Practice Relating to Rule 85. The Use of Incendiary Weapons against Combatants
Section B. The use of incendiary weapons against combatants in particular
Norway submitted a “Draft Protocol Relative to the Prohibition of the Use of Incendiary Weapons” to the Ad Hoc Committee on Conventional Weapons established by the CDDH which read, inter alia, as follows:
Article 1 – Field of application
The present Protocol shall apply in the situations referred to in articles 2 and 3 common to the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949 for the Protection of War Victims.
Article 3 – General prohibition
With the further limitations spelled out in the present Protocol and subject to the provisions of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I], incendiary weapons may only be used against objects that are military objectives in the sense of article 47, paragraph 2 of the said Protocol, including in close support of friendly forces.
The use of incendiary weapons against personnel is prohibited.
Nevertheless, the presence of combatants or civilians within or in the immediate vicinity of legitimate targets as described in this article does not render such targets immune from attacks with incendiary weapons.
Article 5 – Precaution in attack
Any use of incendiary weapons is subject to article 50 of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I].
In addition, it is prohibited to launch an attack with incendiary weapons except when:
(a) the location of the target is known and properly recognized, and
(b) all feasible precaution is taken to limit the incendiary effects to the specific military objectives and to avoid incidental injury or incidental loss of lives.
At the Preparatory Conference on the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in 1978, Denmark and Norway presented a proposal prohibiting, inter alia
, making military personnel as such the object of attack by incendiary weapons except when “the personnel is engaged or about to engage in combat or being deployed for combat engagement” or “the personnel is under armoured protection, in field fortifications or under similar protection”.