Related Rule
Australia
Practice Relating to Rule 139. Respect for International Humanitarian Law
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) states that “Australia is responsible for ensuring that its military forces comply with LOAC” and that “all ADF [Australian Defence Force] members are responsible for ensuring that their conduct complies with the LOAC.” 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, §§ 1201–1202.
The Guide adds:
Mission planners are responsible for ensuring that operations plans and ROE fully comply with LOAC. To discharge this responsibility, all operations plans and ROE should be reviewed by ADF legal advisers experienced in operations law. In addition, targeting lists and individual missions are to be carefully scrutinised by military planners and their operations law advisers. 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 1205.
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states: “Australia is responsible for ensuring that its military forces comply with the laws of armed conflict (LOAC) … All ADF [Australian Defence Force] members are responsible for ensuring that their conduct complies with LOAC.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, §§ 1301 and 1302.
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
1.1 … Commanders must be aware of their legal obligation to prevent unnecessary injury and suffering and to alleviate as much as possible the calamities of war.
1.13 … [M]embership of the armed forces requires knowledge of the LOAC.
3.1 Nations are bound by the LOAC either by way of an international agreement or under customary international law. Where the LOAC is applicable in a particular conflict it is not only binding on nations but also on individuals, and in particular on the individual members of the armed forces of nations.
3.3 … The LOAC applies to any armed conflict (whether there is a declared war or not) and whether or not a state of armed conflict is recognised by all parties to the conflict. The Geneva Conventions also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a party to the Convention, even if that occupation meets with no armed resistance.
13.1 Australia … is responsible for ensuring that its military forces comply with the LOAC.
13.2 All ADF [Australian Defence Force] members are responsible for ensuring that their conduct complies with LOAC. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 1.1, 1.13, 3.1, 3.3, 13.1 and 13.2.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
At the outset of the Iraq War in March 2003, Australia’s Department of Defence issued guidance to news organizations regarding the restrictions under IHL placed on the identification of prisoners of war:
Department of Defence is aware that some news organisations have shown images of prisoners of war (POWs) in the course of covering the events of the conflict in Iraq.
Media organisations should be aware of Article 13 of the Geneva Convention III, which states that POWs must at all times be “protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity”.
Article 27 of the Geneva Convention IV has the same provisions for civilian detainees and civilian internees. This includes restrictions of photographing and filming POWs, civilian detainees and civilian internees.
Defence requests media organisations “pixilate” the faces of both Coalition and Iraqi prisoners of war. 
Australia, Media release, “Identifying prisoners of war”, Department of Defence, Canberra, 24 March 2003.
In 2009, in a ministerial statement on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, Australia’s Attorney-General stated:
Australia has … been involved in a number of the armed conflicts I referred to earlier, most notably in Iraq and Afghanistan. Australia’s record in involvement in conflict, in United Nations mandated peacekeeping operations and in missions such as those in which Australians are serving in East Timor and the Solomon Islands is distinguished by the respect for the principles of international humanitarian law displayed by members of the Defence Force and by others who have answered the call, including members of the Australian Federal Police. 
Australia, House of Representatives, Attorney-General, Ministerial statement: 60th Anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, Hansard, 12 August 2009, p. 27.
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides: “Rules of Engagement (ROE) provide authoritative guidance on the use of military force by the ADF [Australian Defence Forces] … ROE will include legal considerations and so will comply with the law of armed conflict.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 211.
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
2.12 ROE [Rules of Engagement] provide authoritative guidance on the use of military force by the ADF [Australian Defence Forces] …. ROE will take into account legal considerations and so will comply with LOAC.
13.4 States are under a general obligation to issue orders and instructions requiring compliance with the LOAC and to take steps to see that those orders and instructions are observed … [T]he first step to enforcement of the LOAC is to ensure as wide a knowledge of its provisions as possible both within and outside the armed forces. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 2.12 and 13.4.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
At an Australian Army media briefing on 16 April 2003, called to promulgate the results of an investigation into allegations made against certain Australian soldiers who were part of the UN-mandated INTERFET (International Force for East Timor) operations in East Timor, 1999–2000, the Chief of Army stated the following in response to a question on the treatment of detainees, particularly in relation to allegations concerning the deprivation of food, water and sleep:
We apprehended some militia, we apprehended some people who turned out to be civilians. We needed information from them.
At all times that information was acquired using the Geneva Convention. At all times that information was acquired by people who were thoroughly well-trained, who were well-supervised and used very high professional standards.
But this was not meant to be a four star resort. They had information that could go to the safety and the protection of the civilian population, the safety and protection of our own people. And we have rights and obligations, but also the authority under the Geneva Convention, to interrogate people. And that’s what happened.
Some of that meant that they probably didn’t get the sort of food that they might have liked. Our soldiers were on ration packs. Some have meant that they were treated in a robust manner, but all of the time they were treated properly and correctly under the Geneva Convention.
At a later point during the briefing, the Director of Personnel Operations, Army, added to the Chief of Army’s response:
Now, some of the allegations that we’re talking about here relate to activity in an interrogation centre. And further information in relation to your previous question, there were allegations that the detainees were deprived of hygiene and sleep and food. There was no evidence at all that any of the detainees were deprived of any hygiene facilities or food. But certainly we found that they were deprived of some sleep.
And, as you’ve heard from the Chief of the Army, that this in itself in no way contradicted any of our international obligations, particularly in relation to the law of armed conflict or in relation to the Geneva Convention.
But what we did find, and a lesson that we’ve learnt from this, is some of our guidance that we provide to our practitioners is very general. And what we have found that we need to do is make that more definitive. Make it more black and white. This is what we can do under our international obligations and this is what we cannot do.
So in the general comments you heard about some of our procedural amendments that we intend to make. These are policy changes that we intend to make to make it far more definitive for our practitioners. 
Australia, Media briefing by the Chief of Army on the results of an investigation into certain allegations made against Australian Soldiers in East Timor during 1999, 16 April 2003.