Court upheld the appeal against the order of 23 October 2009 by the Third Section of the Criminal Chamber of the Spanish National Court, which declared the termination of the proceedings, and held that “the proceedings must continue, and the outstanding preparatory enquiries must be undertaken, as well as any others arising from the clarification of the events under investigation.” 
Spain, Supreme Court, Couso case, Judgment, 13 July 2010, Section III, pp. 20–21.
Australia
During the Second Reading Speech of the Geneva Conventions Amendment Bill 1990, the purpose of which was to amend the Geneva Conventions Act 1957 so as to enable Australia to ratify the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Australia’s Attorney-General stated:
He [the shadow Attorney-General] called in particular for a reservation on the prohibition on reprisals contained in the protocol. A reservation on reprisals would not be accepted by some countries. A reservation would operate reciprocally between Australia and a future enemy also party to the protocol. If we did that, it would reduce the level of protection afforded by the protocol to Australian civilians and civilian objects.
None of the 99 countries which have become party to the protocol have seen the need to make such a reservation – not one of them. The prohibition on reprisals in the protocol is not a total prohibition. Reprisals are prohibited against civilians, cultural objects and places of worship, objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, the environment, dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations containing dangerous forces. The prohibition on reprisals represents an important development in protection of civilians against the horrors of modern warfare. 
Australia, House of Representatives, Attorney-General, Geneva Conventions Amendment Bill 1990: Second Reading Speech, Hansard, 12 February 1991.
Belarus
At the CDDH, during a discussion in Committee I on a French proposal regarding a provision on reprisals within the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Belarus, opposing the French proposal and referring to a number of international instruments, stated:
Any toleration of the possibility of taking reprisals, especially against the civilian population, would be in radical conflict with the spirit and meaning of the Geneva Conventions … Furthermore, it would run counter to a number of resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly … Thus, any attempt to commit reprisals against the civilian population represented … a serious blow against the Geneva Conventions, [Additional] Protocol I … and a whole series of international instruments already adopted. 
Belarus, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. IX, CDDH/I/SR.47, 29 April 1976, p. 81, § 62.
Belarus
At the CDDH, Belarus stated: “The taking of reprisals against a civilian population must be prohibited.” 
Belarus, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. IX, CDDH/I/SR.48, 30 April 1976, p. 94, § 55.
Canada
At the CDDH, the representative of Canada, with respect to paragraph 4 of draft Article 46 (which became Article 51 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I), stated that “his delegation could accept a prohibition on reprisals against civilians or the civilian population”. 
Canada, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIV, CDDH/III/SR.15, 7 February 1975, p. 117, § 2.
Canada
In 1986, in a memorandum on Canada’s attitude to possible reservations with regard to the 1977 Additional Protocol I, the Canadian Ministry of Defence noted:
Under [the 1949 Geneva Conventions] … reprisals directed against the enemy civilian population or property in enemy controlled areas are permissible. [The 1977 Additional Protocol I] goes beyond the Geneva Conventions and prohibits reprisals directed against the enemy civilian population or civilian property under all circumstances. 
Canada, Ministry of Defence, Memorandum on Ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Reprisals Reservation, Operational Considerations, Doc. 3440-13-2 (D Law/I), 14 March 1986, § 2.
China
Upon ratification of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, China declared:
Although [the 1949 Geneva Convention IV] does not apply to civilian persons outside enemy-occupied areas and consequently does not completely meet humanitarian requirements, it is found to be in accord with the interest of protecting civilian persons in occupied territory and in certain other cases. 
China, Reservations made upon ratification of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, 28 December 1956, § 4.
China
In 1973, during a debate in the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly relative to respect for human rights in times of armed conflict, China stated that civilians should not be the object of reprisals. 
China, Statement before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.6/ SR.1450, 29 November 1973, § 32.
Colombia
At the CDDH, following the adoption of Article 20 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Colombia stated that it “was opposed to any kind of reprisals”. 
Colombia, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.37, 24 May 1977, § 34.
Denmark
In 1972, during a debate in the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on a resolution relative to measures to prevent international terrorism, Denmark stated: “The legitimacy of the use of force in international life did not in itself legitimize the use of certain forms of violence, especially against the innocent. That principle had long been recognized even in the customary law of war.” It concluded:
Consequently, even in time of war, acts of a terrorist nature were not a legitimate means of combat. Personally, he was convinced that acts such as the taking of hostages, reprisals and murder aimed at innocent persons had never truly served the struggle for independence and fundamental freedoms. 
Denmark, Statement before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.6/SR.1364, 17 November 1972, § 15.
Egypt
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocols I and II, Egypt stated:
The Arab Republic of Egypt, while declaring its commitment to respecting all the provisions of Additional Protocols I and II, wishes to emphasize, on the basis of reciprocity, that it upholds the right to react against any violation by any party of the obligations imposed by Additional Protocols I and II with all means admissible under international law in order to prevent any further violation. 
Egypt, Declaration made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocols I and II, 9 October 1992, § 3.
Egypt
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Egypt stated:
Reprisals are prohibited against … civilians … The prohibition applies in respect of all weapons. In consequence, they (i.e. protected persons and objects) can never become targets of any attack, including nuclear attacks. 
Egypt, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 20 June 1995, § 46.
Egypt
In its written comments on other written statements submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Egypt stated:
Reprisals are prohibited against protected persons and objects according to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their additional Protocols. This prohibition of reprisal is absolute and applies to the use of all weapons. In consequence, the protected persons and objects can never become targets of any attack, including nuclear attacks. The provisions of the Conventions and the Protocols carrying this prohibition of reprisals against protected persons and objects are considered declaratory of customary law. 
Egypt, Written comments submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, September 1995, § 43.
Finland
At the CDDH, Finland stated: “The main intention of paragraph 4 [of draft Article 46 which became Article 51 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I] was to extend the protection to the civilian population as a whole. That was desirable.” 
Finland, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIV, CDDH/III/SR.7, 13 March 1974, p. 54, § 29.
France
At the CDDH, France voted against Article 46 of draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 51), stating, however, that it considered:
The provisions of paragraphs 4, 5 and 7 were of a type which by their very complexity would seriously hamper the conduct of defensive military operations against an invader and prejudice the exercise of the inherent right of legitimate defence recognized in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations. 
France, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 163, § 118.
France
The instructions given to the French armed forces for the conduct of Opération Mistral, simulating a military operation under the right of self-defence or a mandate of the UN Security Council, in a part dealing with the “eight fundamental rules of international humanitarian law”, state: “Reprisal attacks against the civilian population are prohibited.” 
France, Etat-major de la Force d’Action Rapide, Ordres pour l’Opération Mistral, 1 June 1995, Section 6, § 66.
France
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, France stated that it would
apply the provisions of [Article 51(8)] to the extent that their interpretation does not hinder, in conformity with international law, the use of such means as it considers indispensable for the protection of its civilian population from grave, manifest and deliberate violations of the Conventions and the Protocol by the enemy. 
France, Reservations and declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 11 April 2001, § 11.
German Democratic Republic
At the CDDH, in its explanations of vote on Article 46 of draft Additional Protocol I (which became Article 51), the representative of the German Democratic Republic stated that his delegation
gave particular support to paragraph 4 [which became paragraph 6 of Article 51 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I], which contained a clear prohibition on attacks against the civilian population or civilians by way of reprisals. That prohibition, he was convinced, had the same importance, and was of the same absolute nature, as the prohibition of reprisals against prisoners of war, the wounded and the sick, which were already contained in the Geneva Conventions. His delegation would therefore regard any reservation on the prohibition as incompatible with the humanitarian object and purpose of the Protocol. 
German Democratic Republic, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 167, § 137.
Germany
In 1990, during a parliamentary debate on the ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocols, a member of the German Parliament called the prohibition of reprisals as contained in the Additional Protocol I “newly introduced rules”. 
Germany, Lower House of Parliament, Speech by Günter Verheugen, Member of Parliament, 20 September 1990, Plenarprotokoll 11/226, p. 17919.
Germany
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Germany stated:
The Federal Republic of Germany will react against serious and systematic violations of the obligations imposed by Additional Protocol I and in particular its Articles 51 and 52 with all means admissible under international law in order to prevent any further violation. 
Germany, Declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 14 February 1991, § 6.
Iraq
In 1983, in a letter to the UN Secretary-General in response to Iranian allegations relative to attacks on civilians and civilian objects by Iraq, Iraq recalled its position according to which the bombardment of cities and economic installations had been initiated by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1980. It also questioned the Islamic Republic of Iran’s statement: “Although the Iraqi cities are well within the range of our artillery … Iran has no intention of retaliation against civilians.” 
Iraq, Letter dated 2 May 1983 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/15743, 4 May 1983.
Iraq
In 1987, in a letter to the UN Secretary-General following a meeting between officials of both parties to the Iran–Iraq War, Iraq stated:
Iraq has long hesitated before responding to the cruel and deliberate bombardments of Iraqi towns contemptuously carried out by the Iranian régime; over a period of several months that régime had on numerous occasions fired missiles on Baghdad and pounded Basra, Sulaymaniyah and other Iraqi towns with its heavy artillery. Iraq had not retaliated for those acts of aggression, choosing instead to issue repeated warnings that had gone unheeded. [These acts had forced] Iraq to deter the aggressor … The following decisions were taken … First: Iraq will halt its bombardment of Iranian towns for two weeks as of … Iraq will consider itself released from this commitment and will resume its bombings forcefully and on greater scale if the forces of the Iranian régime shell Iraqi towns and residential areas and if the Iranian régime launches a new assault against Iraqi territory and Iraq’s international borders. Secondly: This temporary halt in the bombing of towns is contingent upon the position of the Iranian régime with regard to peace; that régime must unequivocally espouse a new position consistent with international law. 
Iraq, Letter dated 18 February 1987 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/18704, 18 February 1987.
Iraq
On the basis of a reply by Iraq’s Ministry of Defence to a questionnaire, the Report on the Practice of Iraq states that reprisals “must not be directed, in any way, against … civilians … but [have] to be confined to purely military targets”. 
Report on the Practice of Iraq, 1998, Reply by the Ministry of Defence to a questionnaire, July 1997, Chapter 2.9.
Islamic Republic of Iran
In 1983, in a letter to the UN Secretary-General, the Islamic Republic of Iran deplored the fact that Iraqi television had announced “a statement by the Iraqi minister of culture and information to the effect that Iraq will bombard Iranian cities in retaliation to Iranian shelling of Iraqi cities”. 
Islamic Republic of Iran, Letter dated 5 May 1983 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/15747, 5 May 1983.
Islamic Republic of Iran
In 1987, in a letter to the UN Secretary-General, the Islamic Republic of Iran stated:
Because of the polite acquiescence of the relevant international bodies with regard to Iraqi acts of lawlessness … Iran has had to take symbolic retaliatory and preventive measures in response to the Iraqi bombardment of civilian areas. Such measures have been adopted with great reluctance and self-restraint. However, should the Iraqi régime persist in its war crimes … the armed forces of … Iran will be obliged to inflict unprecedented heavy and deadly blows in retaliation. Clearly, the responsibility for the consequences of such retaliatory and preventive measures lies with the aggressor régime of Iraq. 
Islamic Republic of Iran, Letter dated 2 February 1987 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/18648, 2 February 1987.
Islamic Republic of Iran
In 1987, after an Iraqi Command had stated that the Iraqi forces were ready for reprisal attacks, the Islamic Republic of Iran stated in a letter to the UN Secretary-General:
While the high-ranking Iraqi officials have openly declared their criminal policies of attacking our civilian areas, the Islamic Republic of Iran adheres to strict observance of all norms of international humanitarian law and continues to remain committed to refraining from attacks on purely civilian quarter … Iran has been forced to resort to retaliatory measures against its desire … The number of civilian casualties on both sides is a testament to the degree of self-restraint exercised by … Iran in taking retaliatory measures … We have been consistently asking the international body to take serious action against those attacking civilians. 
Islamic Republic of Iran, Letter dated 24 February 1987 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/18721, 25 February 1987.
Islamic Republic of Iran
In 1987, in a letter to the UN Secretary-General, the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs stated:
The reluctant but unavoidable retaliatory fire of our Islamic combatants were directed against economic and industrial quarters of Iraq and with ample prior warning to the civilian occupants of the adjacent areas to leave the scene of our intended attacks. The comparatively very low number of civilian casualties in Iraq is testimony to the humanitarian consideration of … Iran even in its retaliatory exercises. Nevertheless … Iran, based on its position of principle which is in compliance with the universally recognized norms of international law believes in the necessity for strict observance of the rules of law governing the conduct of hostilities. 
Islamic Republic of Iran, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Letter dated 27 February 1987 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/18728, 27 February 1987.
Islamic Republic of Iran
In 1987, in a letter to the UN Secretary-General, the Islamic Republic of Iran stated with respect to Iraqi warplanes allegedly bombarding villages inhabited by civilians in June 1987:
The Government of … Iran, faced with an enemy who so easily and frequently resorts to illegal tactics, has in the past found it necessary to take, however reluctantly, limited retaliatory measures as the only method of compelling the rulers of Baghdad to respect their international obligations. Should the régime of Baghdad continue its attacks against civilian centres of … Iran, the Iranian Government will once again be left with no option other than retaliation in kind. 
Islamic Republic of Iran, Letter dated 24 June 1987 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/18945, 24 June 1987.
Islamic Republic of Iran
According to the Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, during the Iran–Iraq War, the Islamic Republic of Iran did not resort to reprisals against Iraqi cities until Iraqi bombardments of an Iranian city in 1982. The report refers to military communiqués and a message from the commander of the Joint Staff, which stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran did not consider attacking the cities as being “in conformity with the notion of real war”, but after three and a half years of Iraqi attacks on civilian objects and cities, the Islamic Republic of Iran had no option but to resort to reprisals against these attacks. The report also notes that in resorting to reprisals, the Islamic Republic of Iran had always issued statements and asked the Iraqi people to evacuate their city. Furthermore, the report states that the real reason for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s attacks on Iraqi cities was Iraq’s attacks on civilian centres and that, when Iraqi attacks on civilian targets ceased, the Islamic Republic of Iran stopped its reprisals.  
Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1997, Chapter 2.9.
The report notes that, in February 1984, the Islamic Republic of Iran announced that it had changed its policy and that Iraqi cities would be attacked as a reprisal measure and that only four holy cities were left immune from such action. Virtually all official communiqués reporting the results of these military operations named military and economic objectives, not civilian objects. 
Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Italy
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Italy stated:
Italy will react to serious and systematic violations by an enemy of the obligations imposed by Additional Protocol I and in particular its Articles 51 and 52 with all means admissible under international law in order to prevent any further violation. 
Italy, Declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 27 February 1986, § 10.
Jordan
According to the Report on the Practice of Jordan: “The prohibition of belligerent reprisals against protected persons and property is viewed as customary law … In practice, Jordan never resorted to attacks by way of reprisal.” 
Report on the Practice of Jordan, 1997, Chapter 2.9.
Lebanon
The Report on the Practice of Lebanon notes that an adviser to the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in an interview that the protection of civilians was not compatible with the principle of reprisals. 
Report on the Practice of Lebanon, 1998, Chapter 2.9.
Malaysia
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Malaysia stated that “civilian populations … should not be the object of reprisals” and that “attacks against the civilian population or civilians by way of reprisals are prohibited”. It referred to paragraph 7 of UN General Assembly Resolution 2675 (XXV) and Article 51(6) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Malaysia, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 19 June 1995, p. 18.
Netherlands
At the CDDH, the Netherlands introduced an amendment to draft Additional Protocol I on behalf of its sponsors (Austria, Egypt, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines and USSR). 
Austria, Egypt, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines and USSR, New proposal concerning Article 47 draft Additional Protocol I submitted to the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/III/57, 19 March 1974, p. 210.
The Netherlands stated:
In fact, reprisals could rarely be confined to civilian objects alone and the infliction of suffering on the civilian population would be virtually inevitable … The sponsors of the amendment were in favour of extending [the prohibition of reprisals against civilians] to a complete ban on all reprisals against the civilian population and civilian objects alike. 
Netherlands, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIV, CDDH/III/SR.14, 6 February 1975, pp. 113–114, § 26.
Netherlands
At the CDDH, during discussions on the protection of civilian objects, the Netherlands stated: “Reprisals on civilian populations were prohibited by international law.” 
Netherlands, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIV, CDDH/III/SR.16, 10 February 1975, p. 128, § 8.
Norway
In 2006, in a statement before the UN Security Council regarding the situation in Gaza, the permanent representative of Norway stated:
The current operations raise a number of issues of international law, whether they are police operations or military operations. … Any countermeasures against the civilian population are unacceptable under international law. 
Norway, Statement by the permanent representative of Norway before the UN Security Council regarding the situation in Gaza, 30 June 2006.
Peru
In 1973, during a debate in the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly relative to respect for human rights in times of armed conflict, Peru recalled that the General Assembly had reaffirmed in various resolutions that “civilian populations and individual civilians must not be subjected to attacks against their persons as reprisals”. 
Peru, Statement before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.6/SR.1453, 4 December 1973, § 15.
Philippines
The Report on the Practice of the Philippines states: “Reprisals are generally prohibited.” 
Report on the Practice of the Philippines, 1997, Chapter 2.9.
Poland
At the CDDH, Poland made a proposal for a draft article on reprisals within the 1977 Additional Protocol I – which it later withdrew – which read, inter alia, as follows: “Insert a new article after [draft] Article 70 worded as follows: ‘Measures of reprisal against persons and objects protected by the Conventions and by the present Protocol are prohibited’.” 
Poland, Proposal on a new Article 70 bis draft Additional Protocol I submitted to the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/III/103, 1 October 1974, p. 313.
Poland
At the CDDH, in its explanation of vote, the representative of Poland stated that the adopted provision of the 1977 Additional Protocol I on the protection of civilians (Article 46 of draft Additional Protocol I which became Article 51)
contained the most important provision of the Protocol, such as the prohibition … of attacks by way of reprisals. The latter often affected the most innocent persons and those who were least able to defend themselves, and gave rise to a mood of desperation which lead to counter-reprisals and to chain reactions which became increasingly difficult to stop.
His delegation therefore welcomed the clear and categorical prohibition of reprisals in [the adopted provision]. The whole article, with its general rules, would fill some of the gaps in existing rules of a more specific character. 
Poland, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 166, §§ 129 and 130.
Romania
In 1973, during a debate in the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly relative to respect for human rights in times of armed conflict, Romania stated:
International humanitarian law should be developed in two main directions. First, there should be increased protection for the civilian population and non-military objectives … To that end, it was essential to adopt the broadest possible definition of the civilian population and non-military objectives and to take steps to ensure their effective protection. Such steps should include: … the prohibition … of reprisals … and of any other act of terror directed against the civilian population. 
Romania, Statement before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.6/SR.1451, 1 December 1973, § 8.
Solomon Islands
In 1994, in its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons (WHO) case, Solomon Islands, referring to Articles 20, 51(6), 52(1), 53, 54(4), 55(2) and 56(4) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, stated:
During hostilities, it is forbidden to resort to reprisals against … civilian populations, property and various categories of civilian property which are subject to special protection … The prohibition applies in respect of all weapons, including nuclear weapons. This rule had previously been established in a general manner by Art. 60(5) of the 1969 Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties … A similar provision is set forth in paragraph 7 of the UN General Assembly resolution 2675 (XXV) … The prohibition of reprisals in these situations appears also in Principle 1, paragraph 6 of UN General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV) on friendly relations. Even if, in that case, it relates to jus ad (or contra) bellum rather than jus in bello, it is nonetheless applicable to the second. It follows from the above that reprisals can, in no circumstances, be lawful against this category of targets. 
Solomon Islands, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons (WHO) case, 9 June 1994, § 3.75.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
Means and methods of warfare
Even in war not everything is allowed. Various means and methods are prohibited, including … Reprisals against the civilian population or against non-military objectives[.] 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, p. 29.
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Upon signature of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the USSR stated: “[The 1949 Geneva Convention IV] does not cover the civilian population in territory not occupied by the enemy and does not, therefore, completely meet humanitarian requirements.” The USSR upheld its reservations upon ratification of the said instruments. 
USSR, Reservations made upon signature and maintained upon ratification of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, 12 December 1949 and 10 May 1954, § 4.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, the United Kingdom stated:
To be lawful, a belligerent reprisal must meet two conditions. First, it must not be directed against persons or objects against which the taking of reprisals is specifically prohibited … The Geneva Conventions of 1949 prohibit the taking of reprisals against persons or objects protected by the Conventions … The Conventions do not preclude the taking of reprisals against the enemy’s civilian population … Additional Protocol I prohibits the taking of reprisals against the civilian population (Article 51(6)) … The application of these provisions would have a greater effect on the retaliatory use of nuclear weapons. Again, however, these provisions are correctly regarded as innovative and thus as inapplicable to the use of nuclear weapons. 
United Kingdom, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 16 June 1995, pp. 58–59.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, the United Kingdom stated:
The obligations of Articles 51 and 55 are accepted on the basis that any adverse party against which the United Kingdom might be engaged will itself scrupulously observe those obligations. If an adverse party makes serious and deliberate attacks, in violation of Article 51 or Article 52 against the civilian population or civilians or against civilian objects, or, in violation of Articles 53, 54 and 55, on objects or items protected by those Articles, the United Kingdom will regard itself as entitled to take measures otherwise prohibited by the Articles in question to the extent that it considers such measures necessary for the sole purpose of compelling the adverse party to cease committing violations under those Articles, but only after formal warning to the adverse party requiring cessation of the violations has been disregarded and then only after a decision taken at the highest level of government. Any measures thus taken by the United Kingdom will not be disproportionate to the violations giving rise thereto and will not involve any action prohibited by the Geneva Conventions of 1949 nor will such measures be continued after the violations have ceased. The United Kingdom will notify the Protecting Powers of any such formal warning given to an adverse party, and if that warning has been disregarded, of any measures taken as a result. 
United Kingdom, Reservations and declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 28 January 1998, § (m).
United States of America
At the CDDH, the United States stated:
[The 1977 Additional Protocol I] had gone far to remove the deterrent of reprisals, for understandable and commendable reasons and in view of past abuses. In the event of massive and continuing violations of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions and [the 1977 Additional Protocol I], however, the series of prohibitions on reprisals might prove unworkable. Massive and continuing attacks directed against a nation’s civilian population could not be absorbed without a response in kind. By denying the possibility of such response and not offering any workable substitute, [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] was unrealistic and, in that respect, could not be expected to withstand the test of future armed conflicts. 
United States, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VII, CDDH/SR.58, 9 June 1977, p. 294, § 81.
United States of America
In 1987, in submitting the 1977 Additional Protocol II to the US Senate for advice and consent to ratification, the US President announced his decision not to ratify the 1977 Additional Protocol I, stating, inter alia, that the 1977 Additional Protocol I “fails to improve substantially the compliance and verification mechanisms of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and eliminates an important sanction against violations of those Conventions”. 
United States, Message from the US President transmitting the 1977 Additional Protocol II to the US Senate for advice and consent to ratification, Treaty Doc. 100-2, 29 January 1987.
United States of America
In 1987, the Deputy Legal Adviser of the US Department of State stated that the United States did not support “the prohibition on reprisals in article 51 and subsequent articles” and did not consider it part of customary law. 
United States, Remarks of Michael J. Matheson, Deputy Legal Adviser, US Department of State, The Sixth Annual American Red Cross-Washington College of Law Conference on International Humanitarian Law: A Workshop on Customary International Law and the 1977 Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, American Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 2, 1987, p. 426.
On the same occasion, another Legal Adviser of the US Department of State, explaining “the position of the United States on current law of war agreements”, stated:
Article 51 of Protocol I prohibits any reprisal attacks against the civilian population, that is, attacks that would otherwise be forbidden but that are in response to the enemy’s own violations of the law and are intended to deter future violations. Historically, reciprocity has been the major sanction underlying the laws of war. If article 51 were to come into force for the United States, an enemy could deliberately carry out attacks against friendly civilian populations, and the United States would be legally forbidden to reply in kind. As a practical matter, the United States might, for political or humanitarian reasons, decide in a particular case not to carry out retaliatory or reprisal attacks involving unfriendly civilian populations. To formally renounce even the option of such attacks, however, removes a significant deterrent that presently protects civilians and other war victims on all sides of a conflict. 
United States, Remarks of Judge Abraham D. Sofaer, Legal Adviser, US Department of State, The Sixth Annual American Red Cross-Washington College of Law Conference on International Humanitarian Law: A Workshop on Customary International Law and the 1977 Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, 22 January 1987, American University Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 2, 1987, p. 469.
United States of America
According to an army lawyer who participated in the review of the 1977 Additional Protocol I by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff:
Article 51, paragraph 6, and article 52, paragraph 1, of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] prohibit reprisals against the civilian population or civilian objects of an enemy nation, respectively. These provisions are not a codification of customary international law, but, in fact, a reversal of that law. The military review considered whether surrender of these rights would advance the law of war, or threaten the continued respect for the rule of law in war. It was concluded that removal of this legal right placed any further respect for the rule of law by certain nations in jeopardy …
The American review recognized the historic pattern for abuse of U.S. and allied prisoners of war by their enemies, and concluded that a broad reservation to the prohibition of reprisals contained in articles 51 and 52 of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] was essential as a legitimate enforcement mechanism in order to ensure respect for the law of war. 
W. Hays Parks, “Air War and the Law of War”, Air Force Law Review, Vol. 32, 1990, pp. 94 and 97.
United States of America
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, the United States stated:
Various provisions of Additional Protocol I contain prohibitions on reprisals against specific types of persons or objects, including the civilian population or individual civilians (Article 51(6)) … These are among the new rules established by the Protocol that … do not apply to nuclear weapons. 
United States, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 20 June 1995, p. 31.
United States of America
According to the Report on US Practice, during the review of the 1977 Additional Protocol I by the US Government prior to the decision on whether to seek its ratification, the discussion of the reprisal issue shifted from the need to deter attacks on civilians to the need to protect US prisoners of war by enforcing the 1949 Geneva Convention III. 
Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 2.9.
UN Security Council
In 1986, in a statement by its President, the UN Security Council deplored “the violation of international humanitarian law and other laws of armed conflict” and expressed its deepening concern over the widening of the conflict [between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq] through the escalation of attacks on purely civilian targets”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PV.2730, 22 December 1986, p. 3.
UN Security Council
In 1988, in a statement by its President, the UN Security Council strongly deplored “the escalation of hostilities between these two countries [the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq], particularly the attacks against civilian targets and cities”. The members of the Security Council also insisted that “Iran and Iraq immediately cease all such attacks and desist forthwith from all acts that lead to the escalation of the conflict”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PV.2798, 16 March 1988, p. 2.
UN General Assembly
General Assembly Resolution 2444 (XXIII) adopted in 1968 affirmed Resolution XXVIII of the 20th International Conference of the Red Cross and the basic humanitarian principle applicable in all armed conflicts laid down therein that “it is prohibited to launch attacks against the civilian population as such”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 2444 (XXIII), 19 December 1968, § 1(b), voting record: 111-0-0-15.
This phrase was interpreted by some government experts at the CE (1971) as including a prohibition of reprisals against the civilian population. 
ICRC, Protection of the Civilian Population against the Dangers of Hostilities, Documents submitted to the First Session of the Conference of Government Experts, Geneva, 24 May–12 June 1971, Vol. III, January 1971, p. 38.
UN General Assembly
In Resolution 2675 (XXV) on basic principles for the protection of civilian populations in armed conflicts, unanimously adopted in 1970, the UN General Assembly stated: “Civilian populations, or individual members thereof, should not be the object of reprisals, forcible transfers or other assaults on their integrity.” 
UN General Assembly, Res. 2675 (XXV), 9 December 1970, § 7, voting record: 109-0-8-10.
UN General Assembly
In 2001, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts, to which the 2001 ILC Draft Articles on State Responsibility, and thus Article 50(1)(c) stating that “[c]ountermeasures shall not affect … obligations of a humanitarian character prohibiting reprisals”, were annexed. In the resolution, the General Assembly took note of the Draft Articles and commended them to the attention of governments “without prejudice to the question of their future adoption or other appropriate action”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 56/83, 12 December 2001, § 3 and Annex, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN General Assembly condemned:
The ongoing violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, particularly in North Kivu and South Kivu, northern Katanga and other areas in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including armed violence and reprisals against the civilian population. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 60/170, 16 December 2005, § 4(a), voting record: 102-3-67-19.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the rights of the child, the UN General Assembly:
Recalls, in accordance with international humanitarian law, that indiscriminate attacks against civilians, including children, are prohibited and that they shall not be the object of attack, including by way of reprisal or excessive use of force, condemns these practices, and demands that all parties immediately put an end to them. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 62/141, 18 December 2007, § 40, voting record: 183-1-0-8.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1995 on assistance to Somalia in the field of human rights, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Deploring continued attacks, acts of reprisal, abductions and other acts of violence committed against United Nations personnel, personnel of other humanitarian organizations and non-governmental organizations and representatives of the international media in Somalia, sometimes resulting in serious injury or death. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1995/56, 3 March 1995, preamble, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Noting that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a party to several international and regional human rights instruments and to several instruments pertaining to international humanitarian law,
3. Condemns:
(c) The reprisals against the civilian population in the territories controlled by RCD-Goma and MLC, especially the operation “Effacer le tableau” (“Clean the blackboard”) at the end of 2002, in addition to the exactions committed by the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), and stresses that the foreign forces which support RCD-Goma, MLC and UPC should also be held responsible for the massacres and atrocities that have occurred. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2003/15, 17 April 2003, preamble and § 3(c), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on technical cooperation and advisory services in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned:
The persistent violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly the armed violence and reprisals against the civilian population in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu, northern Katanga and other areas in the eastern part of the country. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/84, 21 April 2004, § 3(a), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on technical cooperation and advisory services in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned:
The violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, particularly in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu, northern Katanga and other areas in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including armed violence and reprisals against the civilian population … 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/85, 21 April 2005, § 4(a), adopted without a vote.
UN Secretary-General
In 1984, in a message addressed to the Presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran and of Iraq, the UN Secretary-General stated that he
was profoundly distressed on learning of the heavy civilian casualties caused by the aerial attack on the town of Banesh on 5 June 1984 … and the retaliatory and counter-retaliatory attacks that followed on towns in Iran and Iraq.
Deliberate military attacks on civilian areas cannot be condoned by the international community. The initiation of such attacks in the past, and the reprisals and counter-reprisals they provoke, have resulted in mounting loss of life and suffering to innocent and defenceless civilian populations. It is imperative that this immediately cease. 
UN Secretary-General, Message dated 9 June 1984 to the Presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Iraq, UN Doc. S/16611, 11 June 1984.
UN Commission on Human Rights (Special Rapporteur)
In 1993, in a periodic report on the situation of human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights noted:
The Special Rapporteur also received allegations of individual murders inspired by ethnic revenge. One concerned Radislav and Marina Komjenac, two elderly civilians – said to be Bosnian Serbs – who were taken from their homes in Sarajevo and summarily executed on 26 June 1993. The killings appear to have been in retaliation for a mortar attack which killed seven Muslim civilians in the old town. Government militia were alleged to be responsible. The Special Rapporteur wrote to the Government on 14 August 1993 expressing concern about the report and asking what steps had been taken to punish the perpetrators. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Former Yugoslavia, Fifth periodic report, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1994/47, 17 November 1993, § 32.
The Special Rapporteur also noted that in the Serb Krajina, Croats “have frequently been the victims of retaliations for actions of the Croatian armed forces”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Former Yugoslavia, Fifth periodic report, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1994/47, 17 November 1993, § 145.
UN Commission on Human Rights (Special Rapporteur)
In 1994, in an interim report on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights noted: “In July 1994, some 50 civilians were reportedly killed in an act of revenge for the murder of a prominent commander.” 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan, Interim report, UN Doc. A/49/650, 8 November 1994, § 75.
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992)
In 1994, in its final report on grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of IHL committed in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Commission of Experts (1992), referring to Article 51(6) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, stated: “Reprisals against the following categories of persons and objects are specifically prohibited: … (e) Civilians”. 
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992), Final report, UN Doc. S/1994/674, 27 May 1994, § 65.
The Commission further stated:
In international armed conflicts to which the four Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol I apply, lawful reprisals … must be directed exclusively against combatants or other military objectives subject to the limitations contained in the Geneva Conventions, Protocol I and customary international law of armed conflicts. In international armed conflicts where Additional Protocol I does not apply, reprisals may be directed against a much wider category of persons and objects, but subject to the limitations of customary international law of armed conflicts. 
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992), Final report, UN Doc. S/1994/674, 27 May 1994, § 66.
No data.
No data.
International Court of Justice
In its judgment in Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Germany v. Italy: Greece intervening) in 2012, the ICJ stated:
One category of cases involved the large-scale killing of civilians in occupied territory as part of a policy of reprisals, exemplified by the massacres committed on 29 June 1944 in Civitella (Val di Chiana), Cornia and San Pancrazio by members of the “Hermann Goring” division of the German armed forces involving the killing of 203 civilians taken as hostages after resistance fighters had killed four German soldiers a few days earlier (Max Josef Milde case, Military Court of La Spezia, judgment of 10 October 2006 (registered on 2 February 2007)) … The Court considers that there can be no doubt that this conduct was a serious violation of the international law of armed conflict applicable in 1943–1945. 
ICJ, Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Germany v. Italy: Greece intervening), Judgment, 3 February 2012, § 52.
International Criminal Court
In its decision on the confirmation of charges in the Mbarushimana case in 2011, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I stated:
d. Crimes allegedly committed in Busurungi and surrounding villages on or about 9-10 May 2009
Whether the war crimes of attacking civilians (Count 1) and murder (Count 3) were committed
143. The Chamber further notes that reprisals against the civilian population as such, or individual civilians, are prohibited in all circumstances, regardless of the behaviour of the other party, since “no circumstances would legitimise an attack against civilians even if it were a response proportionate to a similar violation perpetrated by the other party”.
151. In light of the foregoing, the Chamber is satisfied that there are substantial grounds to believe that the attack on Busurungi and surrounding villages on or about 9–10 May 2009 was launched by the FDLR with the aim of targeting both military objectives (FARDC positions in the village and surroundings) and the civilian population or individual civilians not taking direct part in the hostilities. The Chamber is further satisfied that the FDLR soldiers who took part in the attack were aware of the civilian status of the victims and intended to attack the civilian population or individual civilians not taking direct part in the hostilities since they were considered enemies. The Chamber therefore finds substantial grounds to believe that the war crimes of attacking civilians under article 8(2)(e)(i) of the [1998 ICC] Statute and murder under article 8(2)(c)(i) of the Statute were committed by the FDLR troops in Busurungi and surrounding villages on or about 9-10 May 2009. 
ICC, Mbarushimana case, Decision on the Confirmation of Charges, 16 December 2011, §§ 143 and 151.
[footnotes in original omitted]
The charges against Mr Mbarushimana related to alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Pre-Trial Chamber did not confirm the charges. 
ICC, Mbarushimana case, Decision on the Confirmation of Charges, 16 December 2011, § 340.
In its judgment of 30 May 2012, the ICC Appeals Chamber confirmed that decision and dismissed the appeal. 
ICC, Mbarushimana case, Judgment on Appeal, 30 May 2012.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In the Tadić case (Interlocutory Appeal) in 1995, the ICTY Trial Chamber stated that UN General Assembly Resolution 2444 (XXIII) of 1968 and Resolution 2675 (XXV) of 1970 were “declaratory of the principles of customary international law regarding the protection of civilian populations and property in armed conflicts of any kind”. 
ICTY, Tadić case, Interlocutory Appeal, 2 October 1995, § 112.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In the review of the indictment in the Martić case in 1996 in which the accused was held accountable for having knowingly and wilfully ordered the shelling of Zagreb in May 1995, the ICTY Trial Chamber I held:
15. … Does the fact that the attack was carried out as a reprisal reverse the illegality of the attack? The prohibition against attacking the civilian population as such as well as individual civilians must be respected in all circumstances regardless of the behaviour of the other party. The opinion of the great majority of legal authorities permits the Trial Chamber to assert that no circumstances would legitimise an attack against civilians even if it were a response proportionate to a similar violation perpetrated by the other party. The exclusion of the application of the principle of reprisals in the case of such fundamental humanitarian norms is confirmed by Article 1 Common to all Geneva Conventions. Under this provision, the High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and ensure respect for the Conventions in all circumstances, even when the behaviour of the other party might be considered wrongful. The [ICJ] considered that this obligation does not derive only from the Geneva Conventions themselves but also from the general principles of humanitarian law …
16. The prohibition on reprisals against the civilian population or individual civilians which is applicable to all armed conflicts, is reinforced by the texts of various instruments. General Assembly resolution 2675, underscoring the need for measures to ensure better protection of human rights in armed conflicts of all types, posits that “civilian populations, or individual members thereof, should not be the object of reprisals”. Furthermore, Article 51(6) of Protocol I … states an unqualified prohibition because “in all circumstances, attacks against the civilian population or civilians by way of reprisals are prohibited” …
17. Therefore, the rule which states that reprisals against the civilian population as such, or individual civilians, are prohibited in all circumstances, even when confronted by wrongful behaviour of the other party, is an integral part of customary international law and must be respected in all armed conflicts. 
ICTY, Martić case, Review of the Indictment, 8 March 1996, §§ 15–17.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In its judgment in the Kupreškić case in 2000, the ICTY Trial Chamber stated:
527. … With regard to civilians in combat zones, reprisals against them are prohibited by Article 51(6) of the First Additional Protocol of 1977 … The question nevertheless arises as to whether these provisions, assuming that they were not declaratory of customary international law, have subsequently been transformed into general rules of international law. In other words, are those States which have not ratified the First Protocol … nevertheless bound by general rules having the same purport as those two provisions? Admittedly, there does not seem to have emerged recently a body of State practice consistently supporting the proposition that one of the elements of custom, namely usus or diuturnitas has taken shape. This is however an area where opinio iuris sive necessitatis may play a much greater role than usus, as a result of the … Martens Clause. In the light of the way States and courts have implemented it, this Clause clearly shows that principles of international humanitarian law may emerge through a customary process under the pressure of the demands of humanity or the dictates of public conscience, even where State practice is scant or inconsistent. The other element, in the form of opinio necessitatis, crystallising as a result of the imperatives of humanity or public conscience, may turn out to be the decisive element heralding the emergence of a general rule or principle of humanitarian law.
528. The question of reprisals against civilians is a case in point. It cannot be denied that reprisals against civilians are inherently a barbarous means of seeking compliance with international law. The most blatant reason for the universal revulsion that usually accompanies reprisals is that they may not only be arbitrary but are also not directed specifically at the individual authors of the initial violation. Reprisals typically are taken in situations where the individuals personally responsible for the breach are either unknown or out of reach. These retaliatory measures are aimed instead at other more vulnerable individuals or groups. They are individuals or groups who may not even have any degree of solidarity with the presumed authors of the initial violation; they may share with them only the links of nationality and allegiance to the same rulers.
529. In addition, the reprisal killing of innocent persons, more or less chosen at random, without any requirement of guilt or any form of trial, can safely be characterized as a blatant infringement of the most fundamental principles of human rights. It is difficult to deny that a slow but profound transformation of humanitarian law under the pervasive influence of human rights has occurred. As a result belligerent reprisals against civilians and fundamental rights of human beings are absolutely inconsistent legal concepts. This trend towards the humanisation of armed conflict is amongst other things confirmed by the works of the United Nations International Law Commission on State Responsibility …
530. It should be added that while reprisals could have had a modicum of justification in the past, when they constituted practically the only effective means of compelling the enemy to abandon unlawful acts of warfare and to comply in future with international law, at present they can no longer be justified in this manner …
531. Due to the pressure exerted by the requirements of humanity and the dictates of public conscience, a customary rule of international law has emerged on the matter under discussion. 
ICTY, Kupreškić case, Judgment, 14 January 2000, §§ 527–531.
Considering practice of States, international organizations, the ILC and the ICRC, as well as previous practice of the ICTY, the Trial Chamber then stated:
The aforementioned elements seem to support the contention that the demands of humanity and the dictates of public conscience, as manifested in opinio necessitatis, have by now brought about the formation of a customary rule also binding upon those few States that at some stage did not intend to exclude the abstract legal possibility of resorting to the reprisals under discussion. 
ICTY, Kupreškić case, Judgment, 14 January 2000, § 533.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1983 concerning the Iran–Iraq War, the ICRC stressed: “Civilians must not be the object of attack, nor of reprisals.” 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1479, Iran/Iraq: ICRC appeals to belligerents, 15 December 1983.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1984 concerning the Iran–Iraq War, the ICRC, after the bombardment of the Iranian town of Baneh “during which hundreds of civilians were killed or injured”, stated: “This murderous raid with its tragic consequences has provoked a spiral of reprisals and counter-reprisals against the inhabitants of Iraqi and Iranian towns.” The ICRC called upon “Iran and Iraq to cease immediately their current bombardment of defenceless civilians”.  
ICRC, Press Release No. 1489, Bombing of Iraqi and Iranian Cities, 7 June 1984.
ICRC
In a communication to the press in 2000 in connection with the hostilities in the Near East, the ICRC reminded all those taking active part in the violence that “reprisals against the civilian population” are absolutely and unconditionally prohibited. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 00/42, ICRC appeal to all involved in violence in the Near East, 21 November 2000.
Oppenheim
Oppenheim states:
In the War of 1914–1918 the illegality, except by way of reprisals, of aerial bombardment directed exclusively against the civilian population for the purpose of terrorisation or otherwise seems to have been generally admitted by the belligerents, – although this fact did not actually prevent attacks on centres of civilian population in the form either of reprisals or of attack against military objectives situated therein. 
Lassa Oppenheim, International Law. A Treatise, Vol. II, Disputes, War and Neutrality, Sixth edition, revised, Hersch Lauterpacht (ed.), Longmans, Green and Co., London/New York/Toronto, 1944, p. 414, § 214ea.