Related Rule
Australia
Practice Relating to Rule 55. Access for Humanitarian Relief to Civilians in Need
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) states in relation to blockades:
There is a duty to consider, in good faith, requests for relief operations, but no duty to agree thereto. Any obligation upon a Party to permit a relief operation is dependent on the agreement of the State in control, given at an appropriate time. 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 850, footnote 6.
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides: “The free passage of medical and hospital stores, essential foodstuffs, clothing, bedding … which are intended for civilians, including those of an enemy, must be allowed.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 948.
In situations of occupation, the manual states:
The occupying power is under an obligation to allow free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores … as well as of essential foodstuffs, clothing and medical supplies intended for children under 15 years of age, expectant mothers and maternity cases, although it may require that distribution of such supplies be under the supervision of the Protecting Power. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 1216.
Regarding a situation of blockade, the manual states:
If the civilian population of the blockaded territory is inadequately provided with food and other objects essential for its survival, the blockading party must provide for free passage of such foodstuffs and other essential supplies, subject to:
a. the right to prescribe the technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted; and
b. the condition that the distribution of such supplies shall be made under the local supervision of a Protecting Power or a humanitarian organisation which offers guarantees of impartiality. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 666.
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
The free passage of medical and hospital stores, essential foodstuffs, clothing, bedding, means of shelter and articles necessary for religious worship, which are intended for civilians including those of an enemy, must be allowed. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 9.53.
In situations of siege warfare, the manual states:
The opposing parties are required to try and conclude local agreements … for the passage of consignments of medical and hospital stores … and of essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under 15, expectant mothers and maternity cases. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 7.38.
In situations of occupation, the manual states:
The occupying power is under an obligation to allow free passage of all consignments of medical and hospital stores … as well as of essential foodstuffs, clothing and medical supplies intended for children under 15 years of age, expectant mothers and maternity cases, although it may require that distribution of such supplies be under the supervision of the protecting power. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 12.30.
In a situation of blockade, the manual states:
If the civilian population of the blockaded territory is inadequately provided with food and other objects essential for its survival, the blockading party must provide for free passage of such foodstuffs and other essential supplies, subject to:
• the right to prescribe the technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted; and
• the condition that the distribution of such supplies shall be made under the local supervision of a Protecting Power or a humanitarian organisation which offers guarantees of impartiality. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 6.66.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Australia’s ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act (2002) incorporates in the Criminal Code the crimes against humanity defined in the 1998 ICC Statute, including “intentionally inflicting conditions of life (such as the deprivation of access to food or medicine) intended to bring about the destruction of part of a population”. 
Australia, ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act, 2002, Schedule 1, § 268.9(2).
In 2009, in a ministerial statement before the House of Representatives on the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs stated:
[The] UN Secretary-General … has repeated his call for UN humanitarian teams to gain access to the conflict zone to assess the full extent of the civilians’ situation in the area. Australia strongly supports this call. There is no justification for refusing to allow the United Nations and key humanitarian aid agencies full access to affected areas. 
Australia, House of Representatives, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ministerial statement: Humanitarian Crisis in Sri Lanka, Hansard, 12 May 2009, p. 3501.
In 2010, in a statement on Somalia before the UN Human Rights Council, Australia’s representative stated: “We call on all parties to allow the safe delivery of food to vulnerable populations, particularly given the severe drought conditions in some parts of the country.” 
Australia, Statement before the UN Human Rights Council, 13th Regular Session, interactive dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in Somalia, 24 March 2010.
Australia’s ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act (2002) incorporates in the Criminal Code the war crimes defined in the 1998 ICC Statute, including “the wilful impeding of relief supplies for civilians” in international armed conflicts. 
Australia, ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act, 2002, Schedule 1, § 268.67(1)(a)(ii).