Practice Relating to Rule 49. War Booty

Hague Regulations (1899)
Article 4 of the 1899 Hague Regulations provides with regard to prisoners of war: “All their personal belongings, except arms, horses, and military papers, remain their property.” 
Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to Convention (II) with Respect to the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 29 July 1899, Article 4.
Hague Regulations (1907)
Article 4 of the 1907 Hague Regulations provides with regard to prisoners of war: “All their personal belongings, except arms, horses, and military papers, remain their property.” 
Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 18 October 1907, Article 4.
Geneva Convention III
Article 18, first and third paragraphs, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides:
All effects and articles of personal use, except arms, horses, military equipment and military documents, shall remain in the possession of prisoners of war, likewise their metal helmets and gas masks and like articles issued for personal protection. Effects and articles used for their clothing or feeding shall likewise remain in their possession, even if such effects and articles belong to their regulation military equipment.
Badges of rank and nationality, decorations and articles having above all a personal or sentimental value may not be taken from prisoners of war. 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 18, paras 1 and 3.
Lieber Code
Article 45 of the 1863 Lieber Code provides: “All captures and booty belong, according to the modern law of war, primarily to the government of the captor.” 
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 45.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) states, in a paragraph on war booty:
All movable public property captured or found on the battlefield becomes the property of the capturing state. … The victorious armed forces may only take possession of privately owned weapons and military documents if the latter are found or seized on the battlefield. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 1.020.
Australia
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) states:
All enemy military equipment captured or found on a battlefield is known as booty and becomes the property of the capturing State. Booty includes all articles captured with prisoners of war and not included under the term “personal effects”. 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 967.
Regarding prisoners of war, the manual states: “The enemy is entitled to confiscate any military documents and equipment.” 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 712.
The manual adds:
The practice of military forces converting captured enemy war equipment for their own use is recognised by LOAC. Prior to using captured equipment, enemy designations must be replaced with appropriate ADF [Australian Defence Force] markings. 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 1040.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states:
All enemy military equipment captured or found on a battlefield is known as booty and becomes the property of the capturing State. Booty includes all articles captured with prisoners of war and not included under the term “personal effects”. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 742; see also § 1224.
The manual also provides:
PW [prisoners of war] must be allowed to retain:
a. all their personal property, except vehicles, arms, and other military equipment or documents;
b. protective equipment, such as helmets or respirators;
c. clothing or articles used for feeding, even though the property of the government of the PW;
d. badges of nationality or rank and decorations; and
e. articles of sentimental value. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 1023.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
7.45 All enemy military equipment captured or found on a battlefield is known as booty and becomes the property of the capturing state. Booty includes all articles captured with PW [prisoners of war] and not included under the term “personal effects”. Personal effects are considered to be those items listed in paragraph 10.35 [below].
10.35 After capture combatants may be disarmed and they and their possessions may be searched for the purpose of collecting military intelligence. PW must be allowed to retain:
• all their personal property, except vehicles, arms, and other military equipment or documents;
• protective equipment, such as helmets or respirators;
• clothing or articles used for feeding, even though the property of the government of the PW;
• badges of nationality or rank and decorations; and
• articles of sentimental value. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 7.45 and 10.35.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) states that all objects of personal use must be retained by prisoners of war. 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 45.
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Soldiers states that the equipment that is not necessary for the prisoner of war’s clothing, food and security, arms and all military documents are to be considered as “war booty” and brought to the superiors. 
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. 20.
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) states:
Captured enemy military property (with the exceptions of the means of identification, medical and religious objects, …) become war booty that can be used without restriction. It belongs to the capturing unit and not to individual combatants. 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule II, p. 13.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Instructions to the Muslim Fighter (1993) issued by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993 contain the following commentary:
(b) War Booty:
… [I]t is clear that a fifth of war booty shall fall to the State treasury, and the other four-fifths belongs to the soldiers. However, in situations where the soldiers receive pay and in which the State has assumed the obligation to care for the soldiers and their families, … all war booty shall be placed at the disposal of the State … Because of this the most proper way for the State to dispose of war booty is through its army officers. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Instructions to the Muslim Fighter, booklet, ABiH 3rd Corps, 1993, § c, cited in ICTY, Hadžihasanović and Others Case, Amended Indictment, 11 January 2002, § 24.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states:
Captured enemy military objects (with the exception of means of identification, medical and religious objects, and objects necessary for clothing, food and drink and the protection of the captured personnel) become war booty (e.g. important military objects taken from the captured enemy military personnel, other material such as weapons, means of transport [or] objects located in warehouses). 
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. 25; see also Part I bis, pp. 10–11 and 24..
The Regulations also states: “All … pieces of equipment … , weapons and all documents of military interest (maps, regulations, written orders, telecommunication codes, plans …) are considered as ‘war booty’…”. 
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; see also Part I bis, pp. 10–11 and 24.
The Regulations further states: “Medical material and establishments captured from enemy units must be reserved for the care of the wounded and sick.” 
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. 15; see also Part I bis, pp. 11 and 25.
The Regulations also provides: “The material of field hospitals may never be confiscated, even if there are no wounded people present. … [E]nemy medical transport (jeep, ambulance, truck, helicopter …) may not be requisitioned, captured or utilized for armed operations if it is transporting wounded [personnel].” 
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. 84.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) states: “Captured military objects are war booty. War booty is not regulated by the law of war. It may be utilized without restriction.” 
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. 45, § 163.5; see also p. 96.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states:
Enemy military objects
Captured Military objects are war booty. War booty is not regulated by the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law. It may be utilized without restriction.
[The following] may not be considered war booty:
- Medical and religious objects
- The effects of captured personnel necessary for clothing, eating … and for protection (gas mask).
Military medical units and their material must not be taken out of service whilst required for the care of the wounded and sick.
Captured military medical transports (land, air, sea) … which are not necessary for the wounded and sick, may be utilized for other purposes after their means of identification have been removed.
Hospital ships must not be captured.
Captured medical units remain reserved for the wounded, sick and shipwrecked.
Captured religious objects must receive similar treatment. 
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. 123, § 403; see also p. 165, § 463 and p. 231, § 544.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides:
All enemy public movable property captured or found on a battlefield is known as ‘booty’ and becomes the property of the capturing state. Booty includes all articles captured with PWs [prisoners of war] other than their personal property. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 6-5, § 48; see also p. 12-8, § 67.
The manual further states:
PWs must be allowed to retain all their personal property, except vehicles, arms, and other military equipment or documents. Protective equipment (such as helmets, gas masks, flak jackets, etc.) must also be left in their possession. Clothing or articles used for feeding, even though the property of their government, must also be left in their possession, as must badges of nationality or rank, and decorations. They must also be allowed to retain articles of sentimental value. If they lack identity cards or papers, the must be provided with these. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 10-3, § 27.
The manual also states: “All property, other than personal property, taken from PWs is known as booty. Booty belongs to the government of the captors, not to the individual unit or person effecting the capture.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 10-4, § 29.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) provides:
It is prohibited to return to Canada with weapons or ammunition as “war trophies”. CF [Canadian Forces] personnel who attempt to return to Canada with such items may also run afoul of Canadian criminal and customs laws. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 3, § 12.
With regard to the surrendered enemy, the Code of Conduct states:
Disarming includes the search for and the taking away of equipment and documents of military value (e.g., weapons, ammunition, maps, orders, code books, etc.). The following material must remain with the PW or detainee:
a. identification documents/discs;
b. clothing, items for personal use, or items used for feeding; and
c. items for personal protection (i.e., helmet, gas mask, flak jacket, etc.) …
Only an officer may order the removal of sums of money and valuables for safekeeping. If such action is taken, a receipt must be issued and the details recorded in a special register. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 5, § 5 and Rule 6, § 5.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on land warfare:
All enemy public movable property captured or found on a battlefield is known as ‘booty’ and becomes the property of the capturing state. Booty includes all articles captured with PWs [prisoners of war] other than their personal property. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 622.
In its chapter on the treatment of prisoners of war (PWs), the manual further explains:
1. PWs must be allowed to retain all their personal property, except vehicles, arms, and other military equipment or documents. Protective equipment (such as helmets, gas masks, flak jackets, etc.) must also be left in their possession. Clothing or articles used for feeding, even though the property of their government, must also be left in their possession, as must badges of nationality or rank, and decorations. They must also be allowed to retain articles of sentimental value. If they lack identity cards or papers, they must be provided with these.
2. Money may be taken from a PW only on the order of an officer, with details as to amount and ownership properly registered and a receipt given. Sums in the currency of the Detaining Power or changed into such currency must be credited to the prisoner’s account, as must any sum paid to the PW in respect of pay for work done. A similar account must be kept of any sum paid to the PW by way of advance.
3. All property, other than personal property, taken from PWs is known as booty. Booty belongs to the government of the captors, not to the individual unit or person effecting the capture. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1021.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) provides that “[i]t is prohibited to return to Canada with weapons or ammunition as ‘war trophies.’ CF [Canadian Forces] personnel who attempt to return to Canada with such items may also run afoul of Canadian criminal and customs laws.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 3, § 12.
The Code of Conduct further states:
The Law of Armed Conflict does permit the seizure and use of property belonging to the opposing forces under certain circumstances. However, the taking and use of such property must only be done where properly authorized. On many peace support operations the seizure and use of such property may be inconsistent with the overall military mission. Property may never be taken for the personal benefit of individual CF personnel. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 8, § 3.
With regard to the surrendered enemy, the Code of Conduct states:
Disarming includes the search for and the taking away of equipment and documents of military value (e.g., weapons, ammunition, maps, orders, code books, etc.). The following material must remain with the PW or detainee:
a. identification documents/discs;
b. clothing, items for personal use, or items used for feeding; and
c. items of personal protection (i.e., helmet, gas mask, flak jacket, etc.). 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 5, § 5.
The Code of Conduct further states: “Only an officer may order the removal of sums of money and valuables for safekeeping. If such action is taken, a receipt must be issued and the details recorded in a special register.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 6, § 5.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 2 (Instruction for group and patrol leaders):
Captured combatants must be:
- disarmed and searched;
Disarming includes the search for and the taking away of equipment and documents of military value (e.g., weapons, ammunition, maps, orders, telecommunications material and code books, etc.). This material is considered war booty. 
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 III, Section II, § 2.1.
Also in Volume 2, the manual states:
Captured enemy military objects (other than means of identification, medical and religious objects, etc.) become war booty and can be used without restriction. They belong to the capturing Party, and not to individual combatants.
The same applies to captured medical vehicles of the enemy armed forces, which are no longer needed for the wounded and sick. Their distinctive signs must be removed.
Captured objects of military religious personnel must be dealt with in the same way as military medical objects. 
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 III, Section II, § 2.4.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states:
Prisoners [of war] may … retain items that they require for clothing, food (mess tins, water bottle, etc.), their safety (helmets, gas masks, dressings, etc.) and their identification (identity cards, etc.).
Other items of equipment (binoculars, radios, etc.), weapons and all documents of military interests (maps, rules, written orders, codes, etc.) are considered “the spoils of war” and must be handed over to the superior officers. 
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. 88.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders):
Chapter 4. Means and methods of warfare
I.1.7. War booty
All the public movable goods of the enemy captured or found on a battlefield constitute what is known as “booty” and becomes the property of the capturing State. Booty comprises all the articles captured with POWs [prisoners of war] other than their personal articles.
Chapter 5. Prisoners of war
II.2.5. Possessions of POWs
All goods, other than those belonging to POWs, are regarded as booty. Booty belongs to the government or State, and not to the unit or person carrying out the capture.
II.2.7. Search and personal effects of POWs
All prisoners must be disarmed and subjected to a thorough search … Only war booty can be confiscated …, all other objects must be left with the POWs. 
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. 45, 47–48, 59, 63 and 64.
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic’s Military Manual (1980) states:
After you have secured, silenced and segregated captives, you may search for items of military value only (weapons, maps or military documents).
It is a violation of the law of war to take from captives objects such as gas masks, mosquito nets or parkas, or objects of no military value, such as jewellery, photos or medals. 
Dominican Republic, La Conducta en Combate según las Leyes de la Guerra, Escuela Superior de las FF. AA. “General de Brigada Pablo Duarte”, Secretaría de Estado de las Fuerzas Armadas, May 1980, p. 8.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) incorporates the content of Article 18 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III. It adds:
Captured enemy military objects (with the exceptions of means of identification, cultural property, medical and religious objects and those necessary for the feeding, clothing and protection of captured enemy personnel) de facto become war booty (e.g. arms, combat transports and vehicles). They may be used without restriction, and there exists a well established custom according to which all public property which may be used for military operations (arms, ammunitions, military material, etc.) which is captured must not be given back to the adversary. 
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. 48.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states:
Movable government property which may be used for military purposes shall become spoils of war … Upon seizure it shall, without any compensation, become the property of the occupying state. Such property includes, for instance, means of transport, weapons, and food supplies … The latter shall not be requisitioned unless the requirements of the civilian population have been taken into account … The requirements of the civilian population shall be satisfied first. 
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 KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 556; see also § 448 (downed aircraft becoming spoils of war) and § 1021 (seizure of military aircraft).
The manual further states:
Prisoners of war shall be disarmed and searched. Their military equipment and military documents shall be taken away from them …
Prisoners of war shall keep all effects and articles of personal use, their metal helmets and NBC protective equipment as well as all effects and articles used for their clothing and feeding … Prisoners of war shall keep their badges of rank and nationality, their decorations and articles of personal or sentimental value. 
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 KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, §§ 706 and 707.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) states: “Captured enemy military property becomes war booty and the property of the captor.” 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 78; see also p. 88.
Ireland
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) states:
The following articles must remain in the PWs [prisoners of war’s] possession:
- helmets, respirators and other such articles if required for personal protection;
- personal effects including items used for clothing and feeding; and
- badges of rank, nationality and decorations in addition to identity documents.
Military documents and equipment not falling into the aforementioned categories may be confiscated. Money and other articles of value in possession of a PW may not be taken from him except by order of an officer and upon issuance of a receipt. 
Ireland, Basic Guide to the Law of Armed Conflict, TP/TRG/01-2005, Director of Defence Forces Training, Department of Defence, July 2005, p. 9.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) states:
It is prohibited to take away prisoners’ personal effects and especially their identity papers, as well as the self-defense equipment (except weapons) issued to them by their army (gas masks, plastic sheets, steel helmets). 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 52.
The manual also provides:
Over the years, the weapons arsenal of the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] has grown as a result of capturing spoils courtesy of the Arab armies. Some of them, such as the RPG and Kalashnikov, the T-54, “Ziel” trucks and 130 mm guns were even introduced into operational use in the IDF.
Other interesting items include an Iraqi MIG 21 plane, whose pilot defected to Israel, and guns captured in the Yom Kippur War and subsequently directed against the Egyptians. The crowning achievement was the case involving the capture of an Egyptian radar coach in the War of Attrition, brought intact to Israel.
One must distinguish between looting and taking spoils of war. Seized weapons, facilities, and property belonging to the enemy’s army or state become the property of the seizing state. 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 63.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
Over the years, the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] has captured many weapons as spoils of war. A portion of the booty such as the RPG Kalashnikov submachine-gun, the T-54 tank, ZIL trucks and 130 mm artillery were even put to use in IDF campaigns.
Additional interesting items include a MiG 21 aircraft whose Iraqi pilot deserted to Israel and cannon captured during the Yom Kippur War and turned against the Egyptians. Similarly, the episode of the capture of an Egyptian mobile radar unit during the War of Attrition which was brought back complete to Israel will be remembered and the capture of weapons destined for the Palestinian Authority while they were being smuggled in on the ship Karine A. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 39.
The manual further states:
A distinction must be made between pillage undertaken by a soldier for private ends and the taking of spoils of war, performed by bodies authorised to do so by the IDF. Weapons, installations and property belonging to the enemy army or his country that have been captured become the property of the capturing country. Private property which is not governmental is immune from capture and turning into spoils of war. However, a military commander is also entitled to capture private property if it consists of weaponry or if it is something of important military use. For example, an officer can appropriate a civilian vehicle in order to evacuate the wounded urgently or capture a position on the balcony of a house if this is necessary for the purpose of creating a lookout post. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 40.
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, with regard to captured enemy combatants and military objects:
Disarming comprises the search for and the taking away of equipment and documents of military value (e.g. ammunition, maps, orders, telecommunication material and codes). Such equipment and documents become war booty.
A POW [prisoner of war] is entitled to keep his identity card and identity disc, his personal property, decorations, badges of rank, articles of sentimental value and military clothing and protective equipment such as steel helmet, gas mask and NBC clothing …
Captured enemy military objects (except means of identification, medical and religious objects and those necessary for clothing, feeding and the protection of captured personnel) become war booty (e.g. objects of military value taken from captured enemy military personnel, other military material such as weapons, transport, store goods). War booty may be used without restriction. It belongs to the capturing Party, not to individual combatants. 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 3, pp. 7 and 8.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) states: “Captured enemy military objects become war booty. War booty may be used without restriction. It belongs to the capturing power and not to individual combatants.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 6-SO, § D.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides:
Military material (weapons and ammunition in the first place) and other goods destined for military use (including stored goods) may be captured [as well as] goods of military significance which have been taken from prisoners. Medical goods and goods necessary to feed, clothe and otherwise protect prisoners do not constitute booty. Captured goods belong to the party to the armed conflict which has captured them and not to individual combatants. Captured goods may be used without restriction. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. IV-5.
The manual further provides that “appropriation of personal property of prisoners of war” is an “ordinary breach” of the law of war. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. IX-6.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
Military equipment (primarily arms and ammunition) and other goods destined for military use (including goods in storage) may be seized. The same applies to goods of military significance, taken from captives. Seized goods belong to the party to the armed conflict which has taken possession of them, and not to individual combatants. Seized goods may not be used unrestrictedly. Medical supplies and goods needed to feed, clothe and otherwise protect captives do not constitute seized items …
They cannot be diverted from their intended purpose while they are needed for the care of the wounded and sick. They cannot be used, even in case of compelling military necessity, unless the necessary steps have first been taken to supply the sick and wounded in care. Medical supplies may not be deliberately destroyed. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0407.
The manual further states:
0721. Spoils of war
The following items are treated as spoils of war and should be confiscated from prisoners of war:
- arms and ammunition (firearms, bayonets, daggers and similar items);
- battle equipment (trenching tool, field glasses, radio, etc.);
- documents of military importance (maps, codes, orders, etc);
- sums of money and valuables are not treated as spoils of war, but must be taken from the prisoners of war against a receipt. This is to prevent their being used as aids to escape.
Certain items of equipment and personal effects may also be confiscated for security reasons (e.g. pocket knife, razor and other items which might make escape possible or easier).
0722. Airborne personnel
Airborne personnel have military equipment at their disposal for their personal protection (parachute, life jacket, dinghy, survival kit, etc). When airborne personnel are captured, they have either already used this equipment or no longer need it. These items may then be seized as spoils of war. At the same time, airborne personnel do not carry a number of items for personal protection, such as a gas mask or helmet. If these items are in stock, and there is a genuine threat, such items must, where present, be issued to them temporarily. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, §§ 0721–0722.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states:
All enemy public movable property captured or found on the battlefield is known as “booty” and becomes the property of the capturing state. Booty includes all articles captured with prisoners of war and not included under the term “personal effects”. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 526; see also §§ 715 and 920(3) (capture of enemy military aircraft and auxiliaries outside neutral jurisdiction) and § 1334.
Furthermore, all personal property, effects and articles of personal use, except vehicles, arms, military equipment and documents, must be left in the possession of prisoners of war. They are also entitled to keep protective gear such as helmets and gas masks, articles used for clothing or feeding, badges of nationality or rank, articles of sentimental value and identity documents. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 527; see also § 920(1).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War provides: “All articles of personal use and items such as gas masks and steel helmets given to the prisoners of war for self-protection, excluding military equipment and military documents, must be left in their possession.” 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 39.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
As enemy military objects can be used without restriction, they are generally evacuated through the logistic chain.
Military equipment (for example, weapons, ammunition, horses and military documents) taken from captured prisoners of war during evacuation becomes war booty and passes into the logistic channels. Personal effects and items for personal use, however, must remain with the captured prisoners of war. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 109.d.
The manual also states:
Medical aircraft can be inspected. It can be confiscated if the inspection discloses that the aircraft:
(1) is not a medical aircraft;
(2) is being used to gain a military advantage;
(3) has flown without or in breach of a prior agreement.
Aircraft seized in this manner becomes war booty. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 110.c.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states:
As enemy military objects can be used without restriction, they are generally evacuated through the logistic chain.
Military materiel (for example, weapons, ammunition, horses, military equipment and military documents) taken from captured prisoners of war during evacuation becomes war booty and passes into the logistic channels. Personal effects and items for personal use, however, must remain with the captured prisoners of war. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 100(d), p. 297.
The manual also states:
Medical aircraft can be inspected. It can be confiscated if the inspection discloses that the aircraft:
(1) is not a medical aircraft;
(2) is being used to gain a military advantage;
(3) has flown without or in breach of a prior agreement.
Aircraft seized in this manner become war booty. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 101(c), p. 298.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) states that enemy military objects may be captured and requisitioned. Captured enemy military objects become the property of the captor State and not of individual combatants. 
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, § 7.3.b.(3).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states that enemy military objects “can also be captured and confiscated according to specific rules on this subject. It must be taken into account that any such objects then belong to the detaining power and not to individual combatants.” 
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.b.(3).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Aide-Memoire on the Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict (2005) states:
Rule 5
I treat people that fall into my hands humanely. I disarm them and hand them over to my superior … I respect their possessions. Only military objects that are not required for their clothing, nourishment, medical support or protection are taken away from them. …
Rule 8
I remain fair:
I shall not collect “war trophies”. 
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 Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports dated 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, Rules 5 and 8.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) states:
Captured enemy military property (with the exceptions of the means of identification, medical and religious objects, …) become war booty that can be used without restriction. It belongs to the capturing unit and not to individual combatants. 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule II, p. 13.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
Booty of war is armaments confiscated from the enemy, war materiel and other military property capable of being used by the party which confiscated it.
Emblems and signs of the enemy must be removed, and own emblems and signs must be placed on the booty of war prior to their use.
Booty of war belongs to the State and not to individual servicemen. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.2.53.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) states:
All articles captured with prisoners of war and not included under the term “personal effects” are known as “booty” and become the property of the enemy government and not of the individuals or unit capturing them. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 142.
The manual also provides:
Public enemy property found or captured on a battlefield becomes, as a general rule, the property of the opposing belligerent. Private enemy property on the battlefield is not (as it was in former times) in every case booty. Arms and ammunition and military equipment and papers are booty, even if they are the property of individuals, but cash, jewellery, and other private articles of value are not. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 615.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) states:
PWs [prisoners of war] should be searched and disarmed and their military papers and equipment removed.
… A PW is entitled to keep his identity card, his personal property, decorations, badges of rank, articles of sentimental value and military clothing and protective equipment such as steel helmets, gas masks and NBC clothing. 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 8, p. 29, §§ 10 and 11.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
The following action is to be taken in respect of prisoners of war when first captured:
d. The property listed below must remain in their possession:
(1) clothing, military and civilian including that for their special protection such as NBC suits;
(2) protective military equipment, for example, steel helmets, flak jackets and respirators;
(3) feeding utensils, ration packs, and water bottles;
(4) badges of rank and nationality, military insignia;
(5) decorations and medals;
(6) identity cards and discs, and, where not in their possession, cards must be issued by the captor (see further, sub-paragraph i);
(7) personal property which the prisoners of war are able to carry with them, such as spectacles and articles of sentimental value like personal letters and family photographs, but see sub-paragraph f.
e. All other items of military equipment may be confiscated. That includes arms and ammunition, non-protective military equipment, military documents such as orders, maps, and diaries containing military information. They become the property of the capturing government, not the individuals or units capturing them. Items taken should be tagged. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 8.25.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956), in a paragraph entitled “Booty of war”, provides:
All enemy public movable property captured or found on a battlefield becomes the property of the capturing State … Enemy private movable property, other than arms, military papers, horses, and the like captured or found on a battlefield, may be appropriated only to the extent that such taking is permissible in occupied areas. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 59(a) and (b); see also § 396.
Concerning the property of prisoners, the manual specifies:
All effects and articles of personal use, except arms, horses, military equipment and military documents, shall remain in the possession of prisoners of war, likewise their metal helmets and gas masks and like articles issued for personal protection. Effects and articles used for their clothing or feeding shall likewise remain in their possession, even if such effects and articles belong to their regular military equipment. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 94; see also § 59(c).
United States of America
The US Soldier’s Manual (1984) states:
After you have secured, silenced, and segregated captives, you may search them for items of military or intelligence value only, such as weapons, maps, or military documents. Do not take protective items, such as gas masks, mosquito nets, or parkas; or personal items of no military value such as jewelry, photos, or medals from captured or detained personnel. 
United States, Your Conduct in Combat under the Law of War, Publication No. FM 27-2, Headquarters Department of the Army, Washington, November 1984, p. 19.
United States of America
The US Instructor’s Guide (1985) provides:
[Prisoners of war] are entitled to retain most of [their] personal property. The conventions provide that all effects and articles of personal use, except arms, military equipment, and military documents, must remain in the possession of the prisoner unless he could use them to harm himself or others. Articles issued for the prisoner’s personal protection, such as gas masks and metal helmets, may also be retained by him. 
United States, Instructor’s Guide – The Law of War, Headquarters Department of the Army, Washington, April 1985, p. 11.
United States of America
The US Rules of Engagement for Operation Desert Storm (1991) states: “The taking of war trophies [is] prohibited.” 
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, Point F.
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “violation of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” is a crime. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(2)(e).
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Article 18 of the Geneva Convention III, is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Italy
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938) provides that enemy military aircraft are subject to capture and confiscation. 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, Article 239.
Mexico
Mexico’s Code of Military Justice (1933), as amended in 1996, punishes “anyone who improperly appropriates objects belonging to the booty of war”. 
Mexico, Code of Military Justice, 1933, as amended in 1996, Article 336(I).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, punishes any “combatant who arbitrarily (in his own self-interest) seeks to take booty”, as well as “anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949”. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, §§ 106 and 108(a).
Philippines
The Articles of War (1938) of the Philippines states:
Any person subject to military law who buys, sells, trades, or in any way deals in or disposes of captured or abandoned property, whereby he shall receive or expect any profit, benefit, or advantage to himself or to any other person directly or indirectly connected with himself or who fails whenever such property comes into his possession or custody or within his control to give notice thereof to the proper authority and to turn over such property to the proper authority without delay, shall, on conviction thereof, be punished by fine or imprisonment. 
Philippines, Articles of War, 1938, Article 81.
Israel
In the Al-Nawar case before Israel’s High Court in 1985, Judge Shamgar held:
All movable State property captured on the battlefield may be appropriated by the capturing belligerent State as booty of war, this includes arms and ammunition, depots of merchandise, machines, instruments and even cash.
All private property actually used for hostile purposes found on the battlefield or in a combat zone may be appropriated by a belligerent State as booty of war. 
Israel, High Court, Al-Nawar case, Judgment, 11 August 1985.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The Report on UK Practice refers to a letter from a UK army lawyer which noted that UK courts-martial were held following the Gulf War for the smuggling of AK-47s. 
Report on UK Practice, 1997, Letter from an army lawyer, 24 February 1998, Answers to additional questions on Chapter 2.3.
United States of America
In the Morrison case in 1974, the US Court of Claims denied a claim of a former soldier who had discovered $50,000 in an area abandoned by the enemy. The Court held that the soldier had taken possession of the money solely as an agent of the United States and had no legal basis to claim its return. 
United States, Court of Claims, Morrison case, Judgment, 20 February 1974.
Djibouti
In 2011, in the History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, under the heading “Ethics of Debne warrior” (inhabitants of the Dikhil region in Djibouti), stated: “What is taken during the war is not returned.” 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, 2011, p. 231.
Israel
Israel’s IDF General Staff Order No. 50.0302 of 1983 states the following with regard to captured or abandoned aerial, anti-aircraft and naval equipment:
1. Definitions
a. Aerial and anti-aircraft equipment – aircraft, airports and flight control equipment, cannons and anti-aircraft missiles, aircraft detecting radar equipment, electronic warfare anti-aircraft equipment or anti-air-radar or anti-air link station equipment.
b. Naval equipment – ships, boats or vessels and accessories or parts of any kind and any related equipment needed to operate a vessel, shore stations, ports, scuba gear and equipment for underwater operations.
2. In the event that equipment, as stated in paragraph 1 above, is captured from the enemy or abandoned, and in the event that aerial and anti-aircraft equipment belonging to the Air Force that fell on the ground is found, or aerial equipment belonging to the Navy that is found on the shore or port or on land, the following must be carried out:
a. If a soldier found or obtained equipment as stated in paragraph 1 above, or is aware of its existence, he must take all steps to collect it and ensure that it is complete, to prevent its loss or damage, and immediately notify the unit commander.
b. If a unit commander received a message as above, he shall notify the responsible command center, which must transmit the message to the nearest Air Force or Naval Base. The message must specify the equipment found and as far as possible its state of usability.
c. The Air Force or Naval Base that received the message must take appropriate measures to evacuate the equipment, in accordance with the orders of the Air Force or Naval Headquarters. 
Israel, IDF General Staff Order No. 50.0302, Aerial, anti-aircraft equipment, and captured or abandoned naval equipment, 15 May 1983, §§ 1–2.
Somalia
In 1998, an ICRC publication entitled “Spared from the Spear” recorded traditional Somali practice in warfare as follows:
The leader … gave out the following instructions which were to be strictly followed:
11. You should concentrate on looting the horses and camels and driving away as many of these animals as possible. You must also confiscate whatever weapons you can find. 
Somalia, Spared from the Spear, 1998, p. 25.
The publication also described traditional Somali practice as follows: “In the case of intra-Rahanwein wars, the Malaaqs and the Garaads urged their men to confiscate as many of the enemy’s weapons and other fighting gear as possible”. 
Somalia, Spared from the Spear, 1998, p. 25.
The publication further described traditional Somali practice as follows: “Among the agro-pastoralists in the land between the two rivers, no looting of animals or material property was allowed apart from confiscation of the enemy’s fighting gear.” 
Somalia, Spared from the Spear, 1998, p. 49.
In 2011, in its comments on the concluding observations of the Human Rights Council concerning Somalia’s report, the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia referred to “Spared from the Spear” as its “own Geneva Conventions”:
In times of hostilities, the Biri-Ma-Geydo (Spared from the Spear), i.e. Somalia’s own “Geneva Conventions”[,] which existed long before the adoption of the Hague and Geneva Conventions, mitigated and regulated the conduct of clan hostilities and the treatment of immune groups. 
Somalia, Comments by the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia on the concluding observations of the Human Rights Council concerning the report of Somalia, submitted 21 September 2011, § 4.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The Report on UK Practice refers to a letter from a UK army lawyer which noted:
The current view seems to be that units may lawfully seize enemy property on the battlefield and retain it as booty, but individuals doing the same run the risk of being charged with looting. Retention by units and formations of booty is subject to approval by Government whereas appropriation of property by individuals on the battlefield is strictly illegal. 
Report on UK Practice, 1997, Letter from an army lawyer, 24 February 1998, Answers to additional questions on Chapter 2.3.
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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:
Captured enemy military objects (except means of identification, medical and religious objects and those necessary for clothing, feeding and the protection of captured personnel) become war booty (e.g. objects of military value taken from captured enemy military personnel, other military material such as weapons, transports, store goods).
War booty may be used without restriction. It belongs to the capturing party, not to individual combatants. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 526.
Smith
Smith reported that in Le Havre, as elsewhere in the occupied territory, a German military garrison commander had the authority to draw upon the local branch of the Bank of France for funds, the normal limit being 100,000,000 francs a month. When the town was cut off by the Allied advance, the commander persuaded the bank manager to grant a large overdraft. It is doubtful whether the manager had much of an option in the matter, but there was at least formal consent and a receipt was given. Under this arrangement, a sum of 300,000,000 francs was withdrawn. When surrender became imminent, a sum of 195,000,000 francs was returned to the bank, and the remainder, some 37,250,000 francs was packed in bags for return. Le Havre was captured by assault before this money was in fact returned to the bank and the bags were found in a tunnel. Further sums amounting to over 15,000,000 francs were found in various safes. It was ruled that the captured currency was booty of war, and not the property of the bank. Whether the transaction may be regarded as a money contribution or as an overdraft, in either case its legal result was to create a debt due by the German Government to the Bank of France. The actual money became the property of the Reich as soon as it was handed over to the German authorities and it remained German State property until it was returned to the bank. The fact that the commander intended to return the money and had begun to do so did not change this. 
H.A. Smith, Booty of War, BYIL, Vol. XXIII, 1946, pp. 232–234.
Smith
Smith reported that a German firm delivered to a Dutch manufacturer a large quantity of leaf tobacco to be made into cigars for the German forces. No payment for the leaf tobacco was made by the manufacturer. When the factory was overrun by the Allied advance, some 2,000,000 cigars were found ready for dispatch and enough leaf tobacco remained for 5,000,000 more. In this case, both the manufactured cigars and the leaf tobacco were clearly booty of war. The legal position of the manufacturer was that of a workman who had been employed to work upon German materials for German use. 
H.A. Smith, Booty of War, BYIL, Vol. XXIII, 1946, pp. 232–234.
Smith
Smith reported that during the Second World War, the Germans frequently supplied seed to Dutch farmers to raise crops for consumption by the German army or civilian population. It was ruled that in no circumstances could growing crops (including roots) be treated as booty of war. After severance from the soil, crops could be requisitioned in the ordinary way and such crops, if they had been requisitioned by the Germans, could be seized as booty. 
H.A. Smith, Booty of War, BYIL, Vol. XXIII, 1946, pp. 232–234.