Related Rule
Australia
Practice Relating to Rule 29. Medical Transports
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) provides: “civilian medical … transports and supplies are not to be made the target of attack or unnecessarily destroyed. Military medical … facilities and equipment are also entitled to general protection under the Geneva Conventions.” 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, §§ 614–615.
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides: “civilian medical … transports and supplies are not to be made the target of attack or unnecessarily destroyed.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 963; see also § 902.
The manual defines medical transports as “any means of transportation, whether military or civilian, permanent or temporary, assigned exclusively to medical transportation and under the control of a competent authority of a party to the conflict”. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, Glossary.
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
5.41 Medical units, materials and means of transportation are protected. This applies to any form of medical transportation, whether by sea, land or air …
5.43 Transports of wounded and sick or of medical equipment shall be respected and protected in the same way as mobile medical units. Should such transports or vehicles fall into the hands of the adverse party, they shall be subject to the laws of war, on condition that the party to the conflict who captures them shall in all cases ensure the care of the wounded and sick they contain.
9.68 … [C]ivilian medical … transports and supplies are not to be made the target of attack or unnecessarily destroyed.
9.79 Medical … transports are any means of transportation, military or civilian, permanent or temporary, assigned exclusively to medical transportation and under control of a competent authority of a party to the conflict. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 5.41, 5.43, 9.68 and 9.79.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Australia’s Criminal Code Act (1995), as amended to 2007, states with respect to other serious war crimes that are committed in the course of an international armed conflict:
268.66 War crimeattacking persons or objects using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions
(2) A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) the perpetrator attacks one or more buildings, medical units or transports or other objects; and
(b) the buildings, units or transports or other objects are using, in conformity with the Geneva Conventions or the Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, any of the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions; and
(c) the perpetrator intends the buildings, units or transports or other objects so using such an emblem to be the object of the attack; and
(d) the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an international armed conflict.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 20 years.
(3) Strict liability applies to paragraphs … (2)(b). 
Australia, Criminal Code Act, 1995, as amended to 2007, Chapter 8, § 268.66, p. 345.
The Act further states with respect to war crimes that are other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in a non-international armed conflict:
268.78 War crimeattacking persons or objects using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions
(2) A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) the perpetrator attacks one or more buildings, medical units or transports or other objects; and
(b) the buildings, units or transports or other objects are using, in conformity with the Geneva Conventions or the Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, any of the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions; and
(c) the perpetrator intends the buildings, units or transports or other objects so using such an emblem to be the object of the attack; and
(d) the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an armed conflict that is not an international armed conflict.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 20 years.
(3) Strict liability applies to paragraphs (1)(b) and (2)(b). 
Australia, Criminal Code Act, 1995, as amended to 2007, Chapter 8, § 268.78, p. 355.
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states:
972. … Medical aircraft must be respected and protected at all times and must not be attacked. Their immunity ceases once they are used for purposes hostile to the adverse party and outside their humanitarian purpose.
977. Medical aircraft may fly over land physically controlled by their own or friendly forces, and over sea areas not under enemy control. However, it is advisable that the enemy be informed if such flights are likely to bring the aircraft within range of enemy surface-to-air weapon systems.
978. In accordance with LOAC, flight of such aircraft over enemy or enemy-occupied territory is forbidden without prior agreement. In the absence of such agreement, medical aircraft operating in parts of the zone controlled by friendly forces, and over areas the control of which is doubtful, do so at their own risk, but once they are recognised as medical aircraft they must be respected.
979. Provided prior agreement has been obtained from the enemy, medical aircraft belonging to a combatant remain protected while flying over land or sea areas under the physical control of the enemy. If it deviates for any reason from the terms of such an agreement, the aircraft shall take immediate steps to identify itself. Upon being recognised as a medical aircraft, the adverse party may order it to land, or take such other steps to safeguard its own interests, and must allow time for compliance before attacking the aircraft.
980. Known medical aircraft are entitled to protection while performing medical functions … Medical aircraft must not be used in order to gain any military advantage and while carrying out flights in accordance with the two preceding paragraphs, shall not, without prior agreement, be used to search for the wounded, sick and shipwrecked. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, §§ 972 and 977–980.
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
Medical aircraft, that is, aircraft exclusively employed for the removal of wounded and sick for the transport of medical personnel and equipment, shall not be attacked, but shall be respected by the belligerents, while flying at heights, at times and on routes specifically agreed upon between the belligerents concerned. These aircraft should bear clearly marked, distinctive emblems, together with their national colours on their upper and lower surfaces. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 5.44.
In its chapter on “Protected Persons and Objects”, the manual states:
9.78 Medical … aircraft must be respected and protected at all times and must not be attacked. Their immunity ceases once they are used for purposes hostile to the adverse party and outside their humanitarian purpose.
9.83 Medical aircraft may fly over land physically controlled by their own or friendly forces, and over sea areas not under enemy control. However, it is advisable that the enemy be informed if such flights are likely to bring the aircraft within range of enemy surface-to-air weapon systems.
9.84 In accordance with the LOAC, flight of such aircraft over enemy or enemy-occupied territory is forbidden without prior agreement. In the absence of such agreement, medical aircraft operating in parts of the zone controlled by friendly forces, and over areas the control of which is doubtful, do so at their own risk, but once they are recognised as medical aircraft they must be respected.
9.85 Provided prior agreement has been obtained from the enemy, medical aircraft belonging to a combatant remain protected while flying over land or sea areas under the physical control of the enemy. If it deviates for any reason from the terms of such an agreement, the aircraft shall take immediate steps to identify itself. Upon being recognised as a medical aircraft, the adverse party may order it to land, or take such other steps to safeguard its own interests, and must allow time for compliance before attacking the aircraft.
9.86 Known medical aircraft are entitled to protection when performing medical functions … Medical aircraft must not be used in order to gain any military advantage and while carrying out flights in accordance with the two preceding paragraphs, shall not, without prior agreement, be used to search for the wounded, sick and shipwrecked. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 9.78 and 9.83–9.86; see also §§ 8.49 and 8.60–8.63.
The manual further states: “Among other war crimes generally recognised as forming part of the customary LOAC are … attacking a properly marked … medical aircraft”.  
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 13.30.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
6.44 Classes of vessels exempt from attack. The following classes of enemy vessels are exempt from attack:
• hospital ships;
• small craft used for coastal rescue operations and other medical transports;
6.45 [Such] vessels are exempt from attack only if they:
• are innocently employed in their normal role,
• submit to identification and inspection when required, and
• do not intentionally hamper the movement of combatants and obey orders to stop or move out of the way when required.
9.78 … [H]ospital ships … must be respected and protected at all times and must not be attacked. …
13.30 Among other war crimes generally recognised as forming part of the customary LOAC are:
• attacking a properly marked hospital ship. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 6.44–6.45, 9.78 and 13.30; see also § 5.41.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).