Practice Relating to Rule 27. Religious Personnel

Geneva Convention (1864)
Article 2 of the 1864 Geneva Convention provides: “… chaplains, shall have the benefit of the same neutrality [as military hospitals and ambulances] when on duty, and while there remain any wounded to be brought in or assisted”. 
Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field, Geneva, 22 August 1864, Article 2.
Geneva Convention (1906)
Article 9 of the 1906 Geneva Convention provides: “… the chaplains attached to armies shall be respected and protected under all circumstances. If they fall into the hands of the enemy they shall not be considered as prisoners of war.” 
Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armies in the Field, Geneva, 6 July 1906, Article 9.
Geneva Convention (1929)
Article 9 of the 1929 Geneva Convention provides: “… chaplains attached to armies shall be respected and protected under all circumstances. If they fall into the hands of the enemy they shall not be treated as prisoners of war.” 
Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armies in the Field, Geneva, 27 July 1929, Article 9.
Geneva Convention I
Article 24 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I provides: “… chaplains attached to the armed forces, shall be respected and protected in all circumstances”. 
Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 24.
Geneva Convention II
Article 36 of the 1949 Geneva Convention II provides: “The religious … personnel of hospital ships … shall be respected and protected.” 
Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 36.
Additional Protocol I
According to Article 8(d) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I:
“religious personnel” means military or civilian persons, such as chaplains, who are exclusively engaged in the work of their ministry and attached:
(i) to the armed forces of a Party to the conflict;
(ii) to medical units or medical transports of a Party to the conflict;
(iii) to medical units or medical transports described in Article 9, paragraph 2; or
(iv) to civil defence organizations of a Party to the conflict. 
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 8(d). Article 8 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.37, 24 May 1977, p. 68.
Additional Protocol I
Article 15(5) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides: “Civilian religious personnel shall be respected and protected.” 
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 15(5). Article 15 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.37, 24 May 1977, p. 68.
Additional Protocol II
Article 9(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol II provides: “… religious personnel shall be respected and protected and shall be granted all available help for the performance of their duties”. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 9(1). Article 9 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VII, CDDH/SR.51, 3 June 1977, p. 112.
Oxford Manual
Article 13 of the 1880 Oxford Manual provides: “… chaplains … which are duly authorized to assist the regular sanitary staff – are considered as neutral while so employed, and so long as there remain any wounded to bring in or to succour”. 
The Laws of War on Land, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 September 1880, Article 13.
UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin
Section 9.4 of the 1999 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin provides: “The United Nations force shall in all circumstances respect and protect … religious personnel”. 
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 9.4.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) states that “chaplains attached to the armed forces, shall be respected and protected in all circumstances”. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 3.008.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989), with reference to the relevant provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and of both 1977 Additional Protocols, provides: “The protective norms are applicable to civilian and military religious personnel.” 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 2.16.
Australia
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) states: “Protected status is afforded to civilian and military religious personnel while engaged solely in meeting spiritual needs.” 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 618.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states:
Religious personnel are defined as those military or civilian personnel, who are exclusively engaged in their ministry and who are permanently or temporarily attached to one of the protagonists, their medical units or transports, or to a civil defence … Like medical personnel, chaplains may not be attacked but must be protected and respected. As with medical personnel, religious personnel do not become PW, unless their retention is required for the spiritual welfare of PW [prisoners of war]. They must be repatriated as early as possible. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 983; see also §§ 522, 708 and 902.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states: “Religious personnel, including military chaplains, are protected persons in the same way as are medical personnel. Religious personnel who participate directly in combat operations lose their protected status”.  
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 5.24; see also §§ 4.30, 9.2 and 9.11.
Like medical personnel “chaplains who fall into enemy hands do not become PW [prisoners of war]”. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 10.8.
With regard to the identification of religious personnel, the manual states:
Identity cards are to be issued to … religious … personnel regardless of whether they are of permanent or temporary status. Under no circumstances are they to be deprived of this identification. Should circumstances prevent the issue of an identity card, a certificate may be issued temporarily until such time as a proper card can be issued. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 9.9.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) states: “Religious personnel enjoy the same protection as [permanent] medical personnel.” 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 48.
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Soldiers provides that chaplains attached to the armed forces “do not participate in combat and, as a result, may not be attacked”. 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Dossier d’Instruction pour Soldat, à l’attention des officiers instructeurs, JS3, Etat-Major Général, Forces Armées belges, undated, p. 8.
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) lists military and civilian religious personnel as specially protected persons. 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule I, p. 13.
The manual states: “Specially protected persons may not take a direct part in hostilities and must not be attacked. They shall be allowed to carry out their tasks as long as the tactical situation permits.” 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule III, p. 5; see also Fascicule II, p. 8.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “In the civilian domain, the protected persons include … religious personnel”. 
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. 34; see also Part I, p. 11 and Part I bis, pp. 19 and 34.
The Regulations also states: “Religious personnel … attached to the armed forces must be protected so that they can pursue their tasks independently from actual or possible military operations.” 
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. 34 ;see also Part I, p. 11 and Part I bis, pp. 4 and 19.
The Regulations further states: “It is prohibited to attack … non-combatants (religious personnel …).” 
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. 9.
The Regulations also provides: “The protection accorded to the wounded, sick and shipwrecked extends to … religious personnel tasked with assisting them”. 
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. 57.
The Regulations adds: “Concerning captured enemy military … religious personnel, they must be repatriated as quickly as possible if their presence with the prisoners of war is no longer necessary.” 
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. 105.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) considers both military and civilian religious personnel as specially protected persons. 
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. 19, § 222.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states:
541. Protection of Non-Combatants in Combat Zones
Medical and religious personnel must fulfil their tasks under the special protection of the belligerents; amongst other things, they must provide assistance in the various combat zones and when circumstances require.
2. Religious Personnel
[Special protection was initially] accorded to [just] military chaplains …, to religious personnel on hospital ships … and [to] religious personnel assigned to the spiritual service of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked (provided that such personnel had an official link with the armed forces …), and has [now] been extended to all civilian religious personnel.
The term religious personnel is understood to include personnel who are attached either to the armed forces of the parties to the armed conflict or to medical units or means of transport, or to organs of the civil defence.
The right to protection for religious personnel is the same as for medical personnel. 
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, pp. 229–230, § 541.
The manual also states:
352.2 – Special protection: (persons and objects specially protected.)
Certain categories of persons and objects benefit from special protection under the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law, both in the civilian domain and in the military domain.
352.22 Religious personnel and objects:
The protection is identical for both civilian and military “religious personnel”. 
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. 92, § 352.2 and p. 93, § 352.22.
The manual further states under the heading “ Protection of Persons and Objects”:
4) Enemy Military Religious Personnel
In case of capture, such personnel must be able to continue their activities if the capturing force has not itself secured spiritual assistance.
Their juridical status is identical to that of permanent medical military personnel. Such personnel must not be captured while in service on hospital ships. 
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. 122, § 403; see also p. 165, § 463.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states: “Religious personnel, both military and civilian, have protected status and thus shall not be attacked.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-5, § 41; see also p. 9-3, § 28.
With respect to non-international armed conflict in particular, the manual states: “Religious personnel are to be respected and protected at all times [and] receive all available aid to enable them to fulfil their duties”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 17-4, § 34.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter entitled “Combatant Status”: “Chaplains of the armed forces are non-combatants. They may not be attacked. If captured, they will be returned to their armed forces unless they are retained by the Detaining Power to assist PWs [prisoners of war].” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 310.
In its chapter on targeting, the manual provides:
Medical and religious personnel, both military and civilian, have protected status and thus shall not be attacked. These persons wear the Red Cross or Red Crescent … and carry identity cards which identify them as protected persons. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 432.
In its chapter on the treatment of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked, the manual also states:
“Religious personnel” have the same protections as medical personnel. They are non-combatants. In all cases, the provisions relating to distinctive emblems, such as ID cards and status upon capture for medical personnel applies equally to religious personnel. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 914.2.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflicts, the manual states: “Medical and religious personnel are to be respected and protected at all times [and to] receive all available aid to enable them to fulfil their duties.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1719.2.
In its glossary, the manual defines “chaplain” as “a minister who is a member of the armed forces and who is exclusively engaged in the work of the ministry”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, Glossary, p. GL-3.
“Religious personnel” is defined as follows:
Religious personnel mean military or civilian persons, such as chaplains, who are exclusively engaged in the work of their ministry and attached to:
a. the armed forces of a party to the conflict;
b. medical units or medical transports of a party to the conflict;
c. medical units or medical transports made available to a party to the conflict by:
(1) a neutral or other state which is not a party to that conflict;
(2) a recognized and authorized aid society of such a state; or
(3) an impartial international humanitarian organization; or
d. civil defence organizations of a party to the conflict. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, Glossary, p. GL-16.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 1 (Basic and team leader instruction):
[M]ilitary religious personnel [and] civilian religious personnel … enjoy special protection. They are identified as follows:
- … by either a red cross on a white ground
- or a red crescent on a white ground. 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 1: Formation élémentaire toutes armés (FETA), formation commune de base (FCB), certificat d’aptitude technique No. 1 (Chef d’équipe), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter II, Section II, § 1.
In Volume 2 (Instruction for group and patrol leaders), the manual states:
Specially protected personnel [including military and civilian religious personnel, as identified in Volume 1 of this manual] are authorized to carry out their tasks unless the tactical situation does not allow it. The mission and actual activities of such personnel may be checked. 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 2: Formation pour l’obtention du certificat technique No. 2 (Chef de Groupe), du certificat Inter-Armé (CIA), du certificat d’aptitude de Chef de Patrouille (CACP), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter II, Section II, § 2.1.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states that military religious personnel are protected: “[They] may not take part in hostilities and may not be attacked” but “may lose their protection if they take part in the fighting”. 
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. 16; see also pp. 34, 36 and 88.
The manual also states that religious personnel “have direct access to the authorities of the POW [prisoner-of-war] camp and must be able to access the POW detachments at the camp. They are not prisoners of war.” 
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. 56; see also p. 88.
The manual further states that attacking religious personnel is a war crime. 
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. 78.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book III, Volume 2 (Instruction of second-year trainee officers):
I.3. Protection of military medical and religious personnel
The law gives civilian medical and religious personnel the same status as military medical and religious personnel. Both must be respected and protected. It is appropriate to do everything to allow them to carry out their activities. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 26.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
I.2.3. Medical and religious personnel
Medical and religious personnel, military as well as civilian, enjoy the status of protected person and, consequently, must not be attacked. These persons display the red cross, red crescent or red crystal … and carry pieces of identification which identify them as protected persons …
I.3.1. Chaplains
The chaplains of armed forces are non-combatants. They must not be attacked. If they are captured, they are returned to their armed forces unless they are retained by the detaining Power to assist POWs [prisoners of war].
NB: Distinctive emblem and pieces of identification
Chaplains and medical personnel display a distinctive emblem consisting of a red cross, red crescent or red crystal. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 21, 23 and 33.
Croatia
Croatia’s Commanders’ Manual (1992) states: “Specifically protected persons may not participate directly in hostilities and may not be attacked. They shall be allowed to perform their tasks, when the tactical situation permits.” Such persons include military religious personnel and religious personnel attached to the civilian medical service or to the civil defence service. 
Croatia, Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflicts – Commanders’ Manual, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, §§ 7 and 12.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) states: “Chaplains attached to the armed forces are entitled to the same protection as medical personnel.” 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 11.5.
El Salvador
El Salvador’s Soldiers’ Manual provides: “Religious personnel who serve in hospitals or work for the Red Cross … shall be specially protected because they relieve, aid and comfort all victims without distinction between friend and foe.” 
El Salvador, Manual del Combatiente, undated, p. 12.
France
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) provides:
The specific immunity granted to certain persons and objects by the law of war [including military religious personnel and religious personnel of civilian medical units or civil defence] must be strictly observed … They may not be attacked. 
France, Fiche de Synthèse sur les Règles Applicables dans les Conflits Armés, Note No. 432/DEF/EMA/OL.2/NP, Général de Corps d’Armée Voinot (pour l’Amiral Lanxade, Chef d’Etat-major des Armées), 1992, §§ 2.2 and 2.3.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) states: “The law of armed of conflicts provides special protection for the following persons: … religious personnel attached to armed forces [and] civilian religious personnel”. 
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, pp. 95–96.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states:
801. Chaplains are ministers of faith assigned to the armed forces of a state to provide spiritual care to the persons in their charge.
811. Chaplains shall be respected and protected in all circumstances. This shall apply:
–at any time throughout the duration of an armed conflict;
–at any place; and
–in any case in which chaplains are retained by the adversary, be it temporarily or for a prolonged period of time.
812. Chaplains as such are entitled to the protection provided by international law. Direct participation in rendering assistance to the victims of war (wounded, sick, shipwrecked, prisoners of war, protected civilians) is not required.
813. Unlike medical supplies, the articles used for religious purposes are not explicitly protected by international law. It is, however, in keeping with the tenor of the Geneva Conventions to respect the material required for religious purposes and not use it for alien ends.
816. Any attack directed against chaplains and any infringement of their rights constitutes a grave breach of international law, which shall be liable to criminal prosecution.
817. The fact that chaplains may be armed, and that they may use the arms in their own defence, or in that of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked shall not deprive them of the protection accorded to them by international law. They may use the arms only to repel attacks violating international law, but not to prevent capture.
818. The protection accorded to chaplains shall cease if they use their arms for any other purpose than that of self-protection and defending protected persons.
819. The only arms which may be used are weapons suited for self-defence and emergency aid (individual weapons).
820. In the Federal Republic of Germany chaplains are not armed. 
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 Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, §§ 801, 811–813 and 816–820; see also § 315 (“chaplains are allowed to bear and use small arms”).
Guinea
Guinea’s Soldier’s Manual (2010), under the heading “Distinctive signs” and in a section on “[R]eligious personnel (military and civilian)”, lists the red cross, red crescent and red crystal on a white ground and states: “Respect those bearing … these signs.” 
Guinea, Soldier’s Manual, Ministry of National Defence, 2010, p. 11.
Under the same heading, the manual also shows an image of a person bearing a red cross on a white ground and states: “Let these persons complete their task.” 
Guinea, Soldier’s Manual, Ministry of National Defence, 2010, p. 12.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) states: “Religious personnel have the same status as permanent medical personnel.” 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 19.
Indonesia
Indonesia’s Field Manual (1979) restates the rule on religious personnel found in Article 24 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I. 
Indonesia, Field Manual concerning the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Department of Defence, 1979, § 6(c).
Indonesia
Indonesia’s Air Force Manual (1990) provides: “A non-combatant is not a lawful military target in warfare. They consist of: a. members of the armed forces with special status such as chaplains.” 
Indonesia, The Basics of International Humanitarian Law in Air Warfare, Indonesian Air Force, 1990, § 24(a).
Ireland
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) states:
Medical [and religious] personnel engaged in the search for, or the collection, transport, or treatment of the wounded or sick must be respected and protected in all circumstances. Medical [and religious] personnel may be armed with light individual weapons for their own protection and the protection of persons under their care. Religious personnel attached to the armed forces have the same rights as medical personnel.
… [R]eligious personnel include:
- personnel such as chaplains (whether military or civilian) who are dedicated exclusively to the exercise of their ministry.
If … religious personnel fall into “enemy” hands, they shall be allowed to continue their duties towards the wounded and sick. It is important to note that technically they do not become PWs [prisoners of war] but they are entitled to the benefit of the same treatment afforded to PWs. As soon as the situation permits, senior headquarters will permit these personnel to be returned to their own side. In spite of these rules, the capturing party is entitled to retain a certain number of … religious personnel for the benefit of the PWs they hold. The number of those retained will be determined by … the spiritual needs and the number of prisoners. 
Ireland, Basic Guide to the Law of Armed Conflict, TP/TRG/01-2005, Director of Defence Forces Training, Department of Defence, July 2005, pp. 6–7.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) states: “A provision similar to that applying to medical personnel exists also with regard to chaplains. They too do not take part in the hostilities, they may not be harmed and may not be taken prisoner.” 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 33.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states: “A similar instruction relating to medical teams exists in relation to ministers of religion. As long as they do not participate in the fighting, it is forbidden to attack them or to take them into captivity.” 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 24.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Italy
Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) states that “specifically protected persons may not participate directly in hostilities and may not be attacked”, including military religious personnel and religious personnel attached to the civilian medical service or to the civil defence service. 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, §§ 7 and 12.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) states that the protection afforded to military medical personnel also applies to military religious personnel. 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 2, p. 15.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) states: “Specifically protected persons may not participate directly in hostilities and may not be attacked. They shall be allowed to perform their tasks, when the tactical situation permits.” Such persons include military religious personnel and religious personnel attached to the civilian medical service or to the civil defence service. 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, p. 75, § 6.
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009) states: “In case of armed conflict, … military and civilian … religious personnel … may not be attacked. To the contrary, they must be respected and protected.” 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 31.
In a section on the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the manual also states that “chaplains attached to the armed forces must be respected and protected in all circumstances.” 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 74; see also § 97.
The manual further states: “The [1949 Geneva] Convention [II] provides that religious personnel … must be respected and protected in all circumstances.” 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 127.
The manual also states that the 1977 Additional Protocol II “includes rules similar to those laid down in [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I for situations of internal armed conflict … It also provides that … religious personnel … must receive particularly favourable treatment.” 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 285.
Mexico
Mexico’s IHL Guidelines (2009), in a section entitled “Basic rules of conduct in armed conflict”, states that “religious personnel … must not be attacked.” 
Mexico, Cartilla de Derecho Internacional Humanitario, Ministry of National Defence, 2009, § 14(f).
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states that “religious personnel must be respected and protected” and stresses that, according to the Netherlands, “humanist counsellors belong to religious personnel”. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. VI-4.
With respect to non-international armed conflicts in particular, the manual states: “Religious personnel must be respected and protected and must receive aid to fulfil their tasks.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, pp. XI-5 and XI-6.
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands provides: “Religious personnel enjoy the same protection as medical personnel.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-41.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “Medical (and religious) personnel must be respected and protected.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0617.
The manual further states:
Religious personnel are not considered medical personnel, but enjoy the same protection. They may be military or civilian. They include almoners, field pastors and rabbis whose sole duty is to act as ministers. They are attached to the armed forces of one party to the conflict, to medical corps or to civil defence institutions. Although less well known outside the Netherlands, humanist counsellors and life coaches also belong to the category of religious personnel. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0616.
The manual also states: “The term ‘non-combatant’ is used for anyone who is not a combatant. This includes all civilians … It also includes medical personnel and chaplains.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0305.
In addition, the manual provides that “[m]ilitary members of the medical and religious personnel are not treated as prisoners of war. The detaining power may require them to lend support and assistance to prisoners of war”. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0704.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states:
Medical and religious personnel must be respected, protected and helped in fulfilling their duties. They may not be forced to carry out tasks incompatible with their humanitarian mission. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1057.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states, with respect to non-international armed conflicts in particular: “Religious personnel are to be respected and protected at all times, receiving all available aid to enable them to fulfil their duties.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1818(2).
Nicaragua
Nicaragua’s Military Manual (1996) states, with respect to international armed conflicts, that assistance to the wounded, sick and shipwrecked includes a requirement of “respect for and protection of chaplains in all circumstances”. 
Nicaragua, Manual de Comportamiento y Proceder de las Unidades Militares y de los Miembros del Ejército de Nicaragua en Tiempo de Paz, Conflictos Armados, Situaciones Irregulares o Desastres Naturales, Ejército de Nicaragua, Estado Mayor General, Asesoría Jurídica del Nicaragua, 1996, Article 14(5).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994) provides: “Specifically protected persons … recognised as such must be respected. Specifically protected persons are to be allowed to fulfil their activity unless the tactical situation does not permit.” 
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, p. 45, § (f).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War provides: “Military chaplains accompanying armed forces are also entitled to protection.” 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 33.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “The status accorded to … religious personnel and objects means that they are not considered combatants or military objectives.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 100.
The manual further states:
(1) Religious personnel can be retained to tend to the spiritual needs of the prisoners of war of their own armed forces. If there is no work for them, they must be repatriated.
(2) The status of retained religious personnel is as follows:
(a) they are not prisoners of war;
(b) in practice, their freedom can be restricted in the interests of the security of the detaining power and they can be assigned to provide services in prisoner-of-war camps and labour detachments.
(3) They are entitled, as a minimum, to the protection granted to prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 31.c.(1)–(3); see also § 156.d.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states in its Glossary of Terms: “The following persons are protected by international law: … religious personnel”. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § d , p. 411.
The manual further states: “The status accorded to … religious personnel and objects means that they are not considered combatants or military objectives.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 91, p. 291.
The manual also states:
(1) Religious personnel can be retained to tend to the spiritual needs of the prisoners of war of their own armed forces. If there is no work for them, they must be repatriated.
(2) The status of retained religious personnel is as follows:
(b) In practice, their freedom can be restricted in the interests of the security of the detaining power and they can be assigned to provide services in prisoner-of-war camps and labour detachments. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 32(1)–(2), p. 249.
Philippines
The Philippines’ Air Power Manual (2000) provides:
1-6.3. The 1949 Geneva Convention includes the doctrine of proportionality – a concept which provides foundation for LOAC … It also embodies the protection of the various classes of people affected by the hostilities.
1-6.5. In addition to the conventions, Additional Protocols are incorporated which deal with people and their claim to protection under defined circumstances, such as medical and religious personnel. Additional Protocol One includes international conflicts and wars of national liberation. In effect, it defines the protection of the civilian population in times of international conflict.
1-6.6. Additional Protocol Two defines two things: limitations in the conduct of operations and principles relating to the protection of civilians in a non-international conflict. Thus, every combatant should understand the consequences of this Protocol. 
Philippines, Air Power Manual, Philippine Air Force, Headquarters, Office of Special Studies, May 2000, §§ 1-6.3 and 1-6.5–1-6.6.
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s Operational Law Manual (1996) states that military religious personnel must be protected. 
Republic of Korea, Operational Law Manual, 1996, p. 133.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states: “persons protected by international humanitarian law include … medical and religious personnel … Attacks against such persons are prohibited.” 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 1.
The Regulations further states: “The provisions related to the protection of medical personnel are applied to religious personnel by analogy.” 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 1.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “Religious personnel of the parties to a conflict, whether military or civilian, are to be respected and protected.” 
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, § 46. This manual is also included in Chapter 4 of the Draft Civic Education Manual of 1997.
South Africa
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) states:
62. … Religious Personnel. … [R]eligious personnel of the parties to a conflict, whether military or civilian, are to be respected and protected. This protection is not a personal privilege but rather a natural consequence of the rules designed to ensure respect and protection for the victims of armed conflict …
64. … [R]eligious personnel must abstain from all acts of hostility or they lose their protection. They are authorised to carry only light arms and have the right to use them only for their own defence or for that of the wounded and sick for whom they are responsible. 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, §§ 62 and 64.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Teaching Manual (2008) states:
2.1 Basic Categories of Persons and Objects Recognised under the LOAC [law of armed conflict]
Specifically Protected Persons and Objects recognised under the LOAC
The following persons and objects fall within the specifically protected category under the LOAC:
- Religious personnel;
- Religious objects;
Basic Categories: Objects
Civilian persons, medical personnel and chaplains present in a military object or in the immediate vicinity of such an object share the risk of possible attacks.
Specifically Protected Persons and Objects
General Rule
The LOAC grants particular protection to specific categories of persons and objects[.] The reason for this special protection corresponds with the general aim of the LOAC, to wit, to allow commanders to wage war against the enemy with maximum effect, but at the same time to minimise the suffering of those who are caught up in a war without being any threat to the warring parties.
Persons who are specifically protected are persons who do not participate in hostilities and objects specifically protected are those that are not used for combat purposes. Such persons and objects are not used in attacks and cannot properly defend themselves against attacks.
Persons Who Enjoy Protection in terms of the LOAC. These persons are:
- Medical personnel and chaplains (Geneva Conventions 3 article 33 and Additional Protocol I article 43). …
- Religious personnel are: persons exclusively engaged in ministry.
Nature of the Protection Awarded
- General Principles
- It is forbidden to attack, kill, mistreat or injure protected persons.
- There is an obligation on States (and their armed forces) to help and to care for protected persons.
- Protected persons must be protected against attacks or ill treatment by, e.g. civilians or members of the armed forces.
- Specific Provisions. Apart from the abovementioned general principles, the LOAC also contains specific provisions relating to the respective categories of protected persons and objects, which must be complied with.
Special Protection in the Military Field
- The LOAC is aimed at allowing the tasks of the following specifically protected persons and objects within the armed forces (in the widest sense) to continue independently of any military operations[:]
- Military religious personnel.
- The specific medical or religious status of persons and objects in these fields deprives them of the obvious status of being a combatant or a military objective.
International Instruments
Providing for this specific protection is:
- [1949] Geneva Convention I articles 19, 24, 35, and 36.
- [1949] Geneva Convention II articles 22, 27, 36, and 37.
- [1977] Additional Protocol I articles 8 and 12.
Special Protection in the Civilian Field
- The special protection regarding protection of civilians and civilian objects is aimed at[:]
- Allowing for the normal functioning of[:]
- Religious personnel of the civilian medical services and civil defence; and
Conclusion
- Persons who enjoy protection in terms of the LOAC are combatants who are hors de combat, civilians, medical and religious personnel and the dead.
2.2 Military Medical Services and Religious Personnel/objects
Military Medical Personnel and Religious Personnel
Who are “Military Medical Personnel”?
According to Additional Protocol I article 8(c), read with Geneva Convention I article 24 and Geneva Convention II articles 36 and 37, the following personnel fall under the definition of “medical personnel”:
- Chaplains and other religious personnel attached to the armed forces, medical units or medical transports of a Party to the conflict.
Who are “Religious Personnel”?
According to Additional Protocol I article 8, read with Geneva Convention I article 24 and Geneva Convention II articles 36 and 37, the following personnel fall under the definition of “religious personnel” as military or civilian persons, such as Chaplains, who are exclusively engaged in the work of [their] Ministry and permanently or temporarily attached to;
- Civil defence organisations of a Party to the conflict;
- The armed forces of a Party to the conflict;
- Medical units or medical transports of a Party to the conflict;
- Medical units or medical transports, (other than hospital ships to which article 25 Geneva Convention II applies), and their personnel made available to a Party to a conflict for humanitarian purposes by[:]
- A neutral or other State which is not a Party to that conflict;
- A recognised and authorised aid society of that State; or
- An impartial international humanitarian organisation.
Additional Protocol [I] Article 43.2 states that medical personnel and chaplains are not “combatants” even though they are members of an armed force of a Party to a conflict.
- Note must also be taken of article 15.5 of Additional Protocol I which determines that[:]
- Civilian religious personnel shall be respected and protected; and
- The provisions of the Conventions and this Protocol regarding the protection and identification of (military) medical and religious personnel shall apply equally to civilian religious personnel. In this regard it must be remembered that [1949] Geneva Convention IV article 18 determines that civilian hospitals may only be marked with the Red Cross/Crescent if authorised to do so by the State, therefore the same should apply to civilian religious personnel.
Nature of the Protection of Military Medical and Religious Personnel
- Military medical and religious personnel mentioned above are at all times entitled to protection from the use of force against them, provided that they themselves refrain from any participation in combat or hostile military action, excluding private defence. (Geneva Convention I article 24.)
- Military medical and religious personnel, are non-combatants, therefore they do not become POW [prisoners of war] when falling into the power of the enemy Party. However:
- They may be retained by the capturing party for the purpose of providing medical and religious services to POW. If such services are not required anymore, they must be released to return to their own forces.
- While they are so retained, they shall, at the very least, be entitled to the same protection as POW. (Geneva Convention I article 28.)
- Military medical personnel and military religious personnel are entitled to be armed with light individual weapons for their own protection or for that of the wounded and sick in their care. (Geneva Convention I article 22, Geneva Convention II article 35 and Additional Protocol I article 28.)
- Non-International Armed Conflicts. Article 9 of [the 1977] Additional Protocol II determines that in non-international armed conflicts, medical and religious personnel shall[:]
- Be respected and protected;
- Be granted all available help for the performance of their duties; and
- Not be compelled to carry out tasks that are not compatible with their humanitarian mission.
What are “Religious Objects” (1949 Geneva Convention III Articles 33 read with 72 read with Geneva Convention IV Article 58)? “Religious objects” are[:]
- Any objects and articles of a religious character (e.g. Books, devotional articles, etc); and
- Any objects exclusively used by military religious personnel (e.g. Means of transportation).
- Places of worship are protected under Additional Protocol I article 53. This will be covered in more detail in a later lecture.
Warning: Condition before Military Medical Personnel, Establishments, Units or Transport and Military Religious Personnel can forfeit their Protection (Geneva Convention I Article 21). Even if the abovementioned loses its right to protection, the following steps must be taken before such an establishment or unit can be attacked.
- Due warning must first be given to that institution or unit that it is to lose its protection and render it liable to attack;
- A reasonable time limit must be given for the institution or unit to put an end to its harmful acts; and
- The warning must remain unheeded.
Conclusion
Military medical personnel and chaplains of the armed forces are specifically protected by the LOAC.
Military and civilian religious personnel are both specially protected by the LOAC, but are protected differently in that military religious personnel have the same status as military medical personnel and civilian religious personnel enjoy the same protection as civilians.
Religious personnel are military or civilian persons who are exclusively engaged in the work of their ministry and permanently or temporarily attached to civil defence organisations, armed forces or medical units or medical transports of a Party to the conflict or to medical units or medical transports, (other than hospital ships) and their personnel made available to a Party to a conflict for humanitarian purposes by a neutral or other State which is not a Party to that conflict, a recognised and authorised aid society of that State or an impartial international humanitarian organisation.
Members of the medical personnel and chaplains may not renounce the rights that they have under LOAC.
Military medical personnel and religious personnel mentioned above are at all times entitled to protection from the use of force against them as long as they refrain from any hostile military action. Medical and religious personnel are non-combatants, therefore they do not become POW when falling into the power of the enemy Party. They may be retained by the capturing party for the purpose of providing medical and religious services to POW. While they are retained, they are entitled to support and assistance by the retaining Power. If such services are not required anymore, they must be released, according to specific prescripts, to return to their own forces.
Medical and religious personnel are also protected during non-international armed conflicts where they shall be respected and protected, granted all available help for the performance of their duties and not be compelled to carry out tasks which are not compatible with their humanitarian mission.
2.3 Specifically Protected Persons and Objects under:
a) Civilian Medical Services
Non-International Armed Conflicts. Article 9 of Additional Protocol II also applies to civilian medical and religious personnel. They shall therefore also:
- Be respected and protected; and
- Be granted all available help for the performance of their duties; and
- Not be compelled to carry out tasks that are not compatible with their humanitarian mission.
Conclusion
The LOAC extends special protection to civilian medical services and religious personnel.
Civilian medical and religious personnel are all medical and religious personnel that are not military medical personnel or chaplains of the armed forces.
During non-international armed conflicts, civilian medical and religious personnel shall be respected, protected, granted all available help for the performance of their duties and not be compelled to carry out tasks which are not compatible with their humanitarian mission.
Treatment of POW
Members of the medical services and religious personnel who have been captured are not regarded as POW but enjoy nevertheless, as a minimum, all the advantages of Geneva Convention III. 
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. 52–77 and 95.
[emphasis in original]
The manual also states:
- Targeting Prohibitions. It is prohibited to specifically target those possible targets which are specially protected under the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol I such as:
- Protected Persons. Such as wounded and sick, civilians, persons hors de combat, medical and religious personnel and journalists. 
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. 184.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides, with reference to Article 15 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I: “Religious personnel, whether civilian or military, are governed by the same rules as medical personnel.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, División de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 4.5.b.(1)(b).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states, with reference to Article 15 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I: “Civilian and military religious personnel are governed by the same provisions as medical personnel.” 
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, § 4.5.b.(1).(b); see also §§ 5.2.a.(2).(d) and 7.3.a.(10).
The manual further states that “religious personnel … who take a direct part in hostilities” are military objectives and can therefore be attacked. 
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, § 4.5.b.(1).(a).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) states: “Religious personnel must be respected and protected in all circumstances. They may not be attacked or prevented from carrying out their duties.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 78(1).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
12. The principle of distinction
159 Hostilities must be directed exclusively against combatants and military objectives. …
3 Protected persons are persons who are not or no longer taking part in combat or enjoy specially protected status, such as medical and religious personnel, civil protection or cultural property protection personnel, as well as wounded persons and prisoners of war.
13 Protected persons
13.1 Behaviour with regard to the wounded, sick and shipwrecked and medical and religious personnel
175 Chaplains must be spared and protected in all circumstances. This applies at all times and in all places during the armed conflict, particularly when the enemy retains them to minister to their own armed forces. Military chaplains wear, affixed to the left arm, an armlet bearing the red cross or the red crescent on a white ground.
15 Methods of warfare
15.2 Prohibited methods of warfare
225 Indiscriminate attacks, i.e. attacks which cannot distinguish between protected persons/objects and military objectives, as well as attacks directed against protected persons/objects or acts of revenge are prohibited in any place and at any time.
17 Sanctions for violations of the international law of armed conflict
17.1 General provisions
237 The following in particular are criminal offences: … harmful acts against internationally protected persons and objects[.] 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance on the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, §§ 159(3), 175, 225 and 237. The German language version of § 175 notes “… particularly also [“insbesondere auch”] when the enemy retains them to minister to their own armed forces. …”
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) lists military and civilian religious personnel as specially protected persons. 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule I, p. 14.
The manual states: “Specially protected persons may not take a direct part in hostilities and must not be attacked. They shall be allowed to carry out their tasks as long as the tactical situation permits.” 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule III, p. 5; see also Fascicule II, p. 8.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states that religious personnel are “protected under international humanitarian law” and that directing attacks against such persons constitutes “a serious violation of international humanitarian law”. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, §§ 1.2.33 and 1.8.5.
The manual further states:
1.2.24. Non-combatants (those who do not fight) are members of the armed forces who provide assistance to them but take no direct part in hostilities. These [include] chaplains … Weapons shall not be employed against such persons while they are engaged in the performance of their direct duties.
Such persons become combatants in case of their direct participation in hostilities.
1.2.36. “Religious personnel” means persons who are exclusively engaged in the performance of religious (spiritual) functions. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, §§ 1.2.24 and 1.2.36.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) states: “Chaplains attached to armed forces enjoy all the privileges of the permanent medical personnel.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 346, footnote 1.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) provides: “Chaplains attached to the armed forces have protected status and may not be attacked … They may not be armed.” 
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 6, p. 24, § 13.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states that “chaplains … may in no circumstances renounce in whole or in part, the rights secured to them by the [1949 Geneva] Convention[s] or by Additional Protocol I”. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 7.9.
The manual further states:
Chaplains are entitled to similar respect, protection and identification to that afforded to medical personnel. The rules on armlets and identity cards [concerning identification of service medical personnel] apply equally to chaplains. The [1949 Geneva] Conventions are silent on whether chaplains may be armed. United Kingdom policy is that chaplains should be unarmed. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 7.30.
Furthermore, the manual prohibits attacks on medical and religious personnel in non-international armed conflict. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 15.29.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) restates Article 24 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 67.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) states: “Chaplains attached to the armed forces are entitled to respect and protection.” 
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), § 11.5.
United States of America
The Annotated Supplement to the US Naval Handbook (1997) notes: “The United States supports the principle in [Article 15 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I] that civilian … religious personnel be respected and protected and not be made the objects of attack.” 
United States, Annotated Supplement to the Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, prepared by the Oceans Law and Policy Department, Center for Naval Warfare Studies, Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, November 1997, § 11.5, footnote 31.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “Chaplains attached to the armed forces are entitled to respect and protection.” 
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, § 8.2.4.2.
The Handbook also states:
Noncombatants [§ 5.4.2. – “Noncombatants are those members of the armed forces who do not take direct part in hostilities because of their status as medical personnel and chaplains”] may not be deliberately or indiscriminately attacked, unless they forgo their protection by taking a direct part in hostilities. 
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, § 6.2.6.
The Handbook also states:
[C]haplains falling into enemy hands … unless their retention by the enemy is required to provide for the … religious needs of prisoners of war, … must be repatriated at the earliest opportunity. 
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, § 11.4.
United States of America
The US Manual for Military Commissions (2010), Part IV, Crimes and Elements, states: “The term ‘protected person’ means any person entitled to protection under one or more of the [1949] Geneva Conventions, including … military … religious personnel.” 
United States, Manual for Military Commissions, published in implementation of Chapter 47A of Title 10, United States Code, as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009, 10 U.S.C, §§ 948a, et seq., 27 April 2010, § 1(a)(2)(C), p. IV-1.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) provides that “military chaplains attached to the armed forces are equated to permanent medical personnel in terms of protection”. 
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, § 177.
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Code of Conduct for Combatants (1993), under the heading “Distinctive signs”, in a section on “[R]eligious personnel (military and civilian)”, lists the red cross, red crescent and red crystal on a white ground and states: “Respect those bearing and objects marked with such signs.” 
Zimbabwe, Code of Conduct for Combatants, Joint publication of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross Regional Delegation in Harare, 1993, p. 12.
Australia
Australia’s Criminal Code Act (1995), as amended to 2007, states with respect to war crimes that are serious violations of article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and are committed in the course of an armed conflict that is not an international armed conflict:
268.69 Definition of religious personnel
In this Subdivision:
religious personnel includes non-confessional, non-combatant military personnel carrying out a similar function to religious personnel. 
Australia, Criminal Code Act, 1995, as amended to 2007, Chapter 8, § 268.69, p. 347.
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “violation of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” is a crime. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(2)(e).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (2003) contains the following war crimes provision:
Whoever, in violation of the rules of international law in time of war or armed conflict, orders or perpetrates in regard to … clergy, any of the following acts:
(a) Depriving another person of their life (murder), intentional infliction of severe physical or mental pain or suffering upon a person (torture), inhuman treatment, including therein biological, medical or other scientific experiments, taking of tissue or organs for the purpose of transplantation;
(b) Causing of great suffering or serious injury to bodily integrity or health;
shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of not less than ten years or long-term imprisonment. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Code, 2003, Article 174(a) and (b).
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Law on the Red Cross Emblem (2009) states:
The persons, units and logistical means mentioned hereafter may use the Emblem or be designated by it:
- under the supervision of the national Ministry of Defence, … in times of peace or of armed conflict, … religious … personnel attached to the armed forces. Religious … personnel must wear an armband or a number and an identity card with the Emblem, which are provided by the National President of the Central African Red Cross;
- with the explicit authorization of the Ministry of Public Health and the National President of the Central African Red Cross and under their supervision, in times of peace and in times of war, … civilian religious personnel attached to … hospitals and medical units may be recognized in the same manner. Civilian religious … personnel must wear an armband and an identity card with the Emblem, which are provided by the National President of the Central African Red Cross. 
Central African Republic, Law on the Red Cross Emblem, 2009, Article 7.
Colombia
Colombia’s Emblem Law (2004) states: “Religious personnel that form part of the armed forces benefit from the same protection as medical personnel”. 
Colombia, Emblem Law, 2004, Article 5.
Colombia
Colombia’s Decree No. 138 (2005), which implements the Emblem Law (2004), states: “All authorities and persons in Colombia must protect the … religious personnel of the public forces [i.e. the armed forces and the police].” 
Colombia, Decree No. 138, 2005, Article 16.
Croatia
Under Croatia’s Criminal Code (1997), “killing, torture or inhuman treatment” of religious personnel is a war crime. 
Croatia, Criminal Code, 1997, Article 159.
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).
Estonia
Under Estonia’s Penal Code (2001), “a person who kills, tortures, causes health damage to or takes hostage … a minister of religion” commits a war crime. 
Estonia, Penal Code, 2001, § 102.
Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s Criminal Code (2004) provides:
Article 271.- War Crimes against Wounded, Sick or Shipwrecked Persons or Medical Services.
(1) Whoever, in the circumstances defined above [i.e., in time of war, armed conflict or occupation … and in violation of the rules of public international law and of international humanitarian conventions] organizes, orders or engages in:
(c) compelling persons engaged in … religious … activities to perform acts or to carry out work contrary to or to refrain from acts required by their … professional rules and ethics or other rules designed for the benefit of the wounded, sick or civilian population,
is punishable in accordance with Article 270 [i.e., 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 271(1)(c).
France
France’s Code of Defence (2004), as amended in 2008, states:
Combatants must respect and treat with humanity all persons protected by the applicable international conventions, as well as their objects.
… [R]eligious personnel are protected persons …
Protected persons are protected as long as they abstain from taking a direct part in hostilities.
It is prohibited for combatants to deliberately target protected persons. 
France, Code of Defence, 2004, as amended in 2008, Article D4122-8.
Georgia
Georgia’s Criminal Code (1999) provides for the punishment of “wilful breaches of norms of international humanitarian law committed in an international or internal armed conflict … against … religious personnel”. 
Georgia, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 411(2).
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Article 24 of the Geneva Convention I and Article 36 of the Geneva Convention II, and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 15, as well as any “contravention” of the 1977 Additional Protocol II, including violations of Article 9, are punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Italy
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, provides that chaplains attached to the armed forces must be respected and protected “provided they are not committing acts of hostility”. 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, as amended in 1992, Article 95.
Nicaragua
Nicaragua’s Military Penal Code (1996) provides for the punishment of any soldier who “exercises violence against the personnel of … religious services, be they enemy or neutral, members of aid organizations and personnel affected to the services of [religious establishments]”, provided that the protection due is not misused for hostile purposes. 
Nicaragua, Military Penal Code, 1996, Article 57(2).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 … [and in] the two additional protocols to these Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108.
Poland
Under Poland’s Penal Code (1997), religious personnel are protected. 
Poland, Penal Code, 1997, Article 123(1).
Senegal
Senegal’s Law on the Utilization and Protection of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Emblems (2005) states: “Religious personnel attached to the Armed Forces benefit from the same protection as medical personnel and are to make themselves recognizable in the same way.” 
Senegal, Law on the Utilization and Protection of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Emblems, 2005, Article 2.
Serbia
Serbia’s Criminal Code (2005) states that, in time of war, armed conflict or occupation, ordering or committing an attack “against … religious staff” constitutes a war crime. 
Serbia, Criminal Code, 2005, Article 373.
Slovenia
Under Slovenia’s Penal Code (1994), “slaughter, torture [or] inhuman treatment” of religious personnel is a war crime. 
Slovenia, Penal Code, 1994, Article 375.
Somalia
Somalia’s Military Criminal Code (1963) states:
378. Violence against … ministers of religion – 1. … [A]nyone who uses violence against any of the persons regularly assigned to the medical service, when, in accordance with the law and international agreements, the said personnel must be respected and protected, shall be punished by imprisonment for 5 to 15 years.
2. The same penalty shall be applied if the act is committed against any of the ministers of religion assigned to the armed forces.
3. If the violence consists of homicide, including attempted murder or manslaughter, or severe personal injury, the corresponding penalties prescribed in the criminal code shall be applied. The penalty of short-term imprisonment shall, however, be increased.
379. Failure to release … ministers of religion. – Anyone who, in violation of the laws and international agreements, fails to hand over or release or otherwise detains any of the persons referred to in the preceding article when they have ceased to carry out their work in … places where they were providing services, shall be punished by military confinement for one to five years. 
Somalia, Military Criminal Code, 1963, Articles 378–379.
Spain
Spain’s Military Criminal Code (1985) provides for the punishment of any soldier who “exercises violence against the personnel of … religious services, be they enemy or neutral, members of aid organizations and personnel affected to the services of [religious establishments]”, provided that the protection due is not misused for hostile purposes. 
Spain, Military Criminal Code, 1985, Article 77(4).
Spain
Spain’s Penal Code (1995) provides for the punishment of “anyone who should … exercise violence on … religious personnel”. 
Spain, Penal Code, 1995, Article 612(2).
Spain
Spain’s Penal Code (1995), as amended in 2003, states:
Anyone who [commits any of the following acts] during armed conflict shall be punished with three to seven years’ imprisonment:
2. Exercising violence against … religious personnel. 
Spain, Penal Code, 1995, as amended on 25 November 2003, Article 612(2).
Spain
Spain’s Ministerial Order on Chaplains of the Armed Forces (2004) states:
During operations that may involve the use of force, chaplains belonging to the Military Archbishopric shall wear on their left arm an armlet … with the international distinctive sign for the protection of chaplains assigned to the Armed Forces established in the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 8 June 1977, consisting of a red cross on a white background. 
Spain, Ministerial Order on Chaplains of the Armed Forces, 2004, p. 4.280.
Sudan
Sudan’s Armed Forces Act (2007) provides:
Subject to the provisions of the Criminal Act of 1991, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years, or with any lighter penalty, whoever treats inhumanly any of the persons hereinafter mentioned, during wartime, by killing him/her or causing physical or moral injury or grievous suffering thereto …:
(c) personnel of the … religious service of the enemy, unless they turn into combatants. 
Sudan, Armed Forces Act, 2007, Article 152.
Tajikistan
Tajikistan’s Criminal Code (1998), in the section on “Serious violations of international humanitarian law”, provides for the punishment of “wilful breaches of norms of international humanitarian law committed in an international or non-international armed conflict, against … religious personnel”. 
Tajikistan, Criminal Code, 1998, Article 403(2).
United States of America
The US Military Commissions Act (2006), passed by Congress following the Supreme Court’s decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in 2006, amends Title 10 of the United States Code as follows:
§ 950v. Crimes triable by military commissions
“(a) DEFINITIONS AND CONSTRUCTION. – In this section:
“ …
“(2) PROTECTED PERSON. – The term “protected person” means any person entitled to protection under one or more of the Geneva Conventions, including –
“ …
“(C) military medical or religious personnel. 
United States, Military Commissions Act, 2006, Public Law 109-366, Chapter 47A of Title 10 of the United States Code, 17 October 2006, p. 120 Stat. 2625, § 950v (a) (2) (C).
United States of America
The US Military Commissions Act (2009) amends Chapter 47A of Title 10 of the United States Code as follows:
§ 950p. Definitions; construction of certain offenses; common circumstances
“(a) DEFINITIONS.—In this subchapter:
“ …
“ (2) The term ‘protected person’ means any person entitled to protection under one or more of the [1949] Geneva Conventions, including … military … religious personnel. 
United States, Military Commissions Act, 2009, § 950p(a)(2).
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
Under the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Penal Code (1976), as amended in 2001, “murder, torture [or] inhuman treatment” of religious personnel is a war crime. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Penal Code, 1976, as amended in 2001, Article 143.
Colombia
In 2007, in the Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated that the obligation in the 1977 Additional Protocol II to respect and protect religious personnel “has attained customary status, mainly due to its impact on State practice and on conflicts in the last decades”. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, Judgment of 25 April 2007, p. 69; see also p. 119.
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.
United States of America
David Hicks, an Australian citizen, was captured in Afghanistan in December 2001 and afterwards detained at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. In March 2007, in the Hicks case, the accused became the first person to be tried and convicted under the US Military Commissions Act of 2006. Following a pre-trial agreement struck with the Convening Authority, the accused pleaded guilty to the charge of “providing material support for terrorism”. In April 2007, Hicks returned to Australia to serve the remaining nine months of a suspended seven-year sentence. In the case’s record of trial for the 30 March 2007 hearing, the military judge defined various terms contained in the charge to which the accused had pleaded guilty:
“Protected person” means any person entitled to protection under one or more of the Geneva Conventions, including: (a) civilians not taking part in hostilities; (b) military personnel placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, or detention; and (c) military medical or religious personnel. 
United States, Office of Military Commissions, Hicks case, Record of Trial, 26 and 30 March 2007.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In 2005, in its initial report to the Human Rights Committee, Bosnia and Herzegovina stated that its Law on Freedom of Religion and on the Legal Status of Churches and Religious Communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2004) prohibits “attacks on and insults towards religious officials”. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Initial report to the Human Rights Committee, 24 November 2005, UN Doc. CCPR/C/BIH/1, § 206.
China
The Report on the Practice of China states: “China is of the opinion that … religious personnel … shall be respected and protected from attacks.” 
Report on the Practice of China, 1997, Chapter 2.7.
Djibouti
In 2010, in the History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, under the heading “Basic rules of IHL” and in a section on “Specific protection”, stated that “religious personnel shall be respected and protectedˮ. 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, 2010, p. 194.
Iraq
The Report on the Practice of Iraq refers to the protection afforded to religious personnel by the 1949 Geneva Conventions. 
Report on the Practice of Iraq, 1998, Chapter 2.7.
Israel
According to the Report on the Practice of Israel, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) do not have a policy of targeting the religious personnel of their adversaries. The report adds that the implementation of this policy is subject to such personnel being clearly recognizable and not participating in hostile activities. 
Report on the Practice of Israel, 1997, Chapter 2.7, referring to Law of War Booklet, 1986, p. 7.
Netherlands
At the CDDH, the Netherlands proposed an amendment to include a new paragraph in Article 15 of the draft Additional Protocol I to the effect that “persons, attached to civilian medical units, who are giving not religious but other spiritual help, shall be protected and respected”. 
Netherlands, Proposal of amendment to Article 15 of the draft Additional Protocol I submitted to the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/II/216, 13 February 1975, p. 74.
The proposal was rejected by 13 votes in favour, 6 against and 29 abstentions. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XI, CDDH/II/SR.19, 13 February 1975, p. 184, § 65.
Netherlands
In an explanatory memorandum on the ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocols, the Government of the Netherlands made a declaration to the effect that “humanist counsellors” were entitled to the same protection as religious personnel. 
Netherlands, Lower House of Parliament, Explanatory memorandum on the ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocols, 1983–1984 Session, Doc. 18 277 (R 1247), No. 3, p. 14.
Rwanda
Based on replies by army officers to a questionnaire, the Report on the Practice of Rwanda states that military religious personnel must be protected. According to the report, no distinction is made between international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Report on the Practice of Rwanda, 1997, Replies by army officers to a questionnaire, Chapter 2.7.
United States of America
In 1987, the Deputy Legal Adviser of the US Department of State affirmed that “we support the principle that medical and religious personnel must be respected and protected” as provided in Article 15 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
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 University Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 2, 1987, p. 423.
United States of America
Upon signature of the 1977 Additional Protocols I and II, the United States declared:
It is the understanding of the United States of America that the terms used in Part III of [the 1977 Additional Protocol II] which are the same as the terms defined in Article 8 [of the 1977 Additional Protocol I] shall so far as relevant be construed in the same sense as those definitions. 
United States, Declaration made upon signature of the 1977 Additional Protocols I and II, 12 December 1977, § B.
United States of America
According to the Report on US Practice, it is the opinio juris of the United States that medical and religious personnel are not to be knowingly attacked or unnecessarily prevented from performing their duties in either international or non-international armed conflicts. 
Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 2.7.
Yugoslavia
An order issued in 1991 by the Chief of General Staff of the Yugoslav People’s Army (YPA) instructs YPA units to “apply all means to prevent any attempt of … mistreatment of … religious and medical personnel”. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Chief of General Staff of the Yugoslav People’s Army, Political Department, Order No. 579, 14 October 1991, § 2.
Zimbabwe
According to the Report on the Practice of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe regards the protection of religious personnel from attack as being a rule of customary international law. 
Report on the Practice of Zimbabwe, 1998, Chapter 2.7.
No data.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In 1980, in a draft resolution included in a report on the situation in Bolivia, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly stated that it was appalled by the inhuman treatment inflicted by the military government on certain ecclesiastical figures. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Report on the situation in Bolivia (General policy of the Council of Europe), Draft resolution, Doc. 4620, 29 September 1980, § 5.
International Conference for the Protection of War Victims
The Final Declaration adopted by the International Conference for the Protection of War Victims in 1993 urged all States to “make every effort” to protect religious personnel. 
International Conference for the Protection of War Victims, Geneva, 30 August–1 September 1993, Final Declaration, § II (9), ILM, Vol. 33, 1994, p. 301.
No data.
ICRC
In the light of the fact that the 1977 Additional Protocol II provides no definition of medical personnel, the ICRC Commentary on the Additional Protocols states: “We should therefore refer, both for medical personnel and for religious personnel, to the definitions of these terms given in Article 8 (Terminology) of Protocol I.” 
Yves Sandoz et al. (eds.), Commentary on the Additional Protocols, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 4663.
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that:
81. “Religious personnel” means military or civilian persons, such as chaplains engaged exclusively in their ministry and attached:
a) to the armed forces;
b) to civilian medical service;
c) to civil defence.
The attachment of religious personnel can be temporary.
82. The law of war grants the same status to military and civilian religious personnel …
83. The provisions governing medical personnel also apply to religious personnel.
474. Specifically protected personnel … recognized as such must be respected.
475. Specifically protected personnel shall be allowed to fulfil their activity, unless the tactical situation does not permit … Their mission and genuine activity may be verified. Armed enemy personnel may be disarmed. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, §§ 81–83 and 474–475.
ICRC
At the CDDH, the ICRC stated:
As in certain armies burial was carried out by religious personnel, and since their performance of that duty was in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, that personnel must be covered and protected by the Conventions and the Protocols, in the same way as any other medical and religious personnel. 
ICRC, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XI, CDDH/II/SR.16, 6 February 1975, pp. 120–121, § 14.
ICRC
In 1994, in a Memorandum on Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Angola, the ICRC stated: “Religious personnel … shall be protected and respected.” 
ICRC, Memorandum on Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Angola, 8 June 1994, § III, IRRC, No. 320, 1997, p. 504.
International Institute of Humanitarian Law
The Rules of International Humanitarian Law Governing the Conduct of Hostilities in Non-international Armed Conflicts, adopted in 1990 by the Council of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, provide: “The obligation to respect and protect … religious personnel … in the conduct of military operations is a general rule applicable in non-international armed conflicts.” 
International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Rules of International Humanitarian Law Governing the Conduct of Hostilities in Non-international Armed Conflicts, Rule A5, IRRC, No. 278, 1990, p. 391.
Turku Declaration of Minimum Humanitarian Standards
The Turku Declaration of Minimum Humanitarian Standards, adopted by an expert meeting convened by the Institute for Human Rights of Åbo Akademi University in Turku/Åbo, Finland in 1990, states that “religious personnel shall be respected and protected and shall be granted all available help for the performance of their duties”. 
Turku Declaration of Minimum Humanitarian Standards, adopted by an expert meeting convened by the Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University, Turku/Åbo, 30 November–2 December 1990, Article 14(1), IRRC, No. 282, 1991, p. 335.