Related Rule
France
Practice Relating to Rule 145. Reprisals
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) states:
Reprisals aim to obtain the cessation of a violation committed by the enemy … The United Nations Charter permitting the use of force only in case of aggression, reprisals are permitted only in response to a previous attack. They must always aim at a military objective and be preceded by a warning. One must not confuse reprisals, retaliation and vengeance. Vengeance is always prohibited. 
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. 108 and 109.
At the CDDH, France made a proposal for a draft article on reprisals within the 1977 Additional Protocol I – which it later withdrew – which read, inter alia, as follows:
Add a new Article 74 bis [to the 1977 Additional Protocol I]:
1. Reprisals shall be prohibited under the present Protocol.
2. Nevertheless, in the event of a belligerent State infringing the regulations laid down by the present Protocol and the State victim of that breach considering the violation to be so serious and deliberate as to render it imperative to call upon its perpetrator to respect the law, the prohibition referred to in paragraph 1 of the present Article may be waived on condition … 
France, Draft Article 74 bis Additional Protocol I submitted to the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/I/ 221, 19 February 1975, p. 323.
At the CDDH, France made another proposal for a draft article on reprisals within the 1977 Additional Protocol I – which it later withdrew – which read, inter alia, as follows:
Add a new Article 74 bis [to the 1977 Additional Protocol I]:
1. In the event that the Party to a conflict commits serious, manifest and deliberate breaches of its obligations under this Protocol, and a Party victimized by these breaches considers it imperative to take action to compel the Party violating its obligations to cease doing so, the victimized Party shall be entitled, subject to the provisions of this Article, to resort to certain measures which are designed to repress the breaches and induce compliance with the Protocol, but which would otherwise be prohibited by the Protocol. 
France, Draft Article 74 bis Additional Protocol I submitted to the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/I/ 221/Rev.1, 22 April 1976, p. 324.
During discussions in the First Committee of the CDDH with respect to its delegation’s draft provisions on reprisals in the 1977 Additional Protocol I, France noted that “many delegations had, in fact, felt that the effect of the proposal was to justify reprisals” but that “that was not the true aim of the proposal and in drafting it the French delegation had had in mind only the cause of humanitarian law”. 
France, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. IX, CDDH/I/SR.46, 28 April 1976, p. 58, § 15.
France further noted:
The purpose of its proposal was not to allow the victim [of a breach of the law] to react with violence, but to give it the possibility under the Conventions of deterring the party committing the breach from continuing its action, of obliging it to respect the law. Such a threat … should of course arise from “serious, manifest and deliberate” breaches not requiring recourse to a commission of inquiry. They would clearly not just be the individual breaches mentioned in [draft] article 74. Such a possibility of deterrence sanctioned by a convention would have to be limited by strict conditions. 
France, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. IX, CDDH/I/SR.46, 28 April 1976, p. 58, § 24.
France also noted: “Generally speaking, the French proposal was designed to cover cases in which, as the Oxford Manual stated, there was an urgent need to recall the party committing the breach to a respect for the rules to which it had subscribed.” 
France, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. IX, CDDH/I/SR.46, 28 April 1976, p. 58, § 27.
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) states that reprisals must always be preceded by a warning. 
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, p. 109.
At the CDDH, France made a proposal for a draft article on reprisals within the 1977 Additional Protocol I – which it later withdrew – which read, inter alia, as follows:
2.… The prohibition [of the taking of reprisals] may be waived on condition:
(a) that the Party victim of the breach clearly has no means of putting an end to the breach other than by considering recourse to reprisals,
(c) that the Party responsible for the violation shall be given due warning that such measures will be taken if the violation is continued or renewed. 
France, Draft Article 74 bis Additional Protocol I submitted to the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/I/ 221, 19 February 1975, p. 323.
At the CDDH, France made another proposal for a draft Article on reprisals within the 1977 Additional Protocol I – which it later withdrew – which read, inter alia, as follows:
2.The measures [which are designed to repress the breaches of and induce compliance with the Protocol] may be taken only when the following conditions are met:
(a) The measures may be taken only when other efforts to induce the adverse Party to comply with the law have failed or are not feasible, and the victimized Party clearly has no other means of ending the breach;
(c) The Party committing the breach must be given specific, formal, and prior warning that such measures will be taken if the breach is continued or renewed. 
France, Draft Article 74 bis Additional Protocol I submitted to the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/I/ 221/Rev.1, 22 April 1976, p. 324.
At the CDDH, France made a proposal for a draft article on reprisals within the 1977 Additional Protocol I – which it later withdrew – which read, inter alia, as follows:
2.… The prohibition [of the taking of reprisals] may be waived on condition:
(d) that the means of application and the extent of such measures, if it proves imperative to take them, shall in no case exceed the extent of the breach which they are designed to end. 
France, Draft Article 74 bis Additional Protocol I submitted to the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/I/ 221, 19 February 1975, p. 323.
At the CDDH, France made another proposal for a draft article on reprisals within the 1977 Additional Protocol I – which it later withdrew – which read, inter alia, as follows:
3. If it proves imperative to take these measures, their extent and their means of application shall in no case exceed the extent of the breach which they are designed to end. The measures may not involve any actions prohibited by the Geneva Conventions of 1949. 
France, Draft Article 74 bis Additional Protocol I submitted to the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/I/ 221/Rev.1, 22 April 1976, p. 324.
France’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975), as amended, states: “By virtue of international conventions regularly ratified or approved: … it is prohibited [to soldiers in combat] … to take hostages, to engage in reprisals or collective punishments”. 
France, Règlement de Discipline Générale dans les Armées, Decree No. 75-675 of 28 July 1975, replacing Decree No. 66-749, completed by Decree of 11 October 1978, implemented by Instruction No. 52000/DEF/C/5 of 10 December 1979, and modified by Decree of 12 July 1982, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-Major de l’Armée de Terre, Bureau Emploi, Article 10 bis (2).
At the CDDH, France made a proposal for a draft article on reprisals within the 1977 Additional Protocol I – which it later withdrew – which read, inter alia, as follows:
2.… The prohibition [of the taking of reprisals] may be waived on condition:
(b) that the decision to have recourse to such measures shall be taken by the Government of the Party alleging the violation. 
France, Draft Article 74 bis Additional Protocol I submitted to the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/I/ 221, 19 February 1975, p. 323.
At the CDDH, France made another proposal for a draft article on reprisals within the 1977 Additional Protocol I – which it later withdrew – which read, inter alia, as follows:
The measures [which are designed to repress the breaches and induce compliance with the Protocol] may be taken only when the following conditions are met:
(b) The decision to have recourse to such measures must be taken at the highest level of the government of the victimized Party. 
France, Draft Article 74 bis Additional Protocol I submitted to the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/I/ 221/Rev.1, 22 April 1976, p. 324.
At the CDDH, France made a proposal for a draft article on reprisals within the 1977 Additional Protocol I – which it later withdrew – which read, inter alia, as follows: “3. … The measures must cease, in all events, when they have achieved their objective, namely, cessation of the breach which prompted the measures.” 
France, Draft Article 74 bis Additional Protocol I submitted to the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/I/ 221/Rev.1, 22 April 1976, p. 324.