Practice Relating to Rule 10. Civilian Objects’ Loss of Protection from Attack

Note: For practice concerning loss of protection from attack for medical units and transports and for objects displaying the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions, see respectively Rules 28, 29 and 30.
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Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) lists among military objectives “objects, normally dedicated to civilian purposes, but which are being used for military purposes, eg a school house or home which is being used temporarily as a battalion headquarters”. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 527(i).
The manual specifies:
For this purpose, “use” does not necessarily mean occupation. For example, if enemy soldiers use a school building as shelter from attack by direct fire, then they are clearly gaining a military advantage from the school. This means the school becomes a military objective and can be attacked. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 530.
The manual also considers that “civilian aircraft, vessels, vehicles and buildings which contain combatants, military equipment or supplies” are also military objectives. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 527(e); see also Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 951.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) lists among military objectives “objects, normally dedicated to civilian purposes, but which are being used for military purposes, eg a school house or home which is being used temporarily as a battalion headquarters”. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 5.31; see also § 9.18.
The manual specifies:
For this purpose, “use” does not necessarily mean occupation. For example, if enemy soldiers use a school building as shelter from attack by direct fire, then they are clearly gaining a military advantage from the school. This means the school becomes a military objective and can be attacked. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 5.34.
The manual also considers “civilian aircraft, vessels, vehicles and buildings which contain combatants, military equipment or supplies” as military objectives. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 5.31.
Regarding civilian aircraft, the manual further states:
Civil aircraft in flight (including state aircraft, which are not military aircraft) should not be attacked. They are presumed to be carrying civilians who may not be made the object of direct attack. If there is doubt as to the status of a civil aircraft, it should be called upon to clarify that status. If it fails to do so, or is engaged in non-civil activities, such as ferrying troops, it may be attacked. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 8.56–8.57 and 8.59.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Soldiers states that objects occupied or used by enemy military forces are military objectives “even if these objects were civilian at the outset (houses, schools or churches occupied by the enemy)”. 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Dossier d’Instruction pour Soldat, à l’attention des officiers instructeurs, JS3, Etat-Major Général, Forces Armées belges, undated, pp. 20–21.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “A civilian object may become a military objective for reasons of military necessity. This is, [for example], the case with a bridge, which is a civilian object but may become a military objective if it is used by the adversary.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 54.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) states: “Depending on the military situation, [civilian objects] can become military objectives (e.g. a house or bridge used for tactical purposes by the enemy).” 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 17.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006), in a section entitled “Definitions”, states that civilian objects “[a]re understood as all objects which are not military objects [objectives]. But according to the military situation they can become military objectives (e.g. houses or bridges used tactically by the enemy.” 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 92, § 352.13; see also p. 134, § 412.13.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states: “Where a civilian object is used for military purposes, it loses its protection as a civilian object and may become a legitimate target.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-5, § 37.
The manual further states: “Civilian vessels, aircraft, vehicles and buildings are military objectives if they contain combatants, military equipment or supplies.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-2, § 10.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on targeting:
407. Examples of objects which are military objectives
2. Civilian vessels, aircraft, vehicles and buildings are military objectives if they contain combatants, military equipment or supplies.
428. Civilian object used for military purposes
1. Where a civilian object is used for military purposes, it loses its protection as a civilian object and may become a legitimate target. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, §§ 407.2 and 428.1.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 3 (Instruction for non-commissioned officers studying for the level 1 and 2 certificates and for future officers of the criminal police): “Specially protected objects [including civilian objects] may not … be used for military ends”. 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 3: Formation pour l’obtention du Brevet d’Armes No. 1, du Brevet d’Armes No. 2 et le stage d’Officier de Police Judiciaire (OPJ), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter I, Section II, § 2.2; see also Chapter I, Section II, § 2.1.
Colombia
Colombia’s Instructors’ Manual (1999) states: “Objects which are normally civilian can, depending on the military situation, be converted into military objectives (for example a house or a bridge used for tactical purposes by the defender and therefore liable to attack).” 
Colombia, Derechos Humanos & Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual de Instrucción de la Guía de Conducta para el Soldado e Infante de Marina, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Oficina de Derechos Humanos, Fuerzas Militares de Colombia, Santafé de Bogotá, 1999, p. 16.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) notes in Book I (Basic instruction): “Every civilian object occupied by combatants becomes a military objective.” 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 18.
In Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides:
III.1. Civilian objects
By civilian objects, one means all objects which are not military objectives. …
One can cite as examples of civilian objects:
- buildings and installations used by civilians, as long as they are not used for military purposes …
In all cases, the essential question is to know what use is made of the object in question. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 32–33; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 21 and 28–29.
In Book III, Volume 2 (Instruction of second-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides: “Depending on the situation, a normally civilian object can become a military objective. Example: a house or bridge tactically used by the belligerents becomes a military objective.” 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 28.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
Chapter 2. Combatants and objectives
Civilian buildings, vehicles, aircraft and ships are military objectives if they contain combatants, supplies or military material.
The following objects can, depending on the circumstances, constitute military objectives:
- military supply transport systems;
- transportation centres where lines of communication converge;
- marshalling yards;
- industrial installations producing material for the armed forces;
- electrical power stations;
- fuel storage centres.
Chapter 3. Protection
II.1.2. Civilian object used for military purposes
If a civilian object is used for military purposes it loses the protection which it enjoyed as a civilian object and can become a legitimate objective. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 17, 26, 31 and 35.
Croatia
Croatia’s Commanders’ Manual (1992) states: “Civilian objects must not be attacked unless they have become military objectives.” 
Croatia, Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflicts – Commanders’ Manual, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, § 11.
France
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) states: “Civilian objects may not be attacked, unless they have become military targets.” 
France, Fiche de Synthèse sur les Règles Applicables dans les Conflits Armés, Note No. 432/DEF/EMA/OL.2/NP, Général de Corps d’Armée Voinot (pour l’Amiral Lanxade, Chef d’Etat-major des Armées), 1992, § 1.5.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) states:
A situation may arise where the target changes its appearance from civilian to military or vice versa. For instance, if anti-aircraft batteries are stationed on a school roof or a sniper is positioned in a mosque’s minaret, the protection imparted to the facility by its being a civilian object will be removed, and the attacking party will be allowed to hit it … A reverse situation may also occur in which an originally military objective becomes a civilian object, as for instance, a large military base that is converted to a collection point for the wounded, and is thus rendered immune to attack. 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 38.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
It may be the case that a target might change its status from civilian to military or vice versa. For example, if an anti-aircraft battery is positioned on the roof of a school or if a sniper takes up a position on the minaret of a mosque, the protection provided for the facility by the virtue of it being [a] civilian target is no longer valid, and the attacker is permitted to attack it. The legal responsibility for the deaths of civilians in such a case is that of the side that made unreasonable use of a civilian target rather than on the side who attacked this target. In the case of incidents in which there is a doubt as to whether the target changed its status from civilian to military, the Additional Protocols determine that it should be assumed that it is not a military target unless proven otherwise.
The opposite situation may occur, in which a target that was originally military changes into a civilian target, such as a large military base converted into a clearing station for the wounded. In such cases, it must not be attacked as it is a medical facility (on the assumption that no military activities are conducted therein, being disguised as treatment for the wounded). 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 27.
The manual further states: “Protected places (hospitals, places of worship, etc.) must remain protected as long as military action is not being deployed therefrom.” 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 49.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Italy
Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) states: “Civilian objects must not be attacked unless they have become military objectives.” 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, § 11.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) provides: “Objects which are normally civilian objects can, according to the military situation, become military objectives (e.g. house or bridge tactically used by the defender and thus a target for an attacker).” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS) , 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 2, p. 11.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) states: “Objects which are normally civilian can, depending on the military situation, become military objectives (for example, a house or bridge used for tactical purposes by the defender and thus becoming a military objective).” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 2-SO, § D.
Mexico
Mexico’s IHL Guidelines (2009) states that “some civilian objects can become military objectives if they are used to contribute to military operations.” 
Mexico, Cartilla de Derecho Internacional Humanitario, Ministry of National Defence, 2009, § 2.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands considers that civilian objects, such as houses and school buildings, can be used in such a way that they become military objectives, for example if they house combatants or are used as commando posts. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. V-3.
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands states that “non-military buildings and other objects not used for military purposes or of no military importance” may not be attacked. 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, pp. 7–36 and 7–43.
Netherlands
The Aide-Mémoire for IFOR Commanders (1995) of the Netherlands prohibits attacks on “objects with a strict civilian or religious character, unless they are used for military purposes”. 
Netherlands, Aide-Mémoire voor IFOR Commandanten, First Edition, 21 December 1995, § 12.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
0512. It is possible for objects to be classed, on the one hand, as military while, at the same time, they have a civilian purpose. These are known as mixed objects. Examples are a bridge, which can definitely count as a military objective while at the same time its internal structure carries the energy supply to the civilian population of the region. A television mast may not only serve a civilian purpose but perform a function in the telecommunications network of the armed forces …
0546. When attacking mixed objects (see point 0512), it must be carefully considered whether the military advantage expected from eliminating the military element of the mixed objective outweighs the damage done to the civilian population, by damaging or destroying the civilian element of the mixed object or ending its civilian function. In any case, the disabling or destruction of the military element must yield a clear military advantage (cf. AP I [1977 Additional Protocol I] Article 52). In addition, the civilian population must not be excessively affected (cf. AP I Article 51). 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, §§ 0512 and 0546.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states:
Civilian objects may not be attacked or destroyed, unless they form a military objective, i.e., if there is a military need to do this (e.g., destroy a house because it is in the line of fire, or an observation post or snipers’ position in a church tower). 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1032; see also § 1037.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides:
Civilian vessels, aircraft, vehicles and buildings may be lawfully attacked if they contain combatant personnel or military equipment or supplies or are otherwise associated with combat activity inconsistent with their civilian status. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 516(3); see also § 623(3).
Philippines
The Philippines’ AFP Standing Rules of Engagement (2005) states:
8. General Rules for the Correct Use of Force towards Mission Accomplishment
g. … public utilities and other non-military structures, shall be protected and shall not be attacked except when they are used for military purposes. 
Philippines, AFP Standing Rules of Engagement, Armed Forces of the Philippines, General Headquarters, Office of the Chief of Staff, 1 December 2005, § 8(g).
Philippines
The Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (2006) notes in its glossary:
Civilian objects – any object which is not a military objective. Objects which are normally civilian objects can, according to the military situation, become military objectives (e.g. house or bridge tactically used by the defender and thus a target for an attacker). In case of doubt whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes (e.g. a place of worship, a house or dwelling, a school) is a military objective or not, it shall be considered as a civilian object. 
Philippines, Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, A Practical Guide for Internal Security Operations, 2006, p. 67, Glossary.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Military Manual (1990) prohibits “the bombardment by military aircraft or warships of cities, harbours, villages and dwellings … provided they are not being used for military purposes”. 
Russian Federation, Instructions on the Application of the Rules of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the USSR, Appendix to Order of the USSR Defence Minister No. 75, 1990, Section II, § 5(m).
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states with regard to naval warfare:
Enemy civil vessels may only be attacked if they are:
- engaging in belligerent acts on behalf of the enemy (attacking or capturing persons or objects in neutral waters, neutral territory or airspace);
- being used as a base for operations, including attacking or capturing persons or objects outside neutral waters;
- acting as an auxiliary to the enemy armed forces;
- being incorporated into or assisting the enemy’s intelligence gathering system;
- sailing under convoy of enemy warships or military aircraft;
- refusing an order to stop or actively resisting visit, search or capture;
- otherwise making an effective contribution to military action. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 116.
The Regulations further states:
Possession of weapons by the civil vessel’s crew does not give grounds to consider such class of ships as converted into war-ships. Such vessels shall be considered civil vessels if they are innocently used in their normal role, comply with identification and visit requirements and do not intentionally hamper the movement of war-ships. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 89.
With regard to air operations, the Regulations states:
It is allowed to attack civil aircraft, if they engage in activities rendering them military objectives:
- engage in acts of war on behalf of the enemy;
- act as an auxiliary aircraft to an enemy’s armed forces;
- are incorporated into or assist the enemy intelligence-gathering system;
- fly under the protection of accompanying enemy military aircraft;
- refuse an order to identify itself, divert from its track, or proceed for visit and search to a belligerent airfield that is safe for the type of aircraft involved and reasonably accessible;
- operate target indicating system that could reasonably be construed to be part of an aircraft weapon system;
- on being intercepted clearly manoeuvre to attack the intercepting belligerent military aircraft;
- are armed with air-to-air or air-to-surface weapons;
- otherwise make an effective contribution to military action. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 94.
[emphasis in original]
The Regulations further states:
Civil aircraft bearing the marks of neutral states may not be attacked unless they:
- are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband, and, after prior warning or interception, they intentionally and clearly refuse to divert from their destination, or intentionally and clearly refuse to proceed for visit and search to a belligerent airfield that is safe for the type of aircraft involved and reasonably accessible;
- engage in belligerent acts on behalf of the enemy;
- act as auxiliaries to the enemy’s armed forces;
- are incorporated into or assist the enemy’s intelligence system;
- otherwise make an effective contribution to the military action and, after prior warning or interception, they intentionally and clearly refuse to divert from their destination, or intentionally and clearly refuse to proceed for visit and search to a belligerent airfield that is safe for the type of aircraft involved and reasonably accessible. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 100.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Combat Manual (2005) states:
persons and objects entitled to protection under international humanitarian law may not be attacked, if these persons are not engaged in hostile actions, and the objects are not used (nor prepared to be used) for military purposes. 
Russian Federation, Combat Manual on the Preparation and Conducting of Combined-Arms Battles (Boevoi ustav po podgotovke i vedeniu obshevoiskovogo boya), Part 3, Platoon, Subdivision, Tank, endorsed by Order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces No. 19, 24 February 2005, § 24.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) provides: “Attack only military objectives. Civilian objects are to be spared, unless they are used for military purposes by the enemy.” 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, p. 34.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) states: “Civilian objects can become military objectives if by their location, purpose or use, they may assist the enemy, or if their capture, destruction or neutralization offers a definite military advantage.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 2.3.b.(1).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states:
A civilian object can become a military objective if, by its location, purpose or use, it makes an effective contribution to the enemy’s military action and if its total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization provides a definite military advantage. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 2.3.b.(1).
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
The following methods of warfare shall be prohibited:
- use of firearms in centres of population, ports, homes, buildings, churches or hospitals (provided that they are not used for military purposes). 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.3.2.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
Civil aircraft may legitimately be used for support missions such as transporting troops or supplies. When so used they lose their protection and become legitimate military objectives. Whether civil aircraft on the ground are legitimate objects of attack depends upon whether they are legitimate military objectives. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 12.6.2.
The manual further states:
Conditions of exemption for civil airliners
12.31. Civil airliners are exempt from attack only if they:
a. are innocently employed in their normal role; and
b. do not intentionally hamper the movements of combatants.
12.32. If aircraft exempt from attack breach any of the applicable conditions of their exemption as set forth in paragraphs 12.29 to 12.31, they may be attacked only if:
a. diversion for landing, visit and search, and possible capture, is not feasible;
b. no other method is available for exercising military control;
c. the circumstances of non-compliance are sufficiently grave that the aircraft has become, or may be reasonably assumed to be, a military objective; and
d. the collateral casualties or damage will not be disproportionate to the military advantage gained or anticipated. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 12.31–12.32.
The manual also provides:
The following activities may render enemy civil aircraft military objectives:
a. engaging in acts of war on behalf of the enemy, e.g., laying mines, minesweeping, laying or monitoring sensors, engaging in electronic warfare, intercepting or attacking other civil aircraft, or providing targeting information to enemy forces;
b. acting as an auxiliary aircraft to an enemy’s armed forces, e.g., transporting troops or military cargo, or refuelling military aircraft;
c. being incorporated into or assisting the enemy’s intelligence gathering system, e.g., engaging in reconnaissance, early warning, surveillance, or command, control and communications missions;
d. flying under the protection of accompanying enemy warships or military aircraft;
e. refusing an order to identify itself, divert from its track, or proceed for visit and search to a belligerent airfield that is safe for the type of aircraft involved and reasonably accessible, or operating fire control equipment that could reasonably be construed to be part of an aircraft weapon system, or on being intercepted clearly manoeuvring to attack the intercepting belligerent military aircraft;
f. being armed with air-to-air or air-to-surface weapons; or
g. otherwise making an effective contribution to military action. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 12.37.
Furthermore, the manual states:
The following activities may render neutral civil aircraft military objectives:
a. if they are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband, and, after prior warning or interception, they intentionally and clearly refuse to divert from their destination, or intentionally and clearly refuse to proceed for visit and search to a belligerent airfield that is safe for the type of aircraft involved and reasonably accessible;
b. if they engage in belligerent acts on behalf of the enemy;
c. if they act as auxiliaries to the enemy’s armed forces;
d. if they are incorporated into or assist the enemy’s intelligence system; or
e. if they otherwise make an effective contribution to the enemy’s military action, e.g., by carrying military materials, and, after prior warning or interception, they intentionally and clearly refuse to divert from their destination, or intentionally and clearly refuse to proceed for visit and search to a belligerent airfield that is safe for the type of aircraft involved and reasonably accessible. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 12.43.1.
With regard to internal armed conflict, the manual states:
15.16.1. There is no definition of civilian objects nor is the term used in the treaties dealing with internal armed conflicts, but the principles of military necessity and humanity require attacks to be limited to military objectives. Thus attacks on the following are prohibited unless they are being used for military purposes: civilian dwellings, shops, schools and other places of non-military business, places of recreation and worship, means of transportation, cultural property, hospitals and medical establishments and units.
15.16.2. UN General Assembly Resolution 2675, which was unanimously adopted and applies to all armed conflicts, can be regarded as evidence of state practice. Paragraph 5 of the resolution states: “dwellings and other installations that are used only by the civilian population should not be the object of military operations.” The principle of military necessity demands that civilian property may only be destroyed, or requisitioned for use, for necessary military purposes.
15.16.3. The old practices that tolerated during sieges the bombardment of civilian buildings (other than places of worship), hospitals, cultural property, indispensable objects and works containing dangerous forces, have not survived. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 15.16.1–3.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) states: “The inherent nature of the object is not controlling since even a traditionally civilian object, such as a civilian house, can be a military objective when it is occupied and used by military forces during an armed engagement.” 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 5-3(b)(2).
United States of America
The US Rules of Engagement for Operation Desert Storm (1991) gives the following instruction:
Do not fire into civilian populated areas or buildings which are not defended or being used for military purposes … Do not attack traditional civilian objects, such as houses, unless they are being used by the enemy for military purposes and neutralization assists in mission accomplishment. 
United States, Desert Storm – Rules of Engagement, Pocket Card, US Central Command, January 1991, reprinted in Operational Law Handbook, International and Operational Law Department, The Judge Advocate General’s School, United States Army, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1995, pp. 8-7 and 8-8, §§ B and G.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states that “misuse of protected places and objects for military purposes renders them subject to legitimate attack during the period of misuse”. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 8.10.2.
France
France’s Penal Code (1992), as amended in 2010, states in its section on war crimes common to both international and non-international armed conflicts: “Intentionally launching attacks against civilian objects which are not military objectives is punishable by 15 years’ imprisonment.” 
France, Penal Code, 1992, as amended in 2010, Article 461-14.
Colombia
The Report on the Practice of Colombia refers to a decision of the Council of State which considered that when civilian means of transportation are used by combatants they become military objectives. 
Report on the Practice of Colombia, 1998, Chapter 1.3, referring to Council of State, Administrative Case No. 7013, Judgment, 13 December 1993.
Germany
In 2010, in the Fuel Tankers case, the Federal Prosecutor General at Germany’s Federal Court of Justice investigated whether war crimes or other crimes under domestic law had been committed in the course of an airstrike which was ordered by a colonel (Oberst) of the German armed forces against two tankers transporting fuel for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan stolen by the Taliban near Kunduz and which resulted in the deaths of a number of civilians. The Federal Prosecutor General stated:
Pursuant to § 170 para. 2 StPO [Penal Procedure Code], the investigation proceedings which were initiated by the order of 12 March 2010 against Colonel (Oberst) Klein and Company Sergeant Major (Hauptfeldwebel) Wilhelm due to suspected offences under the VStGB [International Crimes Code] and other offences are to be terminated as a result of the investigations conducted and based on the sources of information set out hereafter and on the reasons given in detail hereafter. 
Germany, Federal Court of Justice, Federal Prosecutor General, Fuel Tankers case, Decision, 16 April 2010, p. 1.
The Federal Prosecutor General also stated:
The following is to be considered regarding the subjective element of § 11 (1) (3) VStGB [which states that carrying out an attack by military means and definitely anticipating that the attack will cause death or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects on a scale out of proportion to the concrete and direct overall military advantage anticipated is a war crime in international and non-international armed conflict]:
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… According to Art. 52 para. 2 AP [1977 Additional Protocol] I only objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization in the circumstances ruling at the time offers a definite military advantage. In cases in which non-state armed actors deliberately use civilian objects for military purposes, objects which were initially civilian objects can lose their protection against attack if the conditions set out in the definition [of military objectives] are fulfilled and can become legitimate military objectives.
The fuel tankers and the fuel were originally civilian objects. They became military objectives with the abduction by the Taliban because they were suited to effectively contribute to military action from this moment on. The fuel could be used to refuel vehicles used for attacks and used in combination with explosives as improvised explosive devices. It thus constitutes a military objective in any case as its destruction would offer a considerable military advantage. The fuel tankers also constituted a military objective … The reason is that they could be used for attacks with vehicle-based explosive devices as already happened in Afghanistan five times in 2009 until 4 September 2009. It is irrelevant that the fuel tankers were immobilized on a sandbank. Colonel (Oberst) Klein wanted to prevent any future movement of the tankers. There was the risk that the insurgents would successfully free the tankers and use them for military purposes. Therefore they did not constitute civilian objects at the time when Colonel (Oberst) Klein ordered the dropping of the bombs. The same holds true for both vehicles present in the immediate surroundings of the fuel tankers. Because of their concrete use they were meant to make an effective contribution to the Taliban’s military action. Therefore, criminal responsibility under § 11 para. 11 no. 3 VStGB can be excluded. 
Germany, Federal Court of Justice, Federal Prosecutor General, Fuel Tankers case, Decision, 16 April 2010, pp. 47–49.
Iraq
In its judgment in the Al-Anfal case in 2007, the Iraqi High Tribunal stated:
The protection in view of international customs and codes is not confined to people but extends to properties, as long as these properties are far from being military targets. Hence, no allegation justifies being destroyed or confiscated as long as they [the properties] preserve their attribution. Yes, they lose protection if their nature, location, or purpose of use showed to contribute effectively to the military output, provided that the partial or total destruction, confiscation or annulment of their roles became a must imposed by war necessities then these properties become legitimate military targets. 
Iraq, Iraqi High Tribunal, Al-Anfal case, Judgment, 24 June 2007, p. 884, based on a translation available at http://law.case.edu/grotian-moment-blog/anfal/opinion.asp (last accessed on 1 April 2010).
Egypt
In a military communiqué issued in 1973, Egypt stated that it condemned attacks against civilian objects, unless such objects were used in military operations. 
Egypt, Military Communiqué No. 18, 8 October 1973.
Israel
In 2009, in a report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 (the “Gaza Operation”, also known as “Operation Cast Lead”), Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated:
The loss of absolute protection for a civilian site when it is misused by the adversary as a locus for military operations is broadly recognised in the Law of Armed Conflict. Thus, for instance, the hidden placement of a significant military asset within a civilian building or even the presence of enemy combatants can make the otherwise civilian site amenable to attack. This is a harsh reality of urban warfare. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 107.
[footnotes in original omitted]
The report further stated;
110. … [A] commander’s intent is critical in reviewing the principle of distinction during armed conflict. Where it is believed in good faith, on the basis of the best available intelligence, that a civilian building has been misused as a sanctuary for military fighters, military intelligence, or the storage and manufacture of military assets, the commander has a legitimate basis for using force against the site. This is so even where judgment is based on limited information in a fluid battlefield situation.
111. The definition of military targets thus could include terrorists who move rapidly throughout a neighbourhood, even where they shelter themselves in civilian dwellings. It does not relieve the commander of the obligation to judge the proportionality of his action. But it makes clear that a civilian site can be converted to a legitimate target by the conduct of the opposing force in using such places for military purposes, including the escape of armed combatants. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, §§ 110–111.
The report also stated: “When a civilian objective is used by the enemy for a military activity it loses its protection and immunity and becomes a legitimate military target. Nevertheless, when striking such a target, special care shall be taken to adhere to the principle of proportionality.” 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 223.
The report added: “In accordance with the Law of Armed Conflict, civilian facilities that served military purposes did not enjoy protection from attack. Thus, a residential building that doubled as an ammunition depot or military headquarters was a legitimate military target for attack.” 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 233.
Malaysia
On the basis of interviews with members of the armed forces, the Report on the Practice of Malaysia notes that a civilian object would not be regarded as such if it was to be used to contribute to military action, such as in the production of military equipment. 
Report on the Practice of Malaysia, 1997, Interviews with members of the Malaysian armed forces, Chapter 1.3.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2005, in reply to a question concerning the protection of cultural property by British forces in Iraq, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, stated:
The UK is a signatory to the 1977 Additional Protocol (AP 1) of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which requires that civilian objects are to be protected from attack, unless that object is being used for military purposes; in which case it may lose its special protected status. UK forces in Iraq have strict instructions not to fire on cultural sites such as mosques and heritage sites, as well as important economic and social infrastructure properties, unless these sites are being used for militarily offensive purposes. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Statement by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 25 October 2005, Vol. 674, Debates, col. WA179.
United States of America
In 1992, in its final report to Congress on the conduct of the Gulf War, the US Department of Defense stated: “Civilian objects are protected from direct, intentional attack unless they are used for military purposes, such as shielding military objects from attack.” 
United States, Department of Defense, Final Report to Congress on the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, 10 April 1992, Appendix O, The Role of the Law of War, ILM, Vol. 31, 1992, p. 622.
United States of America
In 1993, in its report to Congress on the protection of natural and cultural resources during times of war, the US Department of Defense stated: “Cultural property, civilian objects, and natural resources are protected from intentional attack so long as they are not utilized for military purposes.” 
United States, Department of Defense, Report to Congress on International Policies and Procedures Regarding the Protection of Natural and Cultural Resources During Times of War, 19 January 1993, p. 202.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
In 1991, the Ministry of Defence of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia issued a document entitled “Examples of violations of the rules of international law committed by the so-called armed forces of Slovenia”, which included the following example:
Along the road to the frontier with Austria, over 100 heavy lorries were forced to stop and were used to create a barrier to block a YPA [Yugoslav People’s Army] unit marching to the frontier. Drivers of the lorries were banned to leave their vehicles, whereby they became hostages, and it was quite clear that their vehicles had lost [their] status of civilian vehicles as they were used to create a barrier to military traffic. Thus, these vehicles became an object of legitimate attack. Simultaneously, the stopped military convoy was fired upon from the barricade, so that there was no choice for the army: as the lives of soldiers was endangered, the barricade had to be eliminated by force. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Ministry of Defence, Examples of violations of the rules of international law committed by the so-called armed forces of Slovenia, 10 July 1991, § 1(iii).
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ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that: “Objects which are normally civilian objects can, according to the military situation, become military objectives (e.g. house or bridge tactically used by the defender and thus a target for an attacker).” 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 58.
ICRC
In an appeal issued in October 1973, the ICRC urged all the belligerents in the conflict in the Middle East (Egypt, Iraq, Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic) to observe forthwith, in particular, the provisions of, inter alia, Article 47(2) of the draft Additional Protocol I, which stated that “objects designed for civilian use, such as houses, dwellings, installations and means of transport, and all objects which are not military objectives, shall not be made the object of attack, except if they are used mainly in support of the military effort”. All governments concerned replied favourably. 
ICRC, The International Committee’s Action in the Middle East, IRRC, No. 152, 1973, pp. 584–585.
Institute of International Law
In a resolution adopted during its Edinburgh Session in 1969, the Institute of International Law stated:
Existing international law prohibits all armed attacks … on non-military objects, notably dwellings or other buildings sheltering the civilian population, so long as these are not used for military purposes to such an extent as to justify action against them under the rules regarding military objectives. 
Institute of International Law, Edinburgh Session, Resolution on the Distinction between Military Objectives and Non-military Objects in General and Particularly the Problems Associated with Weapons of Mass Destruction, 9 September 1969, § 4.
Amnesty International
In 2001, in a report on Israel and the occupied territories, Amnesty International stated that civilian objects “may be attacked while they are being used for firing upon Israeli forces. But they revert to their status as civilian objects as soon as they are no longer being used for launching attacks.” 
Amnesty International, Israel and the Occupied Territories: State Assassinations and Other Unlawful Killings, AI Index MDE 15/005/2001, London, 21 February 2001, p. 29.
Additional Protocol I
Article 52(3) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I states:
In case of doubt whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes, such as a place of worship, a house or other dwelling or a school, is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 52(3). Article 52 was adopted by 79 votes in favour, none against and 7 abstentions. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 168.
Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
Article 3(8)(a) of the 1996 Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons provides:
In case of doubt as to whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes, such as a place of worship, a house or other dwelling or a school, is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used.  
Protocol on Prohibitions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices, as amended, to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, Geneva, 3 May 1996, Article 3(8)(a).
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Paragraph 6 of the 1991 Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Article 52(3) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of International Humanitarian Law between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Geneva, 27 November 1991, § 6.
Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Paragraph 2.5 of the 1992 Agreement on the Application of IHL between the parties to the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Article 52(3) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Agreement between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representatives of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 22 May 1992, § 2.5.
San Remo Manual
Paragraph 58 of the 1994 San Remo Manual provides: “In case of doubt whether a vessel or aircraft exempt from attack is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used.” The commentary on this paragraph states: “This rule, the so-called rule of doubt, imposes an obligation on a party to the conflict to gather and assess relevant information before commencing an attack.” 
Louise Doswald-Beck (ed.), San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994, Prepared by international lawyers and naval experts convened by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995, § 58 and commentary.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) provides: “In case of doubt concerning the military use of an object which is usually dedicated to civilian purposes, that object must be considered as civilian.” 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 4.45; see also § 4.02(2).
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states: “In cases of doubt whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes, such as a church, is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it should be presumed to be a civilian object.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 528; see also § 530 and Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 976.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states: “In cases of doubt whether objects which are normally dedicated to civilian purposes, such as a church, are being used to make an effective contribution to military action, they are presumed to be civilian objects.” 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 5.32.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) states: “Whenever there is a doubt concerning the nature of an objective, it must be considered as a civilian object.” 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule I, p. 13.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “In case of doubt, the object in question must be considered to be a civilian object.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 53.
The Regulations further states: “In case of doubt, an object which is normally subjected to civilian use must be considered to be civilian in character.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 85.
The Regulations also states: “In case of doubt about the civilian character of an object, it must be presumed not to be utilized in a way that effectively contributes to the adversary’s action.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 19; see also Part I bis, p. 35.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) states that in case of doubt as to whether an object is military or civilian in character, it should be considered as a civilian object. 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 17.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states: “In case of doubt [as to the nature of an object], a civilian object retains its civilian character.” 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 92, § 352.13; see also p. 134, § 412.13.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states:
In the case of doubt as to whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes (such as a place of worship, a house or other dwelling, or a school) is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-5, § 38.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on targeting:
In the case of doubt as to whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes (such as a place of worship, a house or other dwelling, or a school) is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 429.
Canada
Canada’s Use of Force Manual (2008), in a section entitled “Principles and rules governing the use of force that directly relates to the conduct of armed conflict”, states:
Doubt rule. A person or object must not be attacked unless there is a reasonable belief that the person or object to be attacked is a military objective. In cases of doubt, a person is presumed to be a civilian, and the use of an object normally dedicated to civilian purposes is presumed to be of a nature other than that constituting an effective contribution to military action, unless and until the contrary is established. 
Canada, Use of Force for CF Operations, Canadian Forces Joint Publication, Chief of the Defence Staff, B-GJ-005-501/FP-001, August 2008, § 112.3.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 1 (Basic and team leader instruction): “If there is any doubt as to the nature of an object it must be considered a civilian object.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 1: Formation élémentaire toutes armés (FETA), formation commune de base (FCB), certificat d’aptitude technique No. 1 (Chef d’équipe), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter II, Section I, § 4.
Colombia
Colombia’s Instructors’ Manual (1999) states: “In case of doubt all objects which are normally dedicated to civilian purposes must be considered civilian.” 
Colombia, Derechos Humanos & Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual de Instrucción de la Guía de Conducta para el Soldado e Infante de Marina, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Oficina de Derechos Humanos, Fuerzas Militares de Colombia, Santafé de Bogotá, 1999, p. 16.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers):
III.1. Civilian objects
By civilian objects, one means all objects which are not military objectives. …
In all cases, the essential question is to know what use is being made of the object in question. In case of doubt, each object, until the contrary is proven, must be regarded as a civilian object. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 32–33; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 21 and 28–29.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides: “In case of doubt, an object which is normally designated to civilian purposes keeps its civilian character.” 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 35.
Croatia
Croatia’s LOAC Compendium (1991) affirms that in case of doubt as to whether an object is military or civilian in character, it should be considered as a civilian object. 
Croatia, Compendium “Law of Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1991, p. 7.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) states: “In case of doubt, an object usually affected to a civilian use must be considered as civilian and shall not be attacked.” 
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. 90.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “An objective which is normally dedicated to civil purposes shall, in case of doubt, be assumed not to be used in a way to make an effective contribution to military action, and therefore be treated as a civilian object.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, § 446.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) affirms that in case of doubt, objects must be considered to be civilian. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 18.
Ireland
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) states: “In case of doubt as to the status of … [an] object, it shall be assumed to be civilian.” 
Ireland, Basic Guide to the Law of Armed Conflict, TP/TRG/01-2005, Director of Defence Forces Training, Department of Defence, July 2005, p. 10.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) states: “In cases where there is doubt as to whether a civilian object has turned into a military objective, the [1977] Additional Protocols state that one is to assume that it is not a military objective unless proven otherwise.” 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 38.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
In the case of incidents in which there is a doubt as to whether the target changed its status from civilian to military, the Additional Protocols determine that it should be assumed that it is not a military target unless proven otherwise. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 27.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) states: “In case of doubt whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes (e.g. a place of worship, a house or other dwelling, a school) is a military objective, it shall be considered as a civilian object.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 2, p. 11.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) states: “In case of doubt, an object which is usually dedicated to civilian purposes (such as a place of worship, school, house or other type of dwelling) will be considered as civilian.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 2-SO, § D.
Mexico
Mexico’s IHL Guidelines (2009) states: “In case of doubt, an object should be considered to be civilian.” 
Mexico, Cartilla de Derecho Internacional Humanitario, Ministry of National Defence, 2009, § 2.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states: “In case of doubt whether an object which usually serves civilian purposes, such as a house, a school, a church, is used for military purposes, it must be assumed to be a civilian object.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. V-3.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “In the event of doubt whether an object normally used for civilian purposes, e.g., a house, a school, a church, is being used for military purposes, it must be assumed that it is a civilian object.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0513.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states: “If there is a substantial doubt concerning whether an object normally used for civilian purposes is, in the circumstances, a military objective, it shall be presumed not to be a military objective.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 524(3); see also §§ 516(7) and 623(7) (following the language of Article 52(3) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I more closely).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994) provides that when “hospital ships, coastal rescue craft, ships sailing under special agreements … are of a dubious status, i.e., when it is uncertain whether it is a military objective or not, in that case, it may be stopped and searched so as to establish its status”. 
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, p. 45, § 16(d).
Philippines
The Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (2006) notes in its glossary:
Civilian objects – any object which is not a military objective. Objects which are normally civilian objects can, according to the military situation, become military objectives (e.g. house or bridge tactically used by the defender and thus a target for an attacker). In case of doubt whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes (e.g. a place of worship, a house or dwelling, a school) is a military objective or not, it shall be considered as a civilian object. 
Philippines, Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, A Practical Guide for Internal Security Operations, 2006, p. 67, Glossary.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) states: “In case of doubt, an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes, such as a house, a school or a place of worship, must be considered to be a civilian object.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 4.2.b.(2); see also § 2.3.b.(1).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “If there is any doubt, based on the information available at the time about whether an object normally used for civilian purposes, such as a dwelling, a school or a place of worship, is a military objective, it must be presumed to be a civilian object.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 4.2.b.(2); see also § 2.3.b.(1).
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) states:
During military operations it may often be difficult to establish within a short space of time whether property should be classified as a civilian object or a military objective. To avoid meaningless destruction as far as possible, a so-called dubio rule is included in Article 52 [of the 1977 Additional Protocol I]. This states that in case of doubt whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes is being used in the adversary’s military activity, it shall be presumed that it is not being so used. Among such normally civilian objects are mentioned particularly places of worship, houses and other dwellings, and schools. 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 3.2.1.5, p. 55.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) states: “Whenever there is a doubt concerning the nature of an objective, it must be considered as a civilian object.” 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule I, p. 14.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states: “In cases of doubt, objects are to be considered as civilian.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 5.24.3.
In its chapter on air operations, the manual states: “In case of doubt whether a vessel or aircraft exempt from attack is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 12.33.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) states:
In case of doubt whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes, such as a house or other dwelling or a school, is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 5-3(a)(1)(b).
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Ireland
Under Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, any “minor breach” of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 52(3), is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the two additional protocols to [the 1949 Geneva] Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108(b).
Spain
In 2010, in the Couso case, which concerned the killing of a Spanish journalist in Baghdad on 8 April 2003 by troops of the United States of America, the Criminal Chamber of Spain’s Supreme Court referred to norms of IHL relevant to the case under review, including Article 52(3) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Spain, Supreme Court, Couso case, Judgment, 13 July 2010, Section II(II), Sexto, § 2, p. 15.
Egypt
Upon signature of the 1998 ICC Statute, Egypt declared:
Civilian objects [referred to in Article 8, paragraph 2(b) of the Statute] must be defined and dealt with in accordance with the provisions of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] and, in particular, article 52 thereof. In case of doubt, the object shall be considered to be civilian. 
Egypt, Declarations made upon signature of the 1998 ICC Statute, 26 December 2000, § 4(b).
Iraq
The Report on the Practice of Iraq states that the practice adopted by the Iraqi armed forces is that in case of doubt concerning the nature of objects, they must be considered as civilian objects. 
Report on the Practice of Iraq, 1998, Reply by the Iraqi Ministry of Defence to a questionnaire, July 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Israel
The Report on the Practice of Israel states:
In principle, in cases of significant doubt as to whether a target is legitimate or civilian, the decision would be to refrain from attacking the target. It should be stressed that the introduction of the adjective “significant” in this context is aimed at excluding those cases in which there exists a slight possibility that the definition of the target as legitimate is mistaken. In such cases, the decision whether or not to attack rests with the commander in the field, who has to decide whether or not the possibility of mistake is significant enough to warrant not launching the attack. 
Report on the Practice of Israel, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Israel
In 2009, in a report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 (the “Gaza Operation”, also known as “Operation Cast Lead”), Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated:
A dual use objective may be attacked if reliable, conclusive and up-to-date information confirms that it serves the military activities of the enemy, and subject to the principle of proportionality. In case of doubt, such objective shall be presumed to be civilian. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 223.
Malaysia
The Report on the Practice of Malaysia does not expressly mention the presumption in favour of the civilian character in the list of norms applicable to the country’s armed forces, but it states that this principle is applied in practice since civilian property is not considered as a military objective. This principle is said to conform to the practice aimed at winning the hearts and minds of the civilian population during the communist insurgency period. 
Report on the Practice of Malaysia, 1997, Answers to additional questions on Chapter 1.3.
Mexico
At the CDDH, Mexico stated that it believed Article 47 of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52) to be so essential that it “cannot be the subject of any reservations whatsoever since these would be inconsistent with the aim and purpose of Protocol I and undermine its basis”. 
Mexico, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 193.
United States of America
In 1992, in its final report to Congress on the conduct of the Gulf War, the US Department of Defense commented thus on Article 52(3) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I:
This language, which is not a codification of the customary practice of nations, causes several things to occur that are contrary to the traditional law of war. It shifts the burden for determining the precise use of an object from the party controlling that object (and therefore in possession of the facts as to its use) to the party lacking such control and facts, i.e. from defender to attacker. This imbalance ignores the realities of war in demanding a degree of certainty of an attacker that seldom exists in combat. It also encourages a defender to ignore its obligation to separate the civilian population, individual civilians and civilian objects from military objectives, as the Government of Iraq illustrated during the Persian Gulf War. 
United States, Department of Defense, Final Report to Congress on the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, 10 April 1992, Appendix O, The Role of the Law of War, ILM, Vol. 31, 1992, p. 627.
Noting that the US Naval Handbook does not refer to such presumption, the Report on US Practice concludes that the US Government does not acknowledge the existence of a customary principle requiring a presumption of civilian character in case of doubt. 
Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
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Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts
At the CDDH, an exception to the presumption of civilian status was submitted. It provided that the presumption of civilian use for objects which are normally dedicated to civilian purposes would not apply “in contact zones where the security of the armed forces requires a derogation from this presumption”. Such an exception was defended on the grounds that “infantry soldiers could not be expected to place their lives in great risk because of such a presumption and that, in fact, civilian buildings which happen to be in the front lines usually are used as part of the defensive works”. The exception was criticized by other delegates on the ground that “it would unduly endanger civilian objects to permit any exceptions to the presumption”. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/III/224, Report to Committee III on the Work of the Working Group, pp. 331–332.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In its judgment in the Galić case in 2003, the ICTY Trial Chamber stated:
In case of doubt as to whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used. The Trial Chamber understands that such an object shall not be attacked when it is not reasonable to believe, in the circumstances of the person contemplating the attack, including the information available to the latter, that the object is being used to make an effective contribution to military action. 
ICTY, Galić case, Judgment, 5 December 2003, § 51.
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that: “In case of doubt whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes (e.g. a place of worship, a house or other dwelling, a school) is a military objective, it shall be considered as a civilian object.” 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 59; see also § 464 (ships of dubious status).
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