Practice Relating to Rule 47. Attacks against Persons Hors de Combat

Geneva Conventions (1949)
Pursuant to common Article 3(1) of the 1949 Geneva Conventions,
[p]ersons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture. 
Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 3; Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 3; Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 3; Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 3(1).
Additional Protocol I
Article 41(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides: “A person who is recognized or who, in the circumstances, should be recognized to be hors de combat shall not be made the object of attack.” 
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 41(1). Article 41 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.39, 25 May 1977, p. 104.
Additional Protocol I
Under Article 85(3)(e) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, “making a person the object of attack in the knowledge that he is hors de combat” is a grave breach of the Protocol. 
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 85(3)(e). Article 85 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.44, 30 May 1977, p. 291.
Additional Protocol II (draft)
Article 7(1) of the draft Additional Protocol II submitted by the ICRC to the CDDH provided: “It is forbidden to kill, injure, ill-treat or torture an adversary hors de combat.” 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. I, Part Three, Draft Additional Protocols, June 1973, p. 35.
This proposal was amended and adopted by consensus in Committee III of the CDDH. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/III/SR.49, 4 June 1976, p. 108, § 7.
The text adopted provided: “A person who is recognized or should, under the circumstances, be recognized to be hors de combat, shall not be made the object of attack.” 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/236/Rev.1, 21 April-11 June 1976, p. 420.
Eventually, however, it was rejected in the plenary by 22 votes in favour, 15 against and 42 abstentions. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VII, CDDH/SR.52, 6 June 1977, p. 129.
Lieber Code
Article 60 of the 1863 Lieber Code provides: “It is against the usage of modern war to resolve, in hatred and revenge, to give no quarter.” 
Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, prepared by Francis Lieber, promulgated as General Order No. 100 by President Abraham Lincoln, Washington D.C., 24 April 1863, Article 60.
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 41 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 41 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.
ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind (1996)
Pursuant to Article 20(b)(iv) of the 1996 ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, “[m]aking a person the object of attack in the knowledge that he is hors de combat” is a war crime. 
Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, adopted by the International Law Commission, reprinted in Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its forty-eighth session, 6 May–26 July 1996, UN Doc. A/51/10, 1996, Article 20(b)(iv).
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) forbids the refusal to give quarter. 
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, § 1.06(4).
The manual also states: “It is prohibited … to make an enemy hors de combat the object of attack.” 
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, § 1.06(5).
The manual further states that “attacks against persons recognized as hors de combat” are a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and a war crime. 
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, § 8.03.
Australia
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) provides: “A person who is recognised or who, in the circumstances, should be recognised to be hors de combat shall not be made the object of attack.” 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 906.
The Guide also states: “The following examples constitute grave breaches or serious war crimes likely to warrant institution of criminal proceedings: … denying an enemy the right to surrender.” 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 1305(o).
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides: “Soldiers who are ‘out of combat’ and civilians are to be treated in the same manner and cannot be made the object of attack.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 707.
The manual also stresses that: “LOAC forbids the killing or wounding of an enemy who … is … ‘hors de combat’”. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 836.
The manual further states: “The following examples constitute grave breaches or serious war crimes likely to warrant institution of criminal proceedings: … denying an enemy the right to surrender”. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 1315(o).
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
7.8 … Soldiers who are “out of combat” and civilians are to be treated in the same manner and cannot be made the object of attack …
8.40 The LOAC forbids the killing or wounding of an enemy who … is … hors de combat
13.26 [The 1977 Additional Protocol I] extends the definition of grave breaches to include the following … acts when committed wilfully, in violation of the relevant provisions of the protocol, and causing death or serious injury to body or health:
• making a person the object of attack in the knowledge that they are hors de combat.
13.29 Provisions of the Hague Regulations 1907 are now recognised as part of customary law. Those regulations provide that the following acts are “especially forbidden”:
• to kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down their arms, or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 7.8, 8.40, 13.26 and 13.29; see also § 4.30.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Officers (1994) provides: “Any adversary hors de combat may no longer be made the object of attack.” 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Manuel d’Instruction pour Officiers, Etat-Major Général, Division Opérations, 1994, Part I, Title II, p. 34.
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Soldiers states that enemy combatants who are no longer taking part in combat “may be neutralized and captured. To kill them would not bring any additional advantage in combat.” 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Dossier d’Instruction pour Soldat, à l’attention des officiers instructeurs, JS3, Etat-Major Général, Forces Armées belges, undated, p. 15.
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) states: “It is prohibited to kill or injure an adversary … who is hors de combat.” 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule II, p. 4; see also p. 18.
The manual also states: “Any person recognized or who should be recognized as being no longer able to participate in combat shall not be attacked.” 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule II, p. 9.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “Persons hors de combat and persons who do not take a direct part in hostilities are entitled to respect for their life and physical and psychological integrity.” 
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. 80.
The Regulations also states: “It is prohibited to shoot at or wound a person who has surrendered or put down his or her arms, or who has no means of defence left.” 
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. 24; see also Part I bis, pp. 9, 24 and 26.
The Regulations also states that “an attack against a person hors de combat” constitutes a “grave breach” of IHL. 
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. 115.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) provides:
The enemy hors de combat is defined as a combatant who, physically or morally, cannot continue to fight. The main rule to be observed at this moment is not to kill him but to preserve his life, provided he does not manifest any hostile intentions. 
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. 63, § 233.2.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) “strictly advises against ordering the extermination of an enemy hors de combat”. 
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. 59, § 251 and p. 85, § 341.
The manual also states:
It is prohibited … to fire on, wound or kill an enemy combatant who surrenders or is captured or with whom a ceasefire has been concluded. 
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. 256, § 612.
The manual further states that “an attack against a person hors de combat” constitutes a grave breach of IHL. 
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, pp. 295–296, § 661.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states: “It is prohibited to deny quarter”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 6-2, § 15 and p. 7-3, § 20.
It also states: “A combatant who is recognized or who, in the circumstances, should be recognized to be hors de combat shall not be attacked.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 3-3, § 18; see also p. 4-5, § 42, p. 6-2, § 16 and p. 7-3, § 21.
The manual further states that “making a person the object of attack knowing he is hors de combat” is a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and a war crime. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 16-2, § 8(a) and p. 16-3, § 16(e).
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) provides: “The ‘denial of quarter’ is prohibited.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 5, § 2.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter entitled “Combatant Status”: “A combatant who is recognized or who, in the circumstances, should be recognized to be hors de combat shall not be attacked.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 309.2.
In its chapter on targeting, the manual further states:
408. Combatants
1. Combatants are legitimate targets and may be attacked unless they have been captured, surrendered, expressed a clear intention to surrender, or are hors de combat (i.e., out of combat), provided they refrain from hostile acts and do not attempt to escape …
433. Enemy “hors de combat”
1. A combatant who is recognized or who, in the circumstances, should be recognized to be hors de combat (out of combat) shall not be attacked. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, §§ 408.1 and 433.1.
In its chapter on land warfare, the manual also states: “It is prohibited to attack a combatant who is, or should be recognized as being, hors de combat (out of combat).” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 608.2.
Similarly, in its chapter on air warfare, the manual states: “It is prohibited to attack a combatant who is, or should be recognized as being, hors de combat (out of combat).” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 707.2.
In its chapter on “War crimes, individual criminal liability and command responsibility”, the manual provides that “making a person the object of attack knowing he is hors de combat” constitutes a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and a war crime. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1608.2.c.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) instructs: “The ‘denial of quarter’ is prohibited.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 5, § 2.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 2 (Instruction for group and patrol leaders): “Persons who are hors de combat or not directly taking part in the hostilities are entitled to respect for their lives and physical and moral integrity. … It is forbidden to kill or wound an enemy who has surrendered or who is hors de combat.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 2: Formation pour l’obtention du certificat technique No. 2 (Chef de Groupe), du certificat Inter-Armé (CIA), du certificat d’aptitude de Chef de Patrouille (CACP), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter I, Fundamental Rules, § 1–2.
Volume 2 also states: “Any person who is or should be acknowledged as no longer fit to take part in combat must not be attacked”. 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 2: Formation pour l’obtention du certificat technique No. 2 (Chef de Groupe), du certificat Inter-Armé (CIA), du certificat d’aptitude de Chef de Patrouille (CACP), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter V, Section II, § 4; see also Chapter II, Section III, § 3.1.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) prohibits attacks against persons “who are hors de combat”. 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 26: see also p. 47.
The manual also states that attacking “people who are hors de combat” is a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and thus a war crime. 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 108.
Colombia
Colombia’s Circular on the Fundamental Rules of IHL (1992) states: “It is prohibited to kill or injure an adversary who … is hors de combat.” 
Colombia, Transcripción Normas Fundamentales del Derecho Humanitario Aplicables en los Conflictos Armados, Circular No. 033/DIPL-SERPO-526, Policía Nacional, Dirección General, Santafé de Bogotá, 14 May 1992, § 2.
Colombia
Colombia’s Directive on IHL (1993) considers an “attack against a person hors de combat” as a punishable offence. 
Colombia, Normas de Derecho Internacional Humanitario, Directiva Permanente No. 017, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, 17 August 1993, Section III(D).
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
Lesson 3. Rules of behaviour in combat
[Basic Rule No. 4]:
Do not fight enemies who are hors de combat or who surrender. Disarm them and hand them over to your superior …
Lesson 4. Breaches and repression of violations of IHL
I. Grave violations
They are enumerated by the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols, as well as by the Ivorian Penal Code.
They are:
- … attacks directed … against persons hors de combat. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 21 and 29; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre II: Instruction du gradé et du cadre, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 16; 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, p. 39; 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. 65.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
Chapter 2. Combatants and objectives
I.2.9. Combatants hors de combat
A person who is recognized or who, in the circumstances, should be recognized to be “hors de combat” shall not be made the object of attack.
Chapter 3. Protection
I.2.4. Enemy hors de combat
A person who is recognized or who, in the circumstances, should be recognized to be hors de combat shall not be made the object of attack. …
It is prohibited to order that there shall be no survivors, to threaten an adversary therewith or to conduct hostilities on this basis. Consequently, a person who clearly expresses an intention to surrender, in whatever way, must not be made the object of attack. 
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, 21, 31 and 33.
Croatia
Croatia’s LOAC Compendium (1991) states that the denial of quarter is a prohibited method of warfare. 
Croatia, Compendium “Law of Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1991, p. 40.
The Compendium further states that “attacks on persons ‘hors de combat’” are a grave breach and a war crime. 
Croatia, Compendium “Law of Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1991, p. 56.
Croatia
Croatia’s Commanders’ Manual (1992) provides: “A combatant who is recognized (or should be recognized) as being out of combat may not be attacked.” 
Croatia, Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflicts – Commanders’ Manual, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, § 72.
Croatia
Under Croatia’s Instructions on Basic Rules of IHL (1993), it is prohibited to kill or injure members of the enemy armed forces who are hors de combat. 
Croatia, Instructions “Basic Rules of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1993, § 1.
Djibouti
Djibouti’s Manual on International Humanitarian Law (2004) states that the following “are currently considered as war crimes … if committed against any person not or no longer participating in hostilities: … making a person the object of attack [albeit] knowing that he or she is hors de combat”. 
Djibouti, Manuel sur le droit international humanitaire et les droits de l’homme applicables au travail du policier, Ministère de l’Intérieur, Direction Générale de la Police, 2004, pp. 50–51.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) states: “The following acts constitute war crimes: … denial of quarter (i.e., denial of the offer not to kill the defeated enemy).” 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 6.2.5(4).
Ethiopia
According to Ethiopia’s Standing Rules of Engagement (2007), “soldiers who have given up direct participation in combat (hors de combat)” do not constitute military objectives. 
Ethiopia, Standing Rules of Engagement, National Defense Force, Addis Ababa, 2007, § 8.4.3.
France
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) states: “It is prohibited to kill or injure an adversary who … is hors de combat.” 
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, § 2.1.
France
France’s LOAC Teaching Note (2000) provides: “It is prohibited to attack … an adversary … who is hors de combat.” 
France, Fiche didactique relative au droit des conflits armés, Directive of the Ministry of Defence, 4 January 2000, annexed to the Directive No. 147 of the Ministry of Defence of 4 January 2000, p. 2.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) states: “A person who is recognized or who, in the circumstances, should be recognized to be hors de combat shall not be made the object of attack.” 
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, pp. 104 and 105.
Greece
The Hellenic Navy’s International Law Manual (1995) states in its chapter on submarine warfare:
The aforementioned practice followed during the two World Wars by no means should be considered as sanctioning the exception of naval warfare from the rules of armed conflict. On the contrary, the fundamental principles of IHL treaties concerning the protection and respect of shipwrecked, wounded, sick [and those] hors de combat … must be considered applicable. 
Greece, International Law Manual, Hellenic Navy General Staff, Directorate A2, Division IV, 1995, Chapter 7, Part III, § 4.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) states that the denial of quarter is a prohibited method of warfare. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 64.
The manual further states: “Attacks on persons ‘hors de combat’” are a grave breach of the law of war and a war crime. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 90.
Ireland
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) states: “Persons not directly taking part in hostilities and those being ‘hors de combat’ i.e. put out of action through sickness, injury, or captivity, must be respected and protected against the effects of war.” 
Ireland, Basic Guide to the Law of Armed Conflict, TP/TRG/01-2005, Director of Defence Forces Training, Department of Defence, July 2005, p. 4.
(emphasis in original)
Israel
With reference to Israel’s Law of War Booklet (1986), the Report on the Practice of Israel states: “The protection of those persons who are hors de combat is a basic tenet in the IDF [Israel Defense Forces], and IDF soldiers are required not to make any such individual the subject of attack.” 
Report on the Practice of Israel, 1997, Chapter 2.1, referring to Conduct in the Battlefield in Accordance with the Law of War, Israel Defense Forces, 1986, p. 13.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) states:
The laws of war do set clear bars to the possibility of harming combatants when the combatant is found “outside the frame of hostilities”, as when he asks to surrender, or when he is wounded in a way that does not allow him to take an active part in the fighting. In such situations it is absolutely prohibited to harm the combatant. 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 42.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
[T]he rules of war include a ban on attacking a combatant who is “hors de combat ”, for example while he is asking to surrender or if he is wounded in such a way that does not allow him to participate in combat actively. In situations such as these, it is absolutely forbidden in the strongest terms to attack such combatant. The moral argument for this is that as long as the soldier is participating in the military effort, he knowingly risks his life. When he is clearly asking to surrender and exit from the fight or while he is incapable of participating in combat actively, there is no moral justification in attacking him, nor is there any military reason to do so.
The rules of war clearly set the boundaries of combat. A soldier who has surrendered or who is wounded is outside them. Attacking a combatant who has surrendered is murder and the same also applies to attacking a combatant who has been wounded and has ceased to pose a threat to our forces.
Considerations such as delays in reaching the objective due to the need to guard prisoners-of-war or even assigning personnel for the purpose of transferring them to the home front, do not permit attacking prisoners-of-war who have surrendered and have been disarmed. It is difficult to think of a military mission of such urgency that it does not allow the removal of prisoners-of-war to the rear or even immobilising them until the arrival of reinforcements. The military police is responsible for the management of prisoners-of-war in the IDF [Israel Defense Forces], and every combat unit has a military police unit which in time of emergency will be responsible for receiving prisoners-of-war and transferring them to prison camps.
Which circumstances define a combatant as “out of the theatre of war”? Is a soldier who is attacking in hand-to-hand combat range required to hold his fire in the presence of an enemy combatant who raises his hands? This is a difficult question to answer.
From every angle, a number of criteria are involved in examining the issue: is it absolutely clear that the combatant intends to surrender, by means of recognised signals such as raising the arms? Did the person surrendering lay down his weapon? 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 29.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) provides that grave breaches of international conventions and protocols, including “attacks against persons hors de combat”, are considered as war crimes. 
Italy, Manuale di diritto umanitario, Introduzione e Volume I, Usi e convenzioni di Guerra, SMD-G-014, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, Vol. I, § 85.
Italy
Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) provides: “A combatant who is recognized (or should be recognized) as being out of combat may not be attacked.” 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, § 72.
Italy
Italy’s Combatant’s Manual (1998) instructs: “Cease to fight anyone who surrenders or is hors combat.” 
Italy, Manuale del Combattente, SME 1000/A/2, Stato Maggiore Esercito/Reparto Impiego delle Forze, Ufficio Dottrina, Addestramento e Regolamenti, 1998, § 250.
Kenya
Under Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997), “the enemy combatant who is no longer in a position to fight is no longer to be attacked, and is protected”. 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 2, p. 15.
The manual further instructs: “Do not fight enemies who are out of combat.” 
Kenya Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 3, p. 14.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) states: “A combatant who is recognized (or should be recognized) to be hors de combat shall not be attacked.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 7-O. § 17; see also Fiche No. 9-SO, § A and Fiche No. 5-T, § 4.
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009), in a section entitled “Basic rules of international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts”, states: “It is forbidden to kill or injure an enemy who surrenders or who is hors de combat.” 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 407.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides that any person placed hors de combat may not be attacked. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. IV-3.
In addition, “attacks against … a person who is recognized to be hors de combat” are listed as a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. IX-5.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “The humanitarian law of war provides for the safeguarding of fundamental human rights of certain categories of persons who are not involved in the fighting, or no longer taking part in combat.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0117.
According to the manual, the humanitarian law of war provides “rules for the protection of different categories of people and property which are not, or have ceased to be, involved in the fighting, e.g., the wounded and sick, shipwreck survivors, prisoners of war, civilians and civilian objects”. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, §§ 0118–0119.
The manual also states: “The belligerents must leave those who are outside the armed conflict out of reach of military operations, and refrain from deliberately attacking them.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0225.
In its chapter on the protection of the wounded and sick, the manual states:
All wounded and sick, also shipwreck survivors, to whichever party they belong, should be spared and protected. The terms “respected” and “protected” are complementary. “Respected” means not harmed, not exposed to suffering or injury and not killed. “Protected” means active safeguarding against dangers and prevention of suffering. Any attack on the lives of the wounded and sick is prohibited. In particular, they must not be killed or exterminated and must not be subjected to torture or any other forms of cruelty. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0603.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states: “It is prohibited to attack an adversary who has laid down his arms or surrendered.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1042.
In its chapter on peace operations, the manual states: “Persons who are not, or have ceased to be, participants in fighting or hostilities should be protected.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1228.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states: “A person who is recognised as, or who in the circumstances should be recognised as, hors de combat shall not be made the object of attack.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 503(2) (land warfare); see also § 612(2) (air warfare).
Furthermore, the manual states that “making a person the object of attack knowing he is hors de combat” is a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and a war crime. The manual explains that “this has always been a war crime under customary law”. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, §§ 1701(1) and 1703(3)(e), including footnote 17.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004), in its definition of the term “hors de combat”, states: “A combatant who is hors de combat may not be made the object of attack provided that he abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, Annex 9, Glossary of Terms.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010), in its definition of the term “hors de combat”, states: “A combatant who is hors de combat may not be made the object of attack provided that he abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, p. 404; see also § 75(b), p. 274.
Philippines
The Soldier’s Rules of the Philippines (1989) instructs: “Do not fight enemies who are ‘out of combat’ … Disarm them and hand them over to your superior.” 
Philippines, Soldier’s Rules, in Handbook on Discipline, Annex C(I), General Headquarters, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, 1989, § 4.
Philippines
The Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (2006) states in its glossary:
Enemy “hors de combat” – enemy who is out of combat. A person who is recognized or who, in the circumstances, is no longer able to participate in combat, shall not be attacked (e.g. surrendering, wounded, dead, shipwrecked in water, descending by parachute from an aircraft in distress). 
Philippines, Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, A Practical Guide for Internal Security Operations, 2006, Glossary, p. 68.
Romania
Romania’s Soldiers’ Manual (1991) orders combatants not to attack, kill or injure an enemy hors de combat. 
Romania, Manualul Soldatului, Ghid de comportare în luptă, Asociaţia Română de Drept Umanitar (ARDU), 1991, pp. 4, 5 and 32.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Military Manual (1990) provides that “attacks against persons hors de combat” are a prohibited method of warfare. 
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, § 5(i).
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) notes that “making a person who is ‘out of combat’ … the object of attack knowing that that person is out of combat” is a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and a war crime. 
South Africa, Presentation on the South African Approach to International Humanitarian Law, Appendix A, Chapter 4: International Humanitarian Law (The Law of Armed Conflict), National Defence Force, 1996, §§ 37(c) and 41.
South Africa
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) provides that “[a]ny attack on persons known to be ‘hors de combat’ (out of combat)” is a grave breach of the law of armed conflict and a war crime. 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 57.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) prohibits attacks against persons hors de combat. 
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, §§ 3.3.c.(3), 4.5.b.(1)b), 10.6.a and 10.8.f.(1).
The manual also states that it is a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and a war crime “to make a person the object of attack knowing that he is hors de combat”. 
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, § 11.8.b.(1).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “It is prohibited to attack those persons who are out of action or hors de combat.” 
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.(3); see also §§ 3.3.c.(3), 4.5.a.(1).(b) and 10.3.e.(1).
The manual further states that: “The wounded, sick and shipwrecked must not be attacked unless they take a direct part in hostilities.” 
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, § 5.2.d.(5).
The manual states with regard to combatants without prisoner-of-war status: “They should be given the chance to surrender and, once hors de combat, must be treated humanely. No acts of violence must be committed against them unless they carry out a hostile act or attempt to escape.” 
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, § 7.3.a.(8).
The manual also states: “The unconditional surrender of the enemy must never be refused.” 
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, § 2.6.b.(3).
The manual further states: “Enemy combatants who surrender and clearly express their intention to cease fighting (by waving a white flag, putting up their hands, etc.) must be respected.” 
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, § 7.3.a.(7).
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) considers that the safeguard of an enemy hors de combat as contained in Article 41 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I is part of customary international law. 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 2.2.3, p. 19.
The manual states: “Article 40 of Additional Protocol I treats quarter – an archaic concept which is equivalent to showing mercy to an enemy who has been placed hors de combat.” 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 3.2.1.2, p. 32.
The manual adds:
Persons hors de combat may not be attacked, but shall enjoy the protection of international humanitarian law provided they abstain from any hostile act and do not attempt to escape.
In practice it can often be very hard to determine when this situation has arisen. If it is established that a person is hors de combat, he may not be subjected to attack, but he is not protected against the secondary effects of an attack on nearby objectives. It should also be noted that the mere presence of persons hors de combat does not imply that the place/object where they happen to be shall receive immunity. 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 3.2.1.2, p. 33.
Switzerland
Under Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987), “attacks directed against a person, in the knowledge that this person is hors de combat,” are grave breaches of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 193(1)(e).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Aide-Memoire on the Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflcit (2005) states:
Rule 2
I spare persons that surrender or are hors de combat. I can therefore also expect the enemy to treat me humanely.
Rule 5
I treat people that fall into my hands humanely. I disarm them and hand them over to my superior. They have to be protected from any kind of attack. … At the same time, I always take my own safety and that of my comrades into account. 
Switzerland, The Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict, Aide-memoire 51.007/IIIe, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for Organisation of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports dated 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, Rules 2 and 5.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
12.1 The principle of distinction
159 Hostilities may exclusively be directed against combatants and military targets.
3 Protected persons are persons who are not or no longer taking part in combat or enjoy specially protected status, such as medical and religious personnel, civil protection or cultural property protection personnel, as well as wounded persons and prisoners of war.
13 Protected persons
13.1 Behaviour with regard to the wounded, sick and shipwrecked and medical and religious personnel
173 Wounded, sick and shipwrecked persons become protected persons as soon as they have laid down their arms or are hors de combat. They must not be attacked.
13.2 Behaviour with regard to combatants and prisoners
182 Persons who clearly indicate their willingness to surrender may not be attacked. As soon as circumstances permit, they must be searched, disarmed and evacuated from the danger zone. This must be done while constantly ensuring one’s own safety at all times (surveying the battlefield, cover, protection against fire).
183 As long as they do not defend themselves, pilots and crew members who parachute from an enemy aircraft in distress to save their own lives may neither be attacked from the air nor from the ground. Once landed, they are treated as prisoners of war. If they do not surrender or resist capture they are considered combatants and may be rendered hors de combat.
15 Methods of warfare
225 Indiscriminate attacks, i.e. attacks which cannot distinguish between protected persons/objects and military objectives, as well as attacks directed against protected persons/objects or acts of revenge are prohibited in any place and at any time.
17 Sanctions for violations of the international law of armed conflict
237 The following in particular are criminal offences: … harmful acts against internationally protected persons and objects[.] 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance on the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, §§ 159(3), 173, 182–183, 225 and 237. The German language version notes in the first sentence of § 173: “… as soon as they have laid down their arms or are otherwise [“sonstwie”] hors de combat.” Heading 13.2 reads in the German language version: “Behaviour with regard to surrendering [“sich ergebenden”] combatants and prisoners”.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) states: “It is prohibited to kill or injure an adversary … who is hors de combat.” 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule II, p. 4; see also p. 18.
The manual further states: “Any person recognized or who should be recognized as being no longer able to participate in combat shall not be attacked.” 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule II, p. 9.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “The following methods of warfare shall be prohibited: … killing or wounding of those who, having laid down their arms and possessing no means to protect themselves, have surrendered”. 
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: “A person who is recognized or who, in the circumstances, should be recognized to be hors de combat shall not be made the object of attack.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 5.6.
In its chapter on enforcement of the law of armed conflict, the manual notes:
Additional Protocol I extends the definition of grave breaches to include the following:
b. any of the following acts, when committed wilfully, in violation of the relevant provisions of the protocol, and causing death or serious injury to body or health:
(5) making a person the object of attack in the knowledge that he is hors de combat. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 16.25.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) states: “The law of armed conflicts clearly forbids the killing or wounding of an enemy who … is … hors de combat.” 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 4-2(d).
The Pamphlet goes on to say: “In addition to the grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the following acts are representative of situations involving individual criminal responsibility: … deliberate refusal of quarter.” 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 15-3(c)(3).
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) provides: “The following acts are representative war crimes: … denial of quarter (i.e., killing or wounding an enemy hors de combat …).” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/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 Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), § 6.2.5(4).
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states that examples of war crimes that could be considered as grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions include: “Denial of quarter (i.e., killing or wounding an enemy unable to fight due to sickness or wounds or one who is making a genuine offer of surrender).” 
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, § 6.2.6(4).
United States of America
The US Manual for Military Commissions (2010), Part IV, Crimes and Elements, states: “The term ‘protected person’ means any person entitled to protection under one or more of the [1949] Geneva Conventions, including … military personnel placed out of combat by sickness, wounds, or detention.” 
United States, Manual for Military Commissions, published in implementation of Chapter 47A of Title 10, United States Code, as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009, 10 U.S.C, §§ 948a, et seq., 27 April 2010, § 1(a)(2)(B), p. IV-1.
Armenia
Under Armenia’s Penal Code (2003), an “assault on a person who has clearly ceased to participate in military actions”, during an armed conflict, constitutes a crime against the peace and security of mankind. 
Armenia, Penal Code, 2003, Article 390.3(5).
Australia
Australia’s Geneva Conventions Act (1957), as amended in 2002, provides: “A person who, in Australia or elsewhere, commits a grave breach … of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] is guilty of an indictable offence.” 
Australia, Geneva Conventions Act, 1957, as amended in 2002, Section 7(1).
The grave breaches provisions in this Act were removed in 2002 and incorporated into the Criminal Code Act 1995.
Australia
Australia’s Criminal Code Act (1995), as amended to 2007, states with regard to war crimes that are committed in the course of an international armed conflict:
War crimekilling or injuring a person who is hors de combat
(1) A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) the perpetrator kills one or more persons; and
(b) the person or persons are hors de combat; and
(c) the perpetrator knows of, or is reckless as to, the factual circumstances that establish that the person or persons are hors de combat; and
(d) the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an international armed conflict.
Penalty: Imprisonment for life.
(2) A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) the perpetrator injures one or more persons; and
(b) the person or persons are hors de combat; and
(c) the perpetrator knows of, or is reckless as to, the factual circumstances that establish that the person or persons are hors de combat; and
(d) the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an international armed conflict.
Penalty for a contravention of this subsection: Imprisonment for 25 years. 
Australia, Criminal Code Act, 1995, as amended to 2007, Chapter 8, § 268.40, pp. 328–329.
Australia
Australia’s ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act (2002) incorporates in the Criminal Code the war crimes defined in the 1998 ICC Statute, including “killing or injuring a person who is hors de combat” in international armed conflicts. 
Australia, ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act, 2002, Schedule 1, § 268.40.
Belarus
Belarus’s Criminal Code (1999) provides that it is a war crime to “attack a person in the knowledge that he is hors de combat”. 
Belarus, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 136(13).
Belgium
Belgium’s Penal Code (1867), as amended in 2003, provides:
War crimes envisaged in the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions … and in the [1977 Additional Protocols I and II] … , as well as in Article 8(2)(f) of the [1998 ICC Statute], and listed below, … constitute crimes under international law and shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the present title … :
26. directing an attack against a person, in the knowledge that this person is hors de combat, provided that such an attack results in death or injuries. 
Belgium, Penal Code, 1867, as amended on 5 August 2003, Chapter III, Title I bis, Article 136 quater, § 1(26).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law concerning the Repression of Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols (1993), as amended in 1999, provides that “making a person the object of attack in the knowledge that he/she is hors de combat” constitutes a crime under international law. 
Belgium, Law concerning the Repression of Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, 1993, as amended in 1999, Article 1(3)(15).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law (1993), as amended in 2003, provides:
War crimes envisaged in the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions … and in the [1977 Additional Protocols I and II] … , as well as in Article 8(2)(f) of the [1998 ICC Statute], and listed below, … constitute crimes under international law and shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the present title … :
15 ter directing an attack against a person, in the knowledge that this person is hors de combat, provided that such an attack results in death or injuries. 
Belgium, Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law, 1993, as amended on 23 April 2003, Article 1 ter, § 1(15 ter).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Under the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (1998), “an attack against … persons unable to fight” is a war crime. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federation, Criminal Code, 1998, Article 154(1).
The Republika Srpska’s Criminal Code (2000) contains the same provision. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, Criminal Code, 2000, Article 433(1).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (2003) states that, in time of war, armed conflict or occupation, ordering or committing attacks on “persons unable to fight”, in violation of international law, constitutes a war crime. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Code, 2003, Article 173(1)(a).
Canada
Canada’s Geneva Conventions Act (1985), as amended in 2007, provides: “Every person who, whether within or outside Canada, commits a grave breach [of the 1977 Additional Protocol I] … is guilty of an indictable offence.” 
Canada, Geneva Conventions Act, 1985, as amended in 2007, Section 3(1).
Colombia
Colombia’s Penal Code (2000) imposes a criminal sanction on anyone who, during an armed conflict, refuses to give quarter or attacks persons hors de combat. 
Colombia, Penal Code, 2000, Article 145.
Cook Islands
The Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols Act (2002) of the Cook Islands punishes “any person who in the Cook Islands or elsewhere commits, or aids or abets or procures the commission by another person of, a grave breach … of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I]. 
Cook Islands, Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols Act, 2002, Section 5(1).
Croatia
Under Croatia’s Criminal Code (1997), “an attack against … those hors de combat” is a war crime. 
Croatia, Criminal Code, 1997, Article 158(1).
Croatia
Croatia’s Criminal Code (1997), as amended to 2006, states that a war crime is committed by:
Whoever violates the rules of international law in time of war, armed conflict or occupation and orders [or commits] an attack against … those hors de combat, resulting in death, severe bodily harm or serious damage to people’s health. 
Croatia, Criminal Code, 1997, as amended to 2006, Article 158(1).
Cyprus
Cyprus’s Additional Protocol I Act (1979) punishes
any person who, whatever his nationality, commits in the Republic or outside the Republic, any grave breach of the provisions of the Protocol, or takes part or assists or incites another person in the commission of such a breach. 
Cyprus, Additional Protocol I Act, 1979, Section 4(1).
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Military Penal Code (2002) provides:
Article 165
Crimes against humanity are grave violations of international humanitarian law committed against any civilian population before or during war.
Crimes against humanity are not necessarily linked to the state of war and can be committed not only between persons of different nationality, but even between subjects of the same State.
Article 166
The grave breaches listed hereafter, affecting, by action or omission, the persons and objects protected by the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the Additional Protocols of 8 June 1977, constitute crimes against humanity, repressed according to the provisions of the present Code, without prejudice to more severe penal provisions provided by the ordinary Penal Code:
14. Making a person the object of attack in the knowledge that he is hors de combat;
Article 167
The offences contained in the preceding article are punished with penal servitude for life.
If those contained in points 1, 2, 5, 6, 10 to 14 of the same article lead to the death or cause grave injury to the physical integrity or health of one or several persons, the perpetrators are liable to the death penalty. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Military Penal Code, 2002, Articles 165–167.
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).
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:
Causing serious injury to the physical integrity of a combatant from the adverse party who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered, is punishable by 20 years’ imprisonment. 
France, Penal Code, 1992, as amended in 2010, Article 461-10.
Georgia
Under Georgia’s Criminal Code (1999), “making a person the object of attack in the knowledge that he is hors de combat”, whether in an international or a non-international armed conflict, is a crime. 
Georgia, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 411(1)(e).
Germany
Germany’s Law Introducing the International Crimes Code (2002) punishes anyone who, in connection with an international or a non-international armed conflict, “wounds a member of the opposing armed forces or a combatant of the adverse party after the latter … is … placed hors de combat”. 
Germany, Law Introducing the International Crimes Code, 2002, Article 1(8)(2).
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that grave breaches of the 1977 Additional Protocol I are punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 3(1).
The Act adds that “any minor breach” of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 41(1), is also a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Jordan
Jordan’s Military Penal Code (2002) states that the following shall be deemed a war crime when committed in the event of armed conflict: “Attacking persons hors de combat”. 
Jordan, Military Penal Code, 2002, Article 41(a)(13).
Netherlands
Under the International Crimes Act (2003) of the Netherlands, it is a crime, during an international armed conflict, to commit
the following acts, when they are committed intentionally and in violation of the relevant provisions of Additional Protocol (I) and cause death or serious injury to body or health:
(v) making a person the object of attack in the knowledge that he is hors de combat. 
Netherlands, International Crimes Act, 2003, Article 5(2)(c)(v).
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Geneva Conventions Act (1958), as amended in 1987, provides:
Any person who in New Zealand or elsewhere commits, or aids or abets or procures the commission by another person of, a grave breach … of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] is guilty of an indictable offence. 
New Zealand, Geneva Conventions Act, 1958, as amended in 1987, Section 3(1).
Niger
According to Niger’s Penal Code (1961), as amended in 2003, “making a person the object of an attack knowing that he/she is hors de combat” is a war crime, when such person is protected under the 1949 Geneva Conventions or their Additional Protocols of 1977. 
Niger, Penal Code, 1961, as amended in 2003, Article 208.3(15).
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).
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s ICC Act (2007) provides for the punishment of anyone who commits the war crime of “[w]ounding a member of the adverse armed forces or a combatant of the adverse party after the latter has surrendered unconditionally or is otherwise placed hors de combat” in both international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Republic of Korea, ICC Act, 2007, Article 10(3)(4).
Peru
Peru’s Code of Military and Police Justice (2006) states:
A member of the military or police shall be imprisoned for a period of no less than eight and no more than 15 years if he or she in the context of an international or non-international armed conflict:
1. Directs an attack by any means … against a person not taking direct part in hostilities. 
Peru, Code of Military and Police Justice, 2006, Article 95(1).
This article is no longer in force. Along with certain other articles in this legislation, it was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court (en banc decision for case file No. 0012-2006-PI-TC, 8 January 2007) because it does not stipulate a crime committed in the line of duty that would fall under the jurisdiction of a military court pursuant to Article 173 of Peru’s Constitution.
Peru
Peru’s Military and Police Criminal Code (2010), in a chapter entitled “Crimes involving the use of prohibited methods in the conduct of hostilities”, states:
Article 91. - Prohibited methods in hostilities
A member of the military or the police shall be punished with deprivation of liberty of not less than six years and not more than twenty-five years if, in a state of emergency and when the Armed Forces assume control of the internal order, he or she:
1. Attacks by any means … a person who is not directly participating in hostilities. 
Peru, Military and Police Criminal Code, 2010, Article 91(1).
Republic of Moldova
The Republic of Moldova’s Penal Code (2002) punishes “grave breaches of international humanitarian law committed during international and non-international armed conflicts”. 
Republic of Moldova, Penal Code, 2002, Article 391.
Serbia
Serbia’s Criminal Code (2005) states that ordering or committing attacks against “persons incapacitated through combat”, in violation of international law, constitutes a war crime. 
Serbia, Criminal Code, 2005, Article 372(1).
The Criminal Code also states: “Whoever in violation of international law in time of war or armed conflict kills or wounds an enemy who has laid down his weapons or has surrendered unconditionally or has no means of defence, shall be punished by imprisonment of one to fifteen years.” 
Serbia, Criminal Code, 2005, Article 378(1).
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Geneva Conventions Act (2012) states:
2. Grave breaches of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions and the [1977] First [Additional] Protocol.
(1) A person of whatever nationality commits an offence if that person, whether within or outside Sierra Leone[,] commits, aids, abets or procures any other person to commit a grave breach specified in –
(e) … paragraph … 3 … of Article 85 of the First Protocol [on, inter alia, the grave breach of making a person the object of attack in the knowledge that he is hors de combat]. 
Sierra Leone, Geneva Conventions Act, 2012, Section 2(1)(e).
Slovenia
Under Slovenia’s Penal Code (1994), “an attack … on persons unable to fight” is a war crime. 
Slovenia, Penal Code, 1994, Article 374(1).
South Africa
South Africa’s ICC Act (2002) reproduces the war crimes listed in the 1998 ICC Statute, including “killing or wounding a combatant who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion” in international armed conflicts and “violence to life and person” on “those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention or any other cause” in non-international armed conflicts. 
South Africa, ICC Act, 2002, Schedule 1, Part 3, §§ (b)(vi) and (c)(i).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, states in a chapter entitled “War crimes”:
Art. 110
Articles 112–114 apply in the context of international armed conflicts, including in situations of occupation, and, if the nature of the offence does not exclude it, in the context of non-international armed conflicts.
Art. 112c
1 The penalty shall be a custodial sentence of not less than three years for any person who, in the context of an armed conflict:
d. kills or wounds an enemy combatant … who is hors de combat. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 110 and Article 112c (1)(d).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Penal Code (1937), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, states under the title “War crimes”:
Art. 264b
Articles 264d–264j apply in the context of international armed conflicts, including in situations of occupation, and, if the nature of the offence does not exclude it, in the context of non-international armed conflicts.
Art. 264g
1 The penalty shall be a custodial sentence of not less than three years for any person who, in the context of an armed conflict:
d. kills or wounds an enemy combatant … who is hors de combat. 
Switzerland, Penal Code, 1937, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 264b and 264g (1)(d).
Syrian Arab Republic
The Syrian Arab Republic’s Military Penal Code (1950) provides that it is a criminal offence to perform acts of violence or cruelty in the battlefield against an injured or sick soldier who is unable to defend himself. 
Syrian Arab Republic, Military Penal Code, 1950, Article 117.
Tajikistan
Tajikistan’s Criminal Code (1998) punishes the act of “making a person the object of attack in the knowledge that he is hors de combat” in an international or internal armed conflict. 
Tajikistan, Criminal Code, 1998, Article 403(1).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Geneva Conventions Act (1957), as amended in 1995, punishes
any person, whatever his nationality, who, whether in or outside the United Kingdom, commits, or aids, abets or procures the commission by any other person of, a grave breach of … [the 1977 Additional Protocol I]. 
United Kingdom, Geneva Conventions Act, 1957, as amended in 1995, Section 1(1).
United States of America
The US Military Commissions Act (2006), passed by Congress following the Supreme Court’s decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in 2006, amends Title 10 of the United States Code as follows:
§ 950v. Crimes triable by military commissions
“(a) DEFINITIONS AND CONSTRUCTION.—In this section:
“ …
“(2) PROTECTED PERSON.—The term “protected person” means any person entitled to protection under one or more of the Geneva Conventions, including—
“ …
“(B) military personnel placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, or detention.
“ …
“ [4](B) death, damage, or injury incident to a lawful attack.
“(b) OFFENSES. The following offenses shall be triable by military commission under this chapter at any time without limitation:
“(1) Murder of protected persons.—Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally kills one or more protected persons shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a military commission under this chapter may direct. 
United States, Military Commissions Act, 2006, Public Law 109-366, Chapter 47A of Title 10 of the United States Code, 17 October 2006, p. 120 Stat. 2625, § 950v(a)(2)(B) and (4)(B).
United States of America
The US Military Commissions Act (2009) amends Chapter 47A of Title 10 of the United States Code as follows:
§ 950p. Definitions; construction of certain offenses; common circumstances
“(a) DEFINITIONS.—In this subchapter:
“ …
“(2) The term ‘protected person’ means any person entitled to protection under one or more of the [1949] Geneva Conventions, including … military personnel placed out of combat by sickness, wounds, or detention. 
United States, Military Commissions Act, 2009, § 950p(a)(2).
Uruguay
Uruguay’s Law on Cooperation with the ICC (2006) states:
26.2. Persons and objects affected by the war crimes set out in the present provision are persons and objects which international law protects in international or internal armed conflict.
26.3. The following are war crimes:
14. Killing or wounding an enemy or enemy combatant who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion, or who finds him- or herself in the power of the adverse party for any reason. 
Uruguay, Law on Cooperation with the ICC, 2006, Article 26.2 and 26.3.14.
Yemen
Under Yemen’s Military Criminal Code (1998), “attacks against … persons hors de combat” are war crimes. 
Yemen, Military Criminal Code, 1998, Article 21(6).
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
Under the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Penal Code (1976), as amended in 2001, “an attack on … persons placed hors de combat” is a war crime. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Penal Code, 1976, as amended in 2001, 1976, Article 142(1).
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Geneva Conventions Act (1981), as amended in 1996, punishes “any person, whatever his nationality, who, whether in or outside Zimbabwe, commits any such grave breach of … [the 1977 Additional Protocol I]”. 
Zimbabwe, Geneva Conventions Act, 1981, as amended in 1996, Section 3(1).
Colombia
In 2007, in the Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
The principle of distinction affords protection not only to civilians, but also to a broader category of “non-combatants”, persons who have participated in hostilities and have been placed hors de combat ... The protection of persons hors de combat is provided for in Article 3 Common to the [1949] Geneva Conventions and Article 7 of their [1977] Additional Protocol II and is a rule of customary law. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, Judgment of 25 April 2007, pp. 85; see also p. 97.
[footnote in original omitted]
The Court further held that “under customary law, … persons hors de combat who take a direct part in hostilities shall lose the protection afforded by the principle of distinction if and for such time as they participate in the conflict”. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, Judgment of 25 April 2007, pp. 84.
(footnote in original omitted)
The Court also stated: “Just as in the case of ‘civilians’, persons hors de combat lose the protection provided by the principle of distinction whenever they take a direct part in hostilities if and for such time as this participation lasts.”  
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, Judgment of 25 April 2007, pp. 85.
(footnote in original omitted)
The Court also held: “The principle of distinction is complex and encompasses a number of treaty and customary norms applicable in internal armed conflicts, in addition to, in many cases, enjoying ius cogens status. These rules [include] … the prohibition to attack persons hors de combat”. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, Judgment of 25 April 2007, p. 84–87; see also p. 97.
United States of America
In the Von Leeb case (The German High Command Trial) before the US Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1948, the accused, former high-ranking officers in the German army and navy, were charged, inter alia, with war crimes against enemy belligerents and prisoners of war in that they refused to give quarter to prisoners of war and members of armed forces of nations then at war with the Third Reich. The Tribunal stated:
When Allied airmen were forced to land in Germany, they were sometimes killed at once by the civilian population. The police were instructed not to interfere with these killings, and the Ministry of Justice was informed that no one should be prosecuted for taking part in them. 
United States, Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Von Leeb case (The German High Command Trial), Judgment, 28 October 1948.
Algeria
According to the Report on the Practice of Algeria, the duty to give quarter has been a long-standing practice of Algeria. 
Report on the Practice of Algeria, 1997, Chapter 2.1.
During the Algerian war of independence, the ten rules of the Armée de Libération Nationale (ALN) stipulated that Islamic teachings and international laws must be observed “in the destruction of enemy forces”. 
Report on the Practice of Algeria, 1997, Chapter 2.1, referring to “Les dix commandements de l’A.L.N.”, El Moudjahid, Vol. 1, p. 16.
Chile
At the CDDH, the Chilean delegation stated that it had abstained from the vote on Article 21 of the draft Additional Protocol II (which was deleted in the final text) because it found the wording too vague. However, it agreed that the safeguarding of the enemy hors de combat as established in the 1977 Additional Protocol I should also be included in the Additional Protocol relative to non-international conflicts. 
Chile, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/III/SR.59, 17 May 1977, p. 217, § 47.
Egypt
According to the Report on the Practice of Egypt, it has been a long-standing practice of Egypt to give quarter. The report notes that granting quarter has been practised by Egypt as far back as 1468 B.C. 
Report on the Practice of Egypt, 1997, Chapter 2.1. (The report referred to the Battle of Magedou (1468 B.C.) and the Battle of Mansourah (1249 B.C.). It considered these battles to be part of international conflicts.)
Egypt
According to the Report on the Practice of Egypt, during the Middle East conflict in 1973, Egypt issued military communiqués with instructions to respect the duty to give quarter. 
Report on the Practice of Egypt, 1997, Chapter 2.1, referring to Military Communiqué No. 34, 13 October 1973 and Military Communiqué No. 46, 18 October 1973.
Germany
According to the Report on the Practice of Germany, the right to be given quarter is for the benefit of every person. 
Report on the Practice of Germany, 1997, Answers to additional questions on Chapter 2.1.
Indonesia
According to the Report on the Practice of Indonesia, quarter must be granted to every person taking part in hostilities, whether they are saboteurs, spies, mercenaries or illegal combatants. 
Report on the Practice of Indonesia, 1997, Answers to additional questions on Chapter 2.1.
Iraq
The Report on the Practice of Iraq notes that, during the Iran–Iraq War, several Iraqi military communiqués were issued with the aim of ensuring the safety of enemy combatants unwilling to fight and their evacuation to rear positions. 
Report on the Practice of Iraq, 1998, Chapter 2.1, referring to Military Communiqué No. 973, 27 December 1982, Military Communiqué No. 975, 24 January 1983 and Military Communiqué No. 1902, 21 July 1985.
Jordan
According to the Report on the Practice of Jordan, Islamic principles dictate that a combatant who is recognized as hors de combat may not be attacked. The report mentions an order of Caliph Abu Bakr, dating from the 7th century, which proscribed the killing of non-combatants. 
Report on the Practice of Jordan, 1997, Chapter 2.1. (The order was sent to the leader of the Muslim army fighting against the Romans in Greater Syria.)
Switzerland
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states: “Even in war not everything is allowed. Various means and methods are prohibited, including … denying protection to persons who are hors de combat.” 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, p. 29.
Syrian Arab Republic
During the debates at the CDDH, the Syrian Arab Republic emphasized that “a person hors de combat must in any case abstain from any hostile act and make no attempt to escape”. 
Syrian Arab Republic, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/III/SR.47, 31 May 1976, p. 89, § 22.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2010, in its closing submissions to the public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Baha Mousa and the treatment of those detained with him by UK armed forces in Iraq in 2003, the UK Ministry of Defence stated:
12. The treaties setting out rules of IHL are supplemented by rules of customary international law (CIL), i.e. rules which are recognized as binding by States, even though they do not appear in treaty texts. … [I]n relation to the rules described below the Government accepts that they reflect CIL. It is suggested that the rules which are of most relevance to this inquiry are:
12.1. … Attacking persons who are recognised as hors de combat is prohibited. A person hors de combat is: (a) anyone who is in the power of an adverse party; ... provided he or she abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape.
12.2. Thus, as persons in the power of UK forces the detainees all fell within the definition of persons hors de combat and could not be attacked provided that they abstained from any hostile act and did not try to escape. 
United Kingdom, Ministry of Defence, Closing Submissions to the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry on Modules 1–3, 25 June 2010, §§ 12, 12.1 and 12.2, p. 28.
The Ministry of Defence also stated regarding common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions more generally: “On its face this protection is restricted to armed conflicts not of an international character. However, it is understood to apply in all forms of armed conflict as part of customary international law to set out the irreducible minimum standard.” 
United Kingdom, Ministry of Defence, Closing Submissions to the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry on Modules 1–3, 25 June 2010, § 10.2, p. 10.
UN Commission on Human Rights (Special Rapporteur)
In 1997, in a report on a mission to Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo), the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights pointed out that there had been reports indicating that rebel forces, the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo/Zaire (ADFL), members of the former Rwandan Armed Forces and interahamwe killed rather than took prisoners. Bodies of Zairean soldiers were also found showing no signs that they had died in battle. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Zaire, Third Report, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1997/6, 28 January 1997, §§ 198, 199 and 207.
The rebel authorities justified the alleged incidents on the ground that a war was going on and claimed that the allegations were a smear campaign. The Special Rapporteur pointed out that “the arguments put forward [by rebel authorities] were unacceptable: many of the alleged incidents could not be justified even in time of war, since war too, is subject to regulations and there are limits to what is permissible in combat”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Zaire, Report on the mission carried out at the request of the High Commissioner for Human Rights between 25 and 29 March 1997 to the area occupied by rebels in eastern Zaire, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1997/6/Add.2, 2 April 1997, §§ 39 and 42.
No data.
Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts
Committee III of the CDDH stated with regard to the wording of Article 41(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I that it
changed the prohibition contained in the ICRC draft (and, indeed, all the amendments) from “kill or injure” to “make the object of attack”. This change was designed to make clear that what was forbidden was the deliberate attack against persons hors de combat, not merely killing or injuring them as the incidental consequence of attacks not aimed at them per se. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/236/Rev.1, 21 April–11 June 1976, p. 384, § 23.
No data.
ICRC
The ICRC Commentary on the Additional Protocols states:
1621. A man who is in the power of his adversary may be tempted to resume combat if the occasion arises … Yet another, who has lost consciousness, may come to and show an intent to resume combat. It is self-evident that in these different situations, and in any other similar situations, the safeguard ceases. Any hostile act gives the adversary the right to take countermeasures until the perpetrator of the hostile act is recognized, or in the circumstances, should be recognized, to be “hors de combat” once again. …
1622. When troops, after surrendering, destroy installations in their possession or their own military equipment, this can be considered to be a hostile act. The same applies in principle if soldiers “hors de combat” attempt to communicate with the Party to the conflict to which they belong, unless this concerns the wounded and sick who require assistance from this Party’s medical service. 
Yves Sandoz et al. (eds.), Commentary on the Additional Protocols, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, §§ 1621–1622.
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that: “A person who is recognized or who, in the circumstances, should be recognized as being no longer able to participate in combat, shall not be attacked.” 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 487.
Furthermore, an “attack of a person known as being hors de combat” constitutes a grave breach of the law of war. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 778(a).
ICRC
In 1997, in a working paper on war crimes submitted to the Preparatory Committee for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, the ICRC included “making a person the object of attack in the knowledge that he/she is hors de combat”, when committed in an international armed conflict, in the list of war crimes to be subject to the jurisdiction of the Court. 
ICRC, Working paper on war crimes submitted to the Preparatory Committee for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, New York, 14 February 1997, § 1(b)(v).
Bothe, Partsch and Solf
In their commentary on the 1977 Additional Protocols, Bothe, Partsch and Solf explain:
Paragraph 1 [of Article 41 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I] protects hors de combat personnel from attacks directed at them. It does not protect them against the unintended collateral injury resulting from attacks on legitimate military objectives which might be in their vicinity. The accidental killing or wounding of such persons due to their presence among, or in proximity to, combatants actually engaged, by fire directed against the latter, gives no just cause for complaint, but any anticipated collateral casualties of hors de combat persons should not be excessive in relation to the military advantage anticipated. 
Michael Bothe, Karl Joseph Partsch, Waldemar A. Solf (eds.), New Rules for Victims of Armed Conflicts, Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, 1982, p. 220.
Americas Watch
In 1985, in a report on violations of the laws of war in Nicaragua, Americas Watch stated: “The following … are prohibited by applicable international law rules: … Attacks against combatants who … are placed hors de combat.” 
Americas Watch, Violations of the Laws of War by Both Sides in Nicaragua: 1981–1985, New York, March 1985, p. 33.
Africa Watch
In 1989, in a report on violations of the laws of war in Angola, Africa Watch stated: “Applicable international law rules prohibit the following kinds of practices … Attacks against combatants who … are placed hors de combat.” 
Africa Watch, Angola: Violations of the Laws of War by Both Sides, New York, April 1989, p. 141.