Practice Relating to Rule 108. Mercenaries
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) defines a mercenary as “any person who is motivated to take a direct part in the hostilities by the desire for private gain without being a national or a member of the armed forces of a party to the conflict (Art. 47 [of the 1977 Additional Protocol I]). In addition, the provisions of the 1989 Mercenary Convention apply.”
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides:
Mercenaries shall be regarded as unlawful combatants [i.e.] persons who take a direct part in the hostilities without being entitled to do so and have to face penal consequences. They do not have the right to the status of a prisoner of war. [They] do, however, have a legitimate claim to certain fundamental guarantees (Art. 75 [of the 1977 Additional Protocol I]), including the right to humane treatment and a regular judicial procedure.
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (2006) states: “Only combatants are entitled to take part in combat operations and cannot be punished for doing so. In contrast, other persons, e.g. mercenaries, can be punished.”