United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Practice Relating to Rule 27. Religious Personnel
The UK Military Manual (1958) states: “Chaplains attached to armed forces enjoy all the privileges of the permanent medical personnel.”
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) provides: “Chaplains attached to the armed forces have protected status and may not be attacked … They may not be armed.”
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states that “chaplains … may in no circumstances renounce in whole or in part, the rights secured to them by the [1949 Geneva] Convention[s] or by Additional Protocol I”.
The manual further states:
Chaplains are entitled to similar respect, protection and identification to that afforded to medical personnel. The rules on armlets and identity cards [concerning identification of service medical personnel] apply equally to chaplains. The [1949 Geneva] Conventions are silent on whether chaplains may be armed. United Kingdom policy is that chaplains should be unarmed.
Furthermore, the manual prohibits attacks on medical and religious personnel in non-international armed conflict.