Practice Relating to Rule 96. Hostage-Taking
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) states that the “taking of hostages” is a grave breach of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV relating to the treatment of civilians.
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions are punishable offences.
In addition, any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of common Article 3 and Article 34 of the Geneva Convention IV, and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 75(2)(c), as well as any “contravention” of the 1977 Additional Protocol II, including violations of Article 4(2)(c), are also punishable offences.