Practice Relating to Rule 139. Respect for International Humanitarian Law
Section B. Orders and instructions to ensure respect for international humanitarian law
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states:
States parties to law of war treaties must take all necessary measures to ensure respect for their obligations under these treaties. They must give orders and instructions which ensure their respect and must supervise their execution.
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states that “compliance [with the humanitarian law of war] should take place at all times … The commanding officer is responsible for the behaviour of the unit(s) under his orders”.
In its chapter on the prevention and punishment of war crimes, the manual states:
The states which are parties to the conventions on the law of war should take all necessary steps to meet their obligations under those conventions. They should give orders and instructions to ensure compliance and supervise their application.
In its chapter on peace operations, under the heading “Code of Conduct for the Armed Forces”, the manual states: “Members of the armed forces must scrupulously obey the rules of national and international law.”