Practice Relating to Rule 50. Destruction and Seizure of Property of an Adversary
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Hague Regulations (1899)
Under Article 23(g) of the 1899 Hague Regulations, it is especially prohibited “to destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war”. 
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 23(g).

Hague Regulations (1907)
Under Article 23(g) of the 1907 Hague Regulations, it is especially forbidden “to destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war”. 
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 23(g).

IMT Charter (Nuremberg)
Article 6(b) of the 1945 IMT Charter (Nuremberg) lists “wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity” as a war crime. 
Charter of the International Military Tribunal for Germany, concluded by the Government of the United States of America, the Provisional Government of the French Republic, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, acting in the interests of all the United Nations and by their representatives duly authorized thereto, annexed to the London Agreement, London, 8 August 1945, Article 6(b).

Geneva Conventions I, II and IV
According to Article 50 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I, Article 51 of the 1949 Geneva Convention II and Article 147 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, “extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly” are grave breaches. 
Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 50; 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 51; Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 147.

Geneva Convention IV
Article 53 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV stipulates:
Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 53.

ICC Statute
Under Article 8(2)(a)(iv) of the 1998 ICC Statute, “[e]xtensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly” is a war crime in international armed conflicts. Under Article 8(2)(b)(xiii), “[d]estroying or seizing the enemy’s property unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war” is also a war crime in international armed conflicts. 
Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted by the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Rome, 17 July 1998, UN Doc. A/CONF.183/9, Article 8(2)(a)(iv) and (b)(xiii).

Under Article 8(2)(e)(xii) of the 1998 ICC Statute, “[d]estroying or seizing the property of an adversary unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of the conflict” is a war crime in non-international armed conflicts. 
Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted by the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Rome, 17 July 1998, UN Doc. A/CONF.183/9, Article 8(2)(e)(xii).

UN-Cambodia Agreement Concerning the Prosecution under Cambodian Law of Crimes Committed During the Period of Democratic Kampuchea
Article 9 of the 2003 UN-Cambodia Agreement Concerning the Prosecution under Cambodian Law of Crimes Committed During the Period of Democratic Kampuchea provides:
The subject-matter jurisdiction of the Extraordinary Chambers shall be the crime of genocide as defined in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, crimes against humanity as defined in the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and such other crimes as defined in Chapter II of the Law on the Establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers as promulgated on 10 August 2001. 
Agreement between the UN and the Royal Government of Cambodia Concerning the Prosecution under Cambodian Law of Crimes Committed During the Period of Democratic Kampuchea, Phnom Penh, 6 June 2003, Article 9.

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Lieber Code
Article 15 of the 1863 Lieber Code states: “Military necessity … allows of all destruction of property.” 
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 15.

Article 16 of the 1863 Lieber Code states: “Military necessity … does not admit … of the wanton devastation of a district.” 
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 16.

Article 44 of the 1863 Lieber Code provides: “[A]ll destruction of property not commanded by the authorized officer … [is] prohibited under the penalty of death, or such other severe punishment as may seem adequate for the gravity of the offense.” 
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 44.

Brussels Declaration
Article 13(g) of the 1874 Brussels Declaration prohibits “[a]ny destruction or seizure of the enemy’s property that is not imperatively demanded by the necessity of war”. 
Project of an International Declaration concerning the Laws and Customs of War, Brussels, 27 August 1874. Article 13(g).

Oxford Manual of Naval War
Article 18 of the 1913 Oxford Manual of Naval War provides: “It is forbidden to destroy enemy property, except in the cases where such destruction is imperatively required by the necessities of war.” 
The Laws of Naval War Governing the Relations between Belligerents, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 August 1913, Article 18.

Report of the Commission on Responsibility
Based on several documents supplying evidence of outrages committed during the First World War, the 1919 Report of the Commission on Responsibility lists violations of the laws and customs of war which should be subject to criminal prosecution, including “confiscation of property” and “wanton devastation and destruction of property”. 
Report submitted to the Preliminary Conference of Versailles by the Commission on Responsibility of the Authors of the War and on Enforcement of Penalties, Versailles, 29 March 1919.

Allied Control Council Law No. 10
Article II(1)(b) of the 1945 Allied Control Council Law No. 10 listed the “wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity” as a war crime. 
Allied Control Council Law No. 10: Punishment of Persons Guilty of War Crimes, Crimes against Peace and against Humanity, enacted by the Allied Control Council of Germany, composed of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, France, the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Berlin, 20 December 1945, Article II(1)(b).

Nuremberg Principles
Principle VI(b) of the 1950 Nuremberg Principles adopted by the International Law Commission provides that “wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity” is a war crime. 
Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal, adopted by the International Law Commission, UN Doc. A/1316, New York, 5 June–29 July 1950, Principle VI(b).

ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind (1991)
Pursuant to Article 22(2)(e) of the 1991 ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, “large-scale destruction of civilian property” is an “exceptionally serious 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-third session, 29 April–19 July 1991, UN Doc. A/46/10, 1991, Article 22(2)(e).

ICTY Statute
Article 2(d) of the 1993 ICTY Statute gives the Tribunal jurisdiction over grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including “extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly”. Article 3(b) also gives the Tribunal jurisdiction over violations of the laws and customs of war, including “wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity”. 
Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, adopted by the UN Security Council, Res. 827, 25 May 1993, as amended by Res. 1166, 13 May 1998 and by Res. 1329, 30 November 2000, Articles 2(d) and 3(b).

ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind (1996)
Article 20(a)(iv) of the 1996 ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind provides that “extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly” is a war crime. In addition, Article 20(e)(ii) defines “wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity” as 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(a)(iv) and (e)(ii).

UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15
The UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15 establishes panels with exclusive jurisdiction over serious criminal offences, including war crimes. According to Section 6(1)(a)(iv), “[e]xtensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly” is a war crime in international armed conflicts. According to Section 6(1)(b)(xiii), “[d]estroying or seizing the enemy’s property unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war” is also a war crime in international armed conflicts. 
Regulation on the Establishment of Panels with Exclusive Jurisdiction over Serious Criminal Offences, UN Doc. UNTAET/REG/2000/15, Dili, 6 June 2000, Section 6(1)(a)(iv) and (b)(xiii).

The UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15 establishes panels with exclusive jurisdiction over serious criminal offences, including war crimes. According to Section 6(1)(e)(xii), “[d]estroying or seizing the property of an adversary unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of the conflict” is a war crime in non-international armed conflicts. 
Regulation on the Establishment of Panels with Exclusive Jurisdiction over Serious Criminal Offences, UN Doc. UNTAET/REG/2000/15, Dili, 6 June 2000, Section 6(1)(e)(xii).

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Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) states: “The destruction of enemy property shall be permissible, as required by military operations.” 
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, § 1.018.

Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations. 
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, § 5.013.

Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) provides that “extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly” are grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and war crimes. 
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) states: “The destruction or seizure of civilian property, whether it belongs to private individuals or the State, is forbidden unless the damage or seizure is imperative for military purposes.” 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 966.

The following examples constitute grave breaches or serious war crimes likely to warrant institution of criminal proceedings:

(c) extensive destruction and appropriation of property which is not justified by military necessity and which is carried out unlawfully and wantonly. 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 1305(c).

Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states:
The destruction or seizure of civilian property, whether it belongs to private individuals or to the state, to other public authorities or to social or cooperative organisations, is permitted if imperative for military purposes. Otherwise such action is forbidden. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 740.

The following examples constitute grave breaches or serious war crimes likely to warrant institution of criminal proceedings: … extensive destruction and appropriation of property which is not justified by military necessity and which is carried out unlawfully and wantonly. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 1315(c).

Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
2.6 The principle of military necessity … permits the destruction of property if that destruction is imperatively demanded by the necessities of war. Destruction of property as an end in itself is a violation of international law. There must be a reasonable connection between the destruction of property and the overcoming of enemy forces. The principle cannot be used to justify actions prohibited by law, as the means to achieve victory are not unlimited.

7.43 … The destruction or seizure of civilian property, whether it belongs to private individuals or the state, to other public authorities or to social or cooperative organisations is permitted if imperative for military purposes. Otherwise such action is forbidden.

13.25 Grave breaches under the Geneva Conventions consist of any of the following acts against persons or property protected under the provisions of the relevant Convention:

• extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.

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:

• launching an indiscriminate attack affecting the civilian population or civilian objects in the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects.

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 destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure is imperatively demanded by the necessities of war. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 2.6, 7.43, 13.25–13.26 and 13.29; see also §§ 9.24 and 12.42.

Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) provides that “extensive destruction or appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly” is a grave breach of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and a war crime. 
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. 55.

Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Soldiers states: “Civilian property is, in principle, not to be destroyed except as strictly necessary to the execution of the mission.” 
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. 7; see also p. 21.

Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) provides: “Destruction not motivated by military necessity is … prohibited.” 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule III, p. 4.

Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states that the “extensive destruction or appropriation of property not justified by military necessity” 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. 27; see also pp. 67 and 115.

Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) provides that the destruction or seizure of property is prohibited except in case of imperative military necessity. 
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. 90, § 223.

Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states that “the destruction of objects on a large scale” 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, p. 295, § 661.

Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (2007) states:
Article 32: Prohibitions
It is prohibited to soldiers in combat:

to engage in any wanton destruction or any pillage, in particular of private property, and to use any means that cause unnecessary suffering and damage. 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline générale dans les forces de défense, Décret N° 2007/199, Président de la République, 7 July 2007, Article 32.

Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states: “The destruction or seizure of enemy property, whether it belongs to private individuals or to the state, is forbidden unless the damage or seizure is imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 6-5, § 47.

Destruction is the partial or total damage of property. Property of any type of ownership may be damaged when such is necessary to, or results from, military operations either during or preparatory to combat. Destruction is forbidden except where there is some reasonable connection between the destruction of the property and the overcoming of the enemy forces. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 12-8, § 68.

Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) provides for respect for civilian property. It states:
Military necessity may sometimes require the destruction of some civilian property in order to conduct operations. This destruction should not be done needlessly. The wanton destruction, theft or confiscation of civilian property is prohibited and is an offence under the Code of Service Discipline.  
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 4, § 5.

Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on land warfare: “The destruction or seizure of enemy property, whether it belongs to private individuals or to the state, is forbidden unless the damage or seizure is imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 621.

Destruction is the partial or total damage of property. Property of any type or ownership may be damaged when such is necessary to, or results from, military operations either during or preparatory to combat. Destruction is forbidden except where there is some reasonable connection between the destruction of the property and the overcoming of the enemy forces. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1237.

Canada’s Prisoner of War Handling and Detainees Manual (2004) states:
Grave breaches of the GCs [1949 Geneva Conventions] and AP I [Additional Protocol I] include any of the following actions.

b. The extensive destruction and appropriation of property protected by the GCs and AP I when this is not justified by military necessity and is carried out in an unlawful and wanton manner. 
Canada, Prisoner of War Handling, Detainees, Interrogation and Tactical Questioning in International Operations, B-GJ-005-110/FP-020, National Defence Headquarters, 1 August 2004, § 103.2.b.

Rule 4 of Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) instructs Canadian Forces (CF) personnel: “Treat all civilians humanely and respect civilian property.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 4.

1. Rule # 4 deals with the protection of civilians in the theatre of operations … Their property must also be respected. In general, civilians should be treated the way you would like you and your family to be treated in the same circumstances.

4. Compliance with rule #4 is one important difference between a disciplined professional force and a band of marauders. Respect for the property rights of civilians, including civilians in the territory of the opposing force, requires discipline. If you do not obey this rule, the civilian population may turn against you. The mission may thus be jeopardised and the conflict prolonged.
5. You must make every effort to avoid alienating the local civilian population. Reckless destruction of civilian property and disregard for personal ownership rights will place the overall military mission at risk as well as damage the reputation of Canada and its soldiers. Military necessity may sometimes require the destruction of some civilian property in order to conduct operations. This destruction should not be done needlessly. The wanton destruction, theft or confiscation of civilian property is prohibited and is an offence under the Code of Service Discipline. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 4, §§ 1 and 4–5.

Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 3 (Instruction for non-commissioned officers studying for the level 1 and 2 certificates and for future officers of the criminal police): “Pillage and destruction not justified by military necessity are likewise prohibited.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 3: Formation pour l’obtention du Brevet d’Armes No. 1, du Brevet d’Armes No. 2 et le stage d’Officier de Police Judiciaire (OPJ), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter I, Section I.

The Central African Republic’s Disciplinary Regulations (2009) states: “During combat, it is also prohibited for servicemen to … engage in unnecessary destruction … in particular of private property”. 
Central African Republic, Décret 09.411 portant règlement de discipline générale dans les Armées, Ministre de la Défense Nationale, des Anciens Combattants, des Victimes de Guerre, du Désarmement et de la Restructuration de l’Armée, 10 December 2009, Article 12(11).

Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states that “meaningless destruction” is a grave breach of the 1949 Geneva Conventions 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; see also pp. 26, 47 and 92.

Colombia
Under Colombia’s Directive on IHL (1993), “extensive destruction and appropriation of property, when not justified by military necessity and executed unlawfully and wantonly,” is 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 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:

- destruction of objects without military necessity. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 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.

I.3. War crimes

This is by far the breach which can take the most varied forms. It relates to the grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, namely the following acts directed against the persons or objects protected by these texts:

- extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly;

War crimes are equally violations of the laws and customs of war such as:

- wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 44–45.

Croatia
Croatia’s Commanders’ Manual (1992) provides: “Destruction not required by the mission … is prohibited.” 
Croatia, Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflicts – Commanders’ Manual, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, § 18.

Djibouti
Djibouti’s Manual on International Humanitarian Law (2004) states that the following “are currently considered as war crimes … the destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity”. 
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.

Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic’s Military Manual (1980) instructs soldiers:
The laws [of war] require that you do not cause more destruction than necessary to accomplish your mission … Don’t destroy an entire town or village to stop sniper fire from a single building. Use only that firepower necessary to neutralize the sniper. 
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, pp. 3–4.

Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) provides: “The following acts constitute war crimes: … wanton destruction of cities, towns, and villages [and] devastation not justified by the requirements of military operations.” 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 6.2.5(6).

France
France’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975), as amended in 1982, states that, under international conventions, “any wanton destruction” is prohibited. 
France, Règlement de Discipline Générale dans les Armées, Decree No. 75-675 of 28 July 1975, replacing Decree No. 66-749, completed by Decree of 11 October 1978, implemented by Instruction No. 52000/DEF/C/5 of 10 December 1979, and modified by Decree of 12 July 1982, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-Major de l’Armée de Terre, Bureau Emploi, Article 9 bis (2).

France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) provides: “Destructions not required by the mission … are forbidden.” 
France, Fiche de Synthèse sur les Règles Applicables dans les Conflits Armés, Note No. 432/DEF/EMA/OL.2/NP, Général de Corps d’Armée Voinot (pour l’Amiral Lanxade, Chef d’Etat-major des Armées), 1992, § 1.7.

France’s LOAC Teaching Note (2000) provides: “Destruction not required by the mission is forbidden.” 
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’s LOAC Manual (2001) states that “extensive destruction or appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity, and carried out unlawfully and wantonly” is a war crime for which there is no statute of limitation under the 1998 ICC Statute. 
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. 45.

Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states: “The Hague Regulations … prohibit the destruction or seizure of enemy property, ‘unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessity of war’.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, § 132.

Greece
The Hellenic Territorial Army’s Internal Service Code (1984), as amended, provides: “It is forbidden for members of the armed forces: … To destroy … private property without legitimate reason.” 
Greece, Hellenic Territorial Army Regulation of Internal Service Code, Presidential Decree 130/1984 (Military Regulation 20-1), as amended, Article 15(d).

Guinea
Guinea’s Soldier’s Manual (2010) states: “Limit destruction to what your mission requires.” 
Guinea, Soldier’s Manual, Ministry of National Defence, 2010, p. 3; see also p. 15.

Indonesia
Indonesia’s Directive on Human Rights (1995) in Irian Jaya and Maluku gives the following instructions: “Do not be involved in or permit the unnecessary destruction of property” and “Do not destroy anything which is not related closely to the primary objective of the operation.” 
Indonesia, Directive concerning Human Rights, issued by the Commander of the Regional Military Command of Irian Jaya and Maluku, 1995, § 9.

Ireland
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) states that “extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly” is a grave breach of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV relating to the treatment of civilians. 
Ireland, Basic Guide to the Law of Armed Conflict, TP/TRG/01-2005, Director of Defence Forces Training, Department of Defence, July 2005, p. 12.

Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) states: “Unnecessary destruction of enemy property is forbidden … The only restriction is to refrain from destroying property senselessly, where there is no military justification.” 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 62.

Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
Under the rules of The Hague Convention, it was determined that it is forbidden to destroy enemy property unnecessarily. The emphasis here is on “unnecessary” because, unlike the lives of civilians, there is no definitive defence of property during war. The exception is not to destroy property wantonly, without any military need to do so, out of vandalism. Consequently, there is no problem in destroying a building in which the enemy forces are hiding, or that is likely to serve as a hiding-place for the enemy’s troops. It is permitted to break through more conveniently via a fruit orchard, if there is a military need to do so. The categories should be remembered, however, that were mentioned above under specific installations of various kinds which must be protected (cultural monuments, facilities which if attacked are liable to cause collateral damage, etc.). The needless destruction of property is liable to constitute grounds for a claim for damages. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 39.

Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) states: “It is specifically prohibited … to destroy or seize enemy property, unless it is imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.” 
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, § 8(8).
The manual further states that “purposeless destruction of houses and devastation not justified by military necessity” constitute 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, § 84.

Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) provides: “Superfluous destruction … is prohibited.” 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, § 18.

Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) provides: “Civilian property is not to be destroyed except when this is strictly necessary for the execution of the mission.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 2, p. 15.

Lebanon
Lebanon’s Army Regulations (1971) and Field Manual (1996) prohibit destruction which is not rendered necessary by military operations. 
Lebanon, Règlement Général de l’Armée, No. 1/400, Ministère de la Défense, Commandement de l’Armée, 14 January 1971, § 17; Manuel de Service du Terrain dans l’Armée Libanaise, Arrêt No. 3188/A.A./Q, Département de l’Armée pour la Planification, Direction des Etudes Générales, 23 October 1996, § 8.

Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) states that destruction which is not required by the mission is prohibited. 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 3-O, § 18.

Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009) states: “The States party to the [1949] Geneva Conventions undertake to: … prohibit … the destruction of civilian property.” 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 80(C); see also § 104.

Mexico’s IHL Guidelines (2009) states: “War crimes include … the wanton destruction of cities, towns and villages, [and] devastation not justified by military necessity”. 
Mexico, Cartilla de Derecho Internacional Humanitario, Ministry of National Defence, 2009, § 5.

Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands considers that “extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly” is a grave breach of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, pp. IX-4 and IX-5.

The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands forbids “the unjustified destruction or seizure of enemy property”. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0225.

It is expressly prohibited to carry out the following acts against the civilian population or individual civilians, wounded, sick or prisoners:

- destruction or seizure of property of the adversary, unless urgently necessary due to compelling circumstances of war
- threatening anyone with the above-mentioned acts or treatment. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1051.

New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “The destruction or seizure of enemy property, whether it belongs to private individuals or to the State, is forbidden unless the damage or seizure is imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 525.

Destruction of property may be partial or total. Property of any type of ownership may be damaged, when this is necessary to, or results from, military operations either during or preparatory to combat. Destruction is forbidden except where there is some reasonable connection between the destruction of the property and the overcoming of the enemy forces. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1335.

Nigeria
Nigeria’s Operational Code of Conduct (1967) gives the following directive: “No property, building, etc. will be destroyed maliciously.” 
Nigeria, Operational Code of Conduct for Nigerian Armed Forces, Federal Military Government of Nigeria, July 1967, § 4(f).

Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994) states: “Destruction should be limited to what a particular mission requires.” 
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, p. 39, § 5(d).

Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War states:
As a rule, extensive destruction of property on enemy territory, whether it is the property of the state or the property of individuals, is forbidden. Destruction is permitted only in case of military necessity. 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 29.

Nigeria’s Soldiers’ Code of Conduct states: “Destruction should be limited to what the particular mission requires.” 
Nigeria, Code of Conduct for Combatants, “The Soldier’s Rules”, Nigerian Army, undated, § 4.

Peru
Peru’s Human Rights Charter of the Security Forces (1991) provides that it is forbidden to cause more destruction than is required by the mission. 
Peru, Derechos Humanos: Decálogo de las Fuerzas del Orden, Comando Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, Ministerio de Defensa, Ejército Peruano, 1991, p. 11.

Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Civilian objects … can only be requisitioned if their use gives the adversary a military advantage.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 18.

The destruction of property must always be justified by military necessity. This means that the property in question must be a military objective or that it must be damaged or destroyed in order to construct military defensive works or systems. It is not permitted to destroy or damage property simply to prevent it being used by civilians or to drive them away. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 30.o.

Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “Civilian objects … can only be requisitioned if their use gives the adversary a military advantage.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 19, p. 224.

The destruction of property must always be justified by military necessity. This means that the property in question must be a military objective or that it must be damaged or destroyed in order to construct military defensive works or systems. It is not permitted to destroy or damage property simply to prevent it being used by civilians or to drive them away. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 31(p), p. 247; see also § 61, p. 264.

Philippines
The Soldier’s Rules (1989) of the Philippines instructs soldiers: “Destroy no more than your mission requires.” 
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, § 3.

The Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (2006) provides:
During combat operation:

12. Avoid destroying crops, properties and possessions. During military operations, avoid damaging plants and properties along the way. Avoid using incendiary that […] would set fire combustible materials such as “sawali,” “nipa” and other indigenous materials usually used for huts in the village. If unavoidable, pay for the damaged properties as soon as the combat operations are over or else repair or replace the damages.

After an engagement:

15. Do not burn the huts/house[s] and other possessions of civilians. Avoid using incendiary that would set fire combustible materials such as “sawali”, “nipa” and other indigenous materials usually used for huts/houses in the villages. 
Philippines, Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, A Practical Guide for Internal Security Operations, 2006, p. 58, § 12, and p. 62, § 15.

Republic of Korea
Under the Republic of Korea’s Military Regulation 187 (1991), meaningless destruction is a war crime. 
Republic of Korea, Military Regulation 187, 1 January 1991, Article 4.2.

Romania
Romania’s Soldiers’ Manual (1991) instructs combatants: “Limit destruction to what is required by your mission.” 
Romania, Manualul Soldatului, Ghid de comportare în luptă, Asociaţia Română de Drept Umanitar (ARDU), 1991, p. 4.

Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Military Manual (1990) provides that “destruction or seizure of enemy property, unless such actions are required by military necessity,” are prohibited methods 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(j).

The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states: “The prohibited methods of warfare include … destroying or capturing the enemy property, unless required by military necessity.” 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 7.

Senegal
Senegal’s Disciplinary Regulations (1990) states that, under the laws and customs of war, “any wanton destruction” is forbidden. 
Senegal, Règlement de Discipline dans les Forces Armées, Décret 90-1159, 12 October 1990, Article 34(2).

South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) states that soldiers must “restrict destruction to that required by the mission”. 
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, § 25(d).

South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) provides that soldiers in combat must “[r]estrict destruction to that required by the mission”. 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 48(a).

Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “Destruction and appropriation of civilian property, which are not justified by military necessity or by combat operations, are prohibited.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 2.4.b.(1).

Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states:
The prohibition on requisitioning the property of aid societies can be lifted “in case of urgent necessity”.
The extensive destruction and appropriation of civilian property is prohibited when it is “not justified by military necessity”. 
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, § 2.4.b.(1); see also § 10.3.e.(1).

Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) states: “According to [the 1907 Hague Regulations], it is prohibited to destroy or confiscate an enemy’s belongings so long as this is not absolutely necessary as a consequence of the demands of war.” 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 3.2.1.5, p. 52.

Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides: “It is prohibited to destroy or seize enemy property except in cases where such destruction and seizure are imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 21.

Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) provides: “Destruction not motivated by military necessity is … prohibited.” 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule III, p. 4.

Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
1.3.2. The following methods of warfare shall be prohibited … destruction or seizure of enemy property unless such acts have been dictated by military necessity.

1.8.6. Serious violations directed against property include the following acts if they are not justified by military necessity:
- extensive destruction of property;
- extensive appropriation of property. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, §§ 1.3.2 and 1.8.6.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) recalls: “The destruction or seizure of enemy property, whether it belongs to private individuals or to the State, is forbidden unless the damage or seizure is imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 588; see also § 616.

Once a defended locality has surrendered, only such further damage is permitted as is demanded by the exigencies of war, for example, the removal of the fortifications, demolition of military buildings, destruction of stores, and measures for clearing the foreground. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 287.

The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) provides: “It is forbidden to destroy or requisition enemy property unless it is militarily necessary to do so.” 
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 4, p. 15, § 6.

The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states in its chapter on occupied territory:
Any destruction of enemy property, whether it belongs to private individuals or the state, is prohibited unless the destruction is absolutely necessitated by military operations. Extensive destruction and appropriation not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly is a grave breach of the [1949 Geneva Convention IV]. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 11.75.

Extensive destruction not justified by military necessity, particularly of things indispensable to the survival of the civilian population (including food, agricultural areas, drinking water installations, irrigation works and the natural environment) with a view to denying them to the civilian population or the adverse party is prohibited and may amount to a grave breach. … The cumulative effect of this is to ban the type of general destruction known as a “scorched earth policy” in occupied territory. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, §§ 11.91–11.91.1.

Once a defended locality has surrendered, or been captured, only such further damage is permitted as is demanded by the exigencies of war, for example, removal of fortifications, demolition of military structures, destruction of military stores and measures for the defence of the locality. It is not permissible to destroy a public building or private house because it was defended. Looting is prohibited and the rules for the protection of civilians and civilian objects continue to apply.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 5.35.2.

15.17. It is prohibited to destroy or seize the property of an adversary unless such destruction be imperatively demanded by the necessities of the conflict.
15.17.1. Property may not be destroyed unless it is a military objective and it is militarily necessary to do so. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, §§ 15.17–15.17.1.

Grave breaches under the Geneva Conventions consist of any of the following acts against persons or property protected under the provisions of the relevant convention:

d. extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 16.24.

The Hague Regulations 1907 are now recognized as part of customary law. Those regulations provide that the following acts are “especially forbidden”:

g. to destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 16.27.

United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) provides:
The measure of permissible devastation is found in the strict necessities of war. Devastation as an end in itself or as a separate measure of war is not sanctioned by the law of war. There must be some reasonably close connection between the destruction of property and the overcoming of the enemy’s army. Thus the rule requiring respect for private property is not violated through damage resulting from operations, movements, or combat activity of the army; that is, real estate may be used for marches, camp sites, construction of field fortifications, etc. Buildings may be destroyed for sanitary purposes or used for shelter for troops, the wounded and sick and vehicles and for reconnaissance, cover, and defense. Fences, woods, crops, buildings, etc., may be demolished, cut down, and removed to clear a field of fire, to clear the ground for landing field, or to furnish building materials or fuel if imperatively needed for the army. 
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, § 56.

The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976 incorporates the content of Article 23(g) of the 1907 Hague Regulations, i.e., that “it is especially forbidden … to destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war”. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 5-2(b)(1); see also § 14-6(b) (citing Article 53 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV which is “comparable to Article 23(g) [of the 1907] Hague Regulations”).

In addition to the grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the following acts are representative of situations involving individual criminal responsibility: … wilful and wanton destruction and devastation not justified by military necessity. 
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)(5).

The US Soldier’s Manual (1984) gives the following instructions:
Don’t cause destruction beyond the requirement of your mission. Don’t destroy an entire town or village to stop sniper fire from a single building. … Limit destruction only to that necessary to accomplish your mission. Avoid unnecessary … damage to property. 
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. 8.

The US Instructor’s Guide (1985) provides:
The Hague and the Geneva Conventions and the customary law of war require that American soldiers –
Not inflict unnecessary destruction … in accomplishing the military mission.

The customary law of war and [the 1907 Hague Regulations] … established definite rules which prohibit the destruction or the seizure of enemy property unless necessary …
Any excessive destruction … not required to accomplish the objective is illegal as a violation of the law of war …
[C]ause no greater destruction of enemy property than necessary to accomplish the military mission. 
United States, Instructor’s Guide – The Law of War, Headquarters Department of the Army, Washington, April 1985, pp. 4–7.

The US Rules of Engagement for Operation Desert Storm (1991) reminds troops to “restrict destruction to what your mission requires”. 
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, § 4.

The US Naval Handbook (1995) states: “The following acts are representative war crimes: … Wanton destruction of cities, towns, and villages or devastation not justified by the requirements of military operations.” 
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(6).

The US Manual for Military Commissions (2007), Part IV, Crimes and Elements, includes in the list of crimes triable by military commissions:
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW OF WAR.
a. Text. “Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally destroys property belonging to another person in violation of the law of war shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct.”
b. Elements.
(1) The accused destroyed property;
(2) The property belonged to another person;
(3) The accused destroyed the property without that person’s consent;
(4) The accused intended to destroy such property;
(5) The destruction of the property was in violation of the law of war; and
(6) The destruction took place in the context of and was associated with an armed conflict.
c. Comment. A “violation of the law of war,” may be established by proof of the status of the accused as an unlawful combatant or by proof of the character of the property destroyed, or both.
d. Maximum punishment. Confinement for 10 years. 
United States, Manual for Military Commissions, published in implementation of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, 10 U.S.C. §§ 948a, et seq., 18 January 2007, Part IV, § 6(16), p. IV-13.

The US Naval Handbook (2007) states that examples of war crimes that could be considered as grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions include: “Wanton destruction of cities, towns, and villages or devastation not justified by the requirements of military operations.” 
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(6); see also § 8.9.1.1.

The US Manual for Military Commissions (2010), Part IV, Crimes and Elements, includes in the list of crimes triable by military commissions:
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW OF WAR.
a. Text. “Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally destroys property belonging to another person in violation of the law of war shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct.”
b. Elements.
(1) The accused destroyed property;
(2) The property belonged to another person;
(3) The accused destroyed the property without that person’s consent;
(4) The accused intended to destroy such property;
(5) The destruction of the property was in violation of the law of war; and
(6) The destruction took place in the context of and was associated with hostilities.
c. Comment. For purposes of offenses (13) [intentionally causing serious bodily injury], (15) [murder in violation of the law of war], (16) [destruction of property in violation of the law of war], and (27) [spying] in Part IV of this Manual (corresponding to offenses enumerated in paragraphs (13), (15), (16), and (27) of § 950t of title 10, United States Code), an accused may be convicted in a military commission for these offenses if the commission finds that the accused employed a means (e.g., poison gas) or method (e.g., perfidy) prohibited by the law of war; intentionally attacked a “protected person” or “protected property” under the law of war; or engaged in conduct traditionally triable by military commission (e.g., spying; murder committed while the accused did not meet the requirements of privileged belligerency) even if such conduct does not violate the international law of war.
d. Maximum punishment. Confinement for 10 years. 
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, § 5(16), pp. IV-13 and IV-14.

Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Code of Conduct for Combatants (1993) states: “Limit destruction to what your mission requires.” 
Zimbabwe, Code of Conduct for Combatants, Joint publication of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross Regional Delegation in Harare, 1993, p. 2.

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Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s Presidential Decree on Special Operations (2012) states:
Handing over the Special Operations from … NATO to [the] mixed – MoD [Ministry of Defence], MoI [Ministry of the Interior] and NDS [National Directorate of Security] – Afghan security forces was an essential [step] to ensure and guarantee the national sovereignty and rule of law in Afghanistan. Implementation of such operation[s] makes the responsibilities of the judicial and justice bodies harder, and requires them to have a[n] [in-]depth concentration on the fundamental rights and freedom of the citizens, guaranteed in the Constitution and Criminal Procedure Code in [all] phases – inspection, detection, investigation, prosecution and trial.
Thus, I order observance of the following provisions … :

4. During the Special Operations … special measures [are to] be taken to ... avoid … destruction of the substance of the house … and confiscation of object[s] which are not relevant to the crime. 
Afghanistan, Presidential Decree on Special Operations, 2012, Article 4.

Armenia
Under Armenia’s Penal Code (2003), the “wilful destruction or appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity, and carried out unlawfully”, during an armed conflict, constitutes a crime against the peace and security of mankind. 
Armenia, Penal Code, 2003, Article 390.2(6).

Australia
Australia’s War Crimes Act (1945) considers “any war crime within the meaning of the instrument of appointment of the Board of Inquiry [set up to investigate war crimes committed by enemy subjects]” as a war crime, including confiscation of property and wanton devastation and destruction of property. 
Australia, War Crimes Act, 1945, Section 3.

Australia’s Geneva Conventions Act (1957), as amended in 2002, provides: “A person who, in Australia or elsewhere, commits a grave breach of any of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions … 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’s Criminal Code Act (1995), as amended to 2007, states with regard to war crimes that are grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I:
268.29 War crime – destruction and appropriation of property
(1) A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) the perpetrator destroys or appropriates property; and
(b) the destruction or appropriation is not justified by military necessity; and
(c) the destruction or appropriation is extensive and carried out unlawfully and wantonly; and
(d) the property is protected under one or more of the Geneva Conventions or under Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions; and
(e) the perpetrator knows of, or is reckless as to, the factual circumstances that establish that the property is so protected; and
(f) the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an international armed conflict.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 15years.
(2) Strict liability applies to paragraph (1)(d). 
Australia, Criminal Code Act, 1995, as amended to 2007, Chapter 8, § 268.29, pp. 322–323.

268.51 War crime – destroying or seizing the enemy’s property
(1) A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) the perpetrator destroys or seizes certain property; and
(b) the property is property of an adverse party; and
(c) the property is protected from the destruction or seizure under article 18 of the Third Geneva Convention, article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention or article 54 of Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions; and
(d) the perpetrator knows of, or is reckless as to, the factual circumstances that establish that the property is so protected; and
(e) the destruction or seizure is not justified by military necessity; and
(f) the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an international armed conflict.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 15 years.
(2) Strict liability applies to paragraph (1)(c). 
Australia, Criminal Code Act, 1995, as amended to 2007, Chapter 8, § 268.51, p. 335.

268.94 War crime – destroying or seizing an adversary’s property
(1) A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) the perpetrator destroys or seizes certain property; and
(b) the property is property of an adversary; and
(c) the property is protected from the destruction or seizure under article 14 of Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions; and
(d) the perpetrator knows of, or is reckless as to, the factual circumstances that establish that the property is so protected; and
(e) the destruction or seizure is not justified by military necessity; and
(f) the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an armed conflict that is not an international armed conflict.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 15 years
(2) Strict liability applies to paragraph (1)(c). 
Australia, Criminal Code Act, 1995, as amended on 1 November 2007, taking into account amendments up to Act No. 177 of 2007, Chapter 8, § 268.94, pp. 368–369.

Australia’s ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act (2002) incorporates in the Criminal Code the war crimes defined in Article 8(2)(a)(iv), (b)(xiii) and (e)(xii) of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
Australia, ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act, 2002 , Schedule 1, § 268.29, 268.51 and 268.94.

Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Criminal Code (1999) provides that “destroying property unless such destruction is imperatively demanded by war necessity; … destroying of [civilian] property, illegal seizure of property under the pretext of military need” constitute war crimes in international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Azerbaijan, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 116(6) and (11).

Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages or devastation not justified by military necessity” is a war crime. It adds 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)(d) and (e).

Barbados
The Geneva Conventions Act (1980) of Barbados provides:
A person who commits a grave breach of any of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 … may be tried and punished by any court in Barbados that has jurisdiction in respect of similar offences in Barbados as if the grave breach had been committed in Barbados. 
Barbados, Geneva Conventions Act, 1980, Section 3(2).

Belarus
Belarus’s Criminal Code (1999) provides that “the destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity, executed on a large scale, unlawfully and wantonly,” is a war crime. 
Belarus, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 136(6).

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 … :

12. destroying or seizing the enemy’s property, in case of international armed conflicts, or an adversary’s property, in case of armed conflicts non-international in nature, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war;
13. extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity as admitted by international law and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. 
Belgium, Penal Code, 1867, as amended on 5 August 2003, Chapter III, Title I bis, Article 136 quater, § 1(12)–(13).

Belgium’s Law concerning the Repression of Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols (1993), as amended in 1999, provides that “extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity as permitted by international law and carried out unlawfully and wantonly” 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)(8).

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 … :

7 bis destroying or seizing the enemy’s property, in case of international armed conflicts, or an adversary’s property, in case of armed conflicts non-international in nature, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war;
8. extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity as admitted by international law and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. 
Belgium, Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law, 1993, as amended on 23 April 2003, Article 1 ter, § 1(7 bis)–(8).

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Under the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (1998), “property confiscation, … [and] illegal and wilful destruction and appropriation of property on a large scale and not justified by military needs” are war crimes. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federation, Criminal Code, 1998, Article 154(1).

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (2003) states that, in time of war, armed conflict or occupation, ordering or committing “property confiscation … [or the] illegal and wilful destruction and stealing on a large scale of property that is not justified by military necessity”, in violation of international law, constitutes a war crime. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Code, 2003, Article 173(1)(f).

(1) Whoever in time of war or armed conflict orders the violation of laws and practices of warfare, or whoever violates them,
shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of not less than ten years or long-term imprisonment.
(2) Violations of laws and practices of warfare referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall include:

b) Ruthless demolition of cities, settlements or villages or devastation or ravaging not justified by military necessity. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Code, 2003, Article 179(1) and (2)(b).

Botswana
Botswana’s Geneva Conventions Act (1970) punishes “any person, whatever his nationality, who, whether in or outside Botswana, commits, or aids, abets or procures the commission by any other person of, any such grave breach of any of the [1949 Geneva] conventions”.  
Botswana, Geneva Conventions Act, 1970, Section 3(1).

Bulgaria
Bulgaria’s Penal Code (1968), as amended, provides that “a person who, in violation of the rules of international law for waging war … unlawfully or arbitrarily perpetrates or orders the perpetration of destruction or appropriation of property on a large scale” commits a war crime. 
Bulgaria, Penal Code, 1968, as amended, Article 412(f).

Burundi
Burundi’s Penal Code (1981) provides that a person who commits “[a]n attack whose aim it is to carry out … devastation … is punished with death”. 
Burundi, Penal Code, 1981, Article 417.

Burundi’s Law on Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes (2003) states:
[The following are] considered as war crimes:
A. Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 8 August 1949, namely, any of the following acts aimed at persons or objects protected by the provisions of the Geneva Conventions:

d) extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and arbitrarily;

B. Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflicts, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:

m) destroying or seizing the property of an adversary unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of the conflict;

D. Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in armed conflicts not of an international character, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:

l) destroying or seizing the property of an adversary unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of the conflict. 
Burundi, Law on Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes, 2003, Article 4(A)(d), (B)(m) and (D)(1).

Burundi’s Penal Code (2009) states:
“War crimes” means crimes which are committed as part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such crimes, in particular:
1. Any of the following grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions … :
2. Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:

5. … [S]erious violations of the laws and customs applicable in armed conflicts not of an international character, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
Cambodia
Cambodia’s Law on the Establishment of the ECCC (2001) provides:
The Extraordinary Chambers shall have the power to bring to trial all suspects who committed or ordered the commission of grave breaches of the Geneva Convention[s] of 12 August 1949 … which were committed during the period from 17 April 1975 to 6 January 1979. 
Cambodia, Law on the Establishment of the ECCC, 2001, Article 6.

Cambodia’s Law on the Establishment of the ECCC (2001), as amended in 2004, provides:
The Extraordinary Chambers shall have the power to bring to trial all Suspects who committed or ordered the commission of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, such as the following acts against persons or property protected under provisions of these Conventions, and which were committed during the period 17 April 1975 to 6 January 1979:

• destruction and serious damage to property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. 
Cambodia, Law on the Establishment of the ECCC, 2001, as amended in 2004, Article 6.

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 1949 Geneva Conventions] … is guilty of an indictable offence.” 
Canada, Geneva Conventions Act, 1985, as amended in 2007, Section 3(1).

Canada’s National Defence Act (1985) punishes “every person who … without orders from the person’s superior officer, improperly destroys or damages any property”. 
Canada, National Defence Act, 1985, Section 77(d).

Canada’s Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act (2000) provides that the war crimes defined in Article 8(2) of the 1998 ICC Statute are “crimes according to customary international law” and, as such, indictable offences under the Act. 
Canada, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act, 2000, Section 4(1) and (4).

Chile
Chile’s Code of Military Justice (1925) provides for a prison sentence for “anyone who, contrary to instructions received and uncompelled by the operations of war, destroys lines of communication, telegraphic or other links” and for “military personnel who, failing in the obedience they owe to their superiors, burn or destroy buildings or other property”. 
Chile, Code of Military Justice, 1925, Articles 261(2) and 262.

China
China’s Law Governing the Trial of War Criminals (1946) provides that “indiscriminate destruction of property” constitutes a war crime. 
China, Law Governing the Trial of War Criminals, 1946, Article 3(27).

Congo
The Congo’s Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity Act (1998) defines war crimes with reference to the categories of crimes defined in Article 8 of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
Congo, Republic of the, Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity Act, 1998, Article 4.

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 any of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions”. 
Cook Islands, Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols Act, 2002, Section 5(1).

Croatia
Under Croatia’s Criminal Code (1997), “the confiscation of property [and] the unlawful and wanton destruction or large-scale appropriation of property not justified by military necessity” are war crimes. 
Croatia, Criminal Code, 1997, Article 158(1).

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 … [the confiscation of, or] confiscates property or orders that the population’s property be … illegally and wantonly destroyed or its large-scale appropriation where there is no justification by military necessity. 
Croatia, Criminal Code, 1997, as amended to 2006, Article 158(1).

Cuba
Cuba’s Military Criminal Code (1979) punishes “anyone who, in an area of military operations, … unlawfully destroys … property under the pretext of military necessity”. 
Cuba, Military Criminal Code, 1979, Article 44(1).

Cyprus
Cyprus’s Geneva Conventions Act (1966) punishes “any person who, whatever his nationality, commits in the Republic or outside the Republic, any grave breach or takes part, or assists or incites another person in the commission of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions”. 
Cyprus, Geneva Conventions Act, 1966, Section 4(1).

Czech Republic
The Czech Republic’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended in 1999, punishes “whoever in a theatre of war, on the battlefield or in places affected by military operations … arbitrarily destroys another person’s property or takes it under the pretext of military necessity”. 
Czech Republic, Criminal Code, 1961, as amended in 1999, Article 264(b).

Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Code of Military Justice (1972), as amended in 1980, which applies in times of war or in an area where a state of siege or a state of emergency has been proclaimed, punishes any “abusive or illegal requisition, confiscation or spoliation”. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Code of Military Justice, 1972, as amended in 1980, Article 525.

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:

7. Extensive destruction or appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity as allowed by international law, and carried out unlawfully and wantonly;

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.

Article 110
Whoever, in the service of the Armed Forces, abuses powers conferred to him relating to requisition or refuses to give a receipt for the quantities furnished, is punished with two months to two years of penal servitude.
Whoever, in the service of the Armed Forces, carries out a requisition without having the authority for it, is punished, if that requisition was done without violence, with one to three years of penal servitude.
If the requisition is carried out with violence, he is punished with three to five years of penal servitude. Regardless of the penalties provided above, the perpetrator is further convicted to making restitution.

Article 191
Whoever, in time of war or during exceptional circumstances, is guilty of imposing collective fines, abusive or illegal requisitions, confiscations or spoliation, of importing or exporting out of the territory of the Republic, by any means, objects of any nature, including securities and money, shall be punished with ten to twenty years of penal servitude.
If these acts were accompanied by ill-treatment, torture or followed by another breach, the perpetrator shall be punished by death.

Article 205
Punished by a penalty of five to ten years of penal servitude is any soldier or equivalent person who is guilty of committing theft to the detriment of the inhabitant with whom he is quartered by virtue of a requisition. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Military Penal Code, 2002, Articles 110, 191 and 205.

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).

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).

Egypt
Egypt’s Military Criminal Code (1966) prohibits wilful destruction of property without the authorization of an officer. 
Egypt, Military Criminal Code, 1966, Article 141.

El Salvador
El Salvador’s Code of Military Justice (1934) punishes any “soldier who, in time of international or civil war, burns or destroys ships, aircraft, buildings or other property, when not required by the operations of war”. 
El Salvador, Code of Military Justice, 1934, Article 68.

Under El Salvador’s Penal Code (1997), “wanton destruction of cities or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity” during an international or a civil war is a crime. 
El Salvador, Penal Code, 1997, Article 362.

Estonia
Under Estonia’s Penal Code (2001), “a person belonging to the armed forces or participating in acts of war who destroys or illegally appropriates property on a large scale in a war zone or an occupied territory, whereas such act is not required by military necessity,” commits a war crime. 
Estonia, Penal Code, 2001, § 108.

Ethiopia
Under Ethiopia’s Penal Code (1957), it is a war crime to organize, order or engage, in time of war, armed conflict or occupation, in “the confiscation of estates, the destruction or appropriation of property” of the civilian population, in violation of the rules of IHL. 
Ethiopia, Penal Code, 1957, Article 282(h).

Finland
Finland’s Criminal Code (1889), as amended in 2008, provides that any person who “destroys, confiscates or steals property arbitrarily and without military need” shall be “sentenced for a war crime to imprisonment for at least one year or for life”. 
Finland, Criminal Code, 1889, as amended in 2008, Chapter 11, Section 5(1)(3).
(emphasis in original)
Gambia
The Gambia’s Armed Forces Act (1985) punishes “every person subject to this Act who … without orders from his superior officer, improperly destroys or damages any property”. 
Gambia, Armed Forces Act, 1985, Section 40(d).

Georgia
Under Georgia’s Criminal Code (1999), “extensive destruction or appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out wantonly,” in an international or non-international armed conflict is a crime. 
Georgia, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 411(2)(h).

Germany
Germany’s Law Introducing the International Crimes Code (2002) punishes anyone who, in connection with an international or a non-international armed conflict, “unless this is imperatively demanded by the necessities of the armed conflict, … extensively destroys, appropriates or seizes property of the adverse party contrary to international law, such property being in the hands of the perpetrator’s party”. 
Germany, Law Introducing the International Crimes Code, 2002, Article 1, § 9(1).

Ghana
Ghana’s Armed Forces Act (1962) punishes “every person subject to the Code of Service Discipline who … without orders from his superior officer, improperly destroys or damages any property”. 
Ghana, Armed Forces Act, 1962, Section 18(d).

India
India’s Geneva Conventions Act (1960) provides:
Iraq
Iraq’s Military Penal Code (1940) punishes “every person who, while unnecessitated by war, damages or destroys movable or immovable property, cuts down trees, destroys agricultural crops, or orders to commit such acts”. 
Iraq, Military Penal Code, 1940, Article 113.

Iraq’s Law of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (2005) identifies as a grave breach of the 1949 Geneva Conventions “[e]xtensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly”. 
Iraq, Law of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal, 2005, Article 13(1)(D).

Iraq’s Military Penal Code (2007) states:
First: Whosoever utilizes the horror of war or misuses military power for unlawful or coercive seizure of other persons’ possessions, or unauthorized collection of monies or funds or exceeding limitations of all warfare expenditure for his personal benefit, is punishable with imprisonment for a minimum period of (10) ten years.
Second: Whosoever, without military necessity, destroys or vandalizes movable or immovable assets or cuts trees or destroys agricultural crops, or ordered the same to be executed, is punishable with imprisonment. 
Iraq, Military Penal Code, 2007, Article 61(1) and (2).

Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions are punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 3(1).

Israel
Israel’s Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law (1950) punishes persons who have committed war crimes, including “wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages … and devastation not justified by military necessity”. 
Israel, Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law, 1950, Section 1.

Italy
Under Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), it is prohibited “to destroy or seize enemy property, unless it is imperatively demanded by the necessities of war”. 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, Article 35(8).

Italy’s Wartime Military Penal Code (1941) punishes “anyone who, in enemy territory, without being constrained by the necessity of military operations, sets fire to a house, an edifice, or through any other means destroys them”. 
Italy, Wartime Military Penal Code, 1941, Article 187.

Jordan
Jordan’s Military Criminal Code (1952) punishes “any member [of the armed forces] … who intentionally destroys or damages any property without having received the order of his superior officer to do so”. 
Jordan, Military Criminal Code, 1952, Article 12(2).

Jordan’s Military Penal Code (2002) states that the following shall be deemed a war crime when committed in the event of armed conflict: “Extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly”. 
Jordan, Military Penal Code, 2002, Article 41(a)(8).

Kenya
Kenya’s Geneva Conventions Act (1968) punishes “any person, whatever his nationality, who, whether within or outside Kenya commits, or aids, abets or procures the commission by any other person of any grave breach of any of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions”. 
Kenya, Geneva Conventions Act, 1968, Section 3(1).

Latvia
Under Latvia’s Criminal Code (1998), “the unjustified destruction of cities and other entities” is a war crime. 
Latvia, Criminal Code, 1998, Section 74.

Lithuania
Under Lithuania’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended in 1998, “confiscation of property, or its extensive appropriation or destruction, unjustified by military necessity” in time of war, armed conflict or occupation is a war crime. 
Lithuania, Criminal Code, 1961, as amended in 1998, Article 336.

Luxembourg
Under Luxembourg’s Law on the Repression of War Crimes (1947), “excessive or unlawful requisitions, confiscations or expropriations” committed in time of war are war crimes. 
Luxembourg, Law on the Repression of War Crimes, 1947, Article 2(6).

Luxembourg’s Law on the Punishment of Grave Breaches (1985) punishes grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including “the extensive destruction or appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly” as crimes under international law. 
Luxembourg, Law on the Punishment of Grave Breaches, 1985, Article 1(9).

Malawi
Malawi’s Geneva Conventions Act (1967) punishes “any person, whatever his nationality, who, whether within or without Malawi commits or aids, abets or procures the commission by any other person of any such grave breach of any of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions”. 
Malawi, Geneva Conventions Act, 1967, Section 4(1).

Malaysia
Malaysia’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962) punishes “any person, whatever his citizenship or nationality, who, whether in or outside the Federation, commits, or aids, abets or procures the commission by any other person of any such grave breach of any of the … [1949 Geneva] conventions”. 
Malaysia, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, Section 3(1).

Malaysia’s Armed Forces Act (1972) punishes “every person subject to service law under this Act who … without orders from his superior officer wilfully destroys or damages any property”. 
Malaysia, Armed Forces Act, 1972, Section 46(c).

Mali
Under Mali’s Penal Code (2001), “the extensive destruction, and appropriation, of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly”, constitutes a war crime. 
Mali, Penal Code, 2001, Article 31(d).

Mauritius
The Geneva Conventions Act (1970) of Mauritius punishes “any person who in Mauritius or elsewhere commits, or is an accomplice in the commission by another person of, a grave breach of any of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions”. 
Mauritius, Geneva Conventions Act, 1970, Section 3(1).

Mexico
Mexico’s Code of Military Justice (1933), as amended in 1996, punishes “anyone who, without being absolutely required by war operations, burns buildings [or] devastates crops”. 
Mexico, Code of Military Justice, 1933, as amended in 1996, Article 209.

Mozambique
Mozambique’s Military Criminal Law (1987) punishes “anyone who … appropriates or destroys without interest or necessity the property of another”. 
Mozambique, Military Criminal Law, 1987, Article 83(c).

Netherlands
The Definition of War Crimes Decree (1946) of the Netherlands includes “confiscation of property” and “wanton devastation and destruction of property” in its list of war crimes. 
Netherlands, Definition of War Crimes Decree, 1946, Article 1.

Under the International Crimes Act (2003) of the Netherlands, it is a crime to commit “in the case of an international armed conflict, one of the grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions”, including “extensive intentional and unlawful destruction and appropriation of goods without military necessity”. 
Netherlands, International Crimes Act, 2003, Article 5(1)(d).

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 any of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions … is guilty of an indictable offence.” 
New Zealand, Geneva Conventions Act, 1958, as amended in 1987, Section 3(1).

Under New Zealand’s International Crimes and ICC Act (2000), war crimes include the crimes defined in Article 8(2)(a)(iv), (b)(xiii) and (e)(xii) of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
New Zealand, International Crimes and ICC Act, 2000, Section 11(2).

Nicaragua
Nicaragua’s Military Penal Law (1980) punishes “anyone who, during military operations, … destroys or illegally occupies property under the pretext of military necessity”. 
Nicaragua, Military Penal Law, 1980, Article 82.

Nicaragua’s Military Penal Code (1996) punishes any “soldier who … without being required by the necessities of war, burns, destroys or seriously damages buildings, ships, aircraft or other non-military enemy property”. 
Nicaragua, Military Penal Code, 1996, Article 59.

Niger
According to Niger’s Penal Code (1961), as amended in 2003, “the extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity as allowed by international law, and carried out unlawfully and wantonly” are war crimes, when such property is protected under the 1949 Geneva Conventions or their 1977 Additional Protocols. 
Niger, Penal Code, 1961, as amended in 2003, Article 208.3(8).

Nigeria
Nigeria’s Geneva Conventions Act (1960) punishes any person who “whether in or outside the Federation, … whatever his nationality, commits, or aids, abets or procures any other person to commit any such grave breach of any of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions”. 
Nigeria, Geneva Conventions Act, 1960, Section 3(1).

Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, punishes “anyone who, without necessity, destroys or damages foreign property”, 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, §§ 103 and 108(a).

Norway’s Penal Code (1902), as amended in 2008, states:
Any person is liable to punishment for a war crime who in connection with an armed conflict … destroys, seizes or confiscates property on a large scale, unless this is strictly necessary for the purpose of waging war/imperatively demanded by the necessities of war. 
Norway, Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 2008, § 104(b).

Norway’s Act on the Punishment of Foreign War Criminals (1946) states:
Confiscation of property, requisitioning, imposition of contributions, illegal imposition of fines, and any other form of economic gain illegally acquired by force or threat, are deemed to be crimes against the Civil Criminal Code. 
Norway, Act on the Punishment of Foreign War Criminals, 1946, Article 2.

Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea’s Geneva Conventions Act (1976) punishes any “person who, in Papua New Guinea or elsewhere, commits a grave breach of any of the Geneva Conventions”. 
Papua New Guinea, Geneva Conventions Act, 1976, Section 7(2).

Paraguay
Paraguay’s Military Penal Code (1980) punishes any soldier who, in time of war, “in a foreign country, without superior order and without being obliged by the necessity of defence, wilfully sets fire to a house or other buildings”, as well as any soldier who destroys or damages such objects. 
Paraguay, Military Penal Code, 1980, Articles 282 and 283.

Peru
Peru’s Code of Military Justice (1980) provides that it is a punishable offence for a soldier “to destroy without necessity buildings or other property” in time of war. 
Peru, Code of Military Justice, 1980, Article 95(4).

Peru’s Military and Police Criminal Code (2010), in a chapter titled “Crimes committed during states of emergency and against international humanitarian law”, states:
Article 82. - Plunder, appropriation and destruction
A member of the military or the police shall be punished with deprivation of liberty of not less than five and not more than ten years if, in a state of emergency and when the Armed Forces assume control of the internal order, he or she destroys, appropriates or seizes objects in a way that is not justified by the requirements of the military or political operation or mission.

Article 83. - Arbitrary confiscation
A member of the military or the police shall be punished with deprivation of liberty of not less than three and not more than five years if, in a state of emergency and when the Armed Forces assume control of the internal order, he or she orders or carries out confiscations in a way that is not justified by the requirements of the military or political operation or mission.
Article 84. - Confiscation by omitting formalities
A member of the military or the police shall be punished with deprivation of liberty of not less than one and not more than three years if, in a state of emergency and when the Armed Forces assume control of the internal order, he or she carries out confiscations without complying with the legal formalities and without being obliged to confiscate by the particular circumstances.
Article 85. - Extortion
A member of the military or the police shall be punished with deprivation of liberty of not less than three and not more than five years if, in a state of emergency and when the Armed Forces assume control of the internal order, he or she obliges a member or several members of the civilian population to hand over or to make available any kind of object or to sign or hand in documents that have legal effects.
Article 86. - Unlawful taxes
A member of the military or the police shall be punished with deprivation of liberty of not less than three and not more than five years if, in a state of emergency and when the Armed Forces assume control of the internal order, he or she establishes taxes without legal basis and just reason. 
Peru, Military and Police Criminal Code, 2010, Articles 82–86.

Philippines
Under the War Crimes Trial Executive Order (1947) of the Philippines, applicable to acts committed during the Second World War, “wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages [and] devastation not justified by military necessity” are war crimes. 
Philippines, War Crimes Trial Executive Order, 1947, § II(b)(2).

Portugal
Under Portugal’s Penal Code (1996), “unjustified appropriation or destruction of property of high value”, in time of war, armed conflict or occupation, constitutes a war crime. 
Portugal, Penal Code, 1996, Article 241(1)(h).

Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s ICC Act (2007) provides for the punishment of anyone who “extensively destroys, appropriates or seizes property of the adverse party in violation of international law” “unless this is imperatively demanded by the necessities of the armed conflict” in both international and non-international armed conflicts.  
Republic of Korea, ICC Act, 2007, Article 11(1).

Republic of Moldova
The Republic of Moldova’s Penal Code (2002) punishes “destruction or illegal appropriation of property, under the pretext of war necessity, committed against the population of the area of military operations”. 
Republic of Moldova, Penal Code, 2002, Article 390.

Romania
Romania’s Penal Code (1968) punishes “partial or total destruction or appropriation under any form, unjustified by military necessity and committed on a large scale, of any … goods”. 
Romania, Penal Code, 1968, Article 359.

Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Decree on the Punishment of War Criminals (1965) states that the “German fascist invaders are guilty of … barbaric destruction of thousands of towns and villages”. 
Russian Federation, Decree on the Punishment of War Criminals, 1965, preamble.

Rwanda
Rwanda’s Law Repressing the Crime of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes (2003) provides:
Article: 8
A war crime is one of the following acts, committed during armed conflicts against persons or property protected under the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and its Additional Protocols I and II of 8 June 1977:

4° extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly, such as buildings dedicated to religion, charity or education, and historical buildings dedicated to the arts and science;

Article: 9
Shall be punished by one of the following penalties any person having committed one of the war crimes provided for in Article 8 of this law:

3° imprisonment for five (5) to ten (10) years where he has committed a crime provided for in point 4°, 5°, 13°, 14° or 15° of Article 8 of this law. 
Rwanda, Law Repressing the Crime of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes, 2003, Articles 8–9.

Senegal
Senegal’s Penal Code (1965), as amended in 2007, states:
[a)] Any of the following acts constitutes a war crime if it concerns members of the armed forces, the wounded, sick or shipwrecked, prisoners of war or civilians or objects protected by the provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949:

3 extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and arbitrarily;

b) other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts [also constitute war crimes]:

12. destroying or seizing the property of an adversary unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of the conflict;

d) …
Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in armed conflicts not of an international character, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts [also constitute war crimes]:

12. destroying or seizing the property of an adversary unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of the conflict. 
Senegal, Penal Code, 1965, as amended in 2007, Article 431-3(a)(3), (b)(12) and (d)(12).

Seychelles
The Geneva Conventions Act of the Seychelles (1985) punishes “any person, whatever his nationality, who whether in or outside Seychelles, commits, or aids, abets or procures the commission by any other person of, any such grave breach of any of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions”. 
Seychelles, Geneva Conventions Act, 1985, Section 3(1).

Serbia
Serbia’s Criminal Code (2005) states that ordering or committing the “unlawful seizure, appropriation or destruction of property not justified by military necessity”, in violation of international law, constitutes a war crime. 
Serbia, Criminal Code, 2005, Article 372(1).

Singapore
Singapore’s Geneva Conventions Act (1973) punishes “any person, whatever his citizenship or nationality, who, whether in or outside Singapore, commits, aids, abets or procures the commission by any other person of any such grave breach of any [1949 Geneva] Convention”. 
Singapore, Geneva Conventions Act, 1973, Section 3(1).

Slovakia
Slovakia’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended, punishes “whoever in a theatre of war, on the battlefield or in places affected by military operations … arbitrarily destroys another person’s property or takes it under the pretext of military necessity”. 
Slovakia, Criminal Code, 1961, as amended, Article 264(b); see also Article 262(2)(a).

Slovenia
Under Slovenia’s Penal Code (1994), “confiscation of property, … unlawful and arbitrary destruction or large-scale appropriation of property not justified by military needs” are war crimes. 
Slovenia, Penal Code, 1994, Article 374(1).

Somalia
Somalia’s Military Criminal Code (1963) states:
1. Anyone who, in an enemy country, sets fire to a house or building, or destroys them by any other means without being compelled to do so by the necessities of military operations, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 15 years.
2. If the act has resulted in the death of one or more persons, a penalty of death with demotion shall be applied. 
Somalia, Military Criminal Code, 1963, Article 371.

South Africa
South Africa’s ICC Act (2002) reproduces the war crimes listed in the 1998 ICC Statute, including “extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly” in international armed conflicts and “destroying or seizing the enemy’s property unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities” of the conflict in both international and non-international armed conflicts. 
South Africa, ICC Act, 2002, Schedule 1, Part 3, §§ (a)(iv), (b)(xiii) and (e)(xii).

Spain
Spain’s Military Criminal Code (1985) punishes any soldier who “burns, destroys or severely damages buildings, ships, aircraft or any other enemy property not of a military character, without being required by the necessities of war”. 
Spain, Military Criminal Code, 1985, Article 73.

Spain’s Penal Code (1995) punishes “anyone who, during an armed conflict, … destroys, damages or appropriates, without military necessity, belongings from another person [or] forces someone to surrender such belongings”. 
Spain, Penal Code, 1995, Article 613(1)(e).

Spain’s Penal Code (1995), as amended in 2010, states:
1. Anyone who in the event of an armed conflict commits or orders to be committed any of the following acts shall be punished with four to six years’ imprisonment:

g. Destroying, damaging or appropriating, without military necessity, objects that do not belong to him or her, [or] forcing someone to surrender such objects …

2. … In all other cases mentioned in the above article, the higher sentence can be imposed when extensive and important destructions are caused to the property, objects or installations or [the acts] are of extreme gravity. 
Spain, Penal Code, 1995, as amended on 23 June 2010, Article 613(1)(g) and (2).

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Army Act (1949), as amended in 1993, punishes “every person subject to military law who while on active service … without orders from his superior officer wilfully destroys or damages any property”. 
Sri Lanka, Army Act, 1949, as amended in 1993, Section 96(b).

Sri Lanka’s Air Force Act (1950), as amended in 1993, punishes “every person subject to this Act who while on active service … without orders from his superior officer wilfully destroys or damages any property”. 
Sri Lanka, Air Force Act, 1950, as amended in 1993, Section 96(b).

Sri Lanka’s Geneva Conventions Act (2006) includes the following grave breach as an indictable offence: “extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly”. 
Sri Lanka, Geneva Conventions Act, 2006, Schedule I: Article 50, Schedule II: Article 51, and Schedule IV: Article 147.

Sudan
Sudan’s Armed Forces Act (2007) provides:
Subject to the provisions of the Criminal Act of 1991, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years, or with any lighter penalty, whoever treats inhumanly any of the persons hereinafter mentioned, during wartime, … by causing widespread destruction of their property, or by seizing the same, without military necessity, or in contravention of the law, in a clear way …:
(a) civilians , as long as they enjoy such capacity;
(b) journalists who perform professional missions;
(c) personnel of the medical and religious service of the enemy, unless they turn into combatants;
(d) personnel of enemy civil defense, unless they turn into combatants;
(e) a prisoner of war, as long as he/she enjoys such capacity;
(f) international monitors;
(g) officials belonging to international agencies and organizations, protected by international treaties and agreements ratified by the Sudan. 
Sudan, Armed Forces Act, 2007, Article 152.

Tajikistan
Tajikistan’s Criminal Code (1998) punishes “extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out wantonly,” in an international or internal armed conflict, against civilians or the civilian population in the occupied territory or in the combat zone. 
Tajikistan, Criminal Code, 1998, Article 403(2)(h).

Uganda
Uganda’s Geneva Conventions Act (1964) punishes “any person, whatever his nationality, who, whether within or without Uganda commits or aids, abets or procures the commission by any other person of any grave breach of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions”.  
Uganda, Geneva Conventions Act, 1964, Section 1(1).

Uganda’s National Resistance Army Statute (1992) punishes any “person subject to military law who … without orders from his superior officer, improperly destroys or damages any property”. 
Uganda, National Resistance Army Statute, 1992, Section 35(c).

Uganda’s Defence Forces Act (2005) provides that any “person subject to military law, who … wilfully destroys or damages public or private property” commits an offence. 
Uganda, Defence Forces Act, 2005, § 162(b).

Ukraine
Under Ukraine’s Criminal Code (2001), “unlawful destruction or taking of property under the pretext of military necessity” is a war crime. 
Ukraine, Criminal Code, 2001, Article 433(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 any of the [1949 Geneva] conventions”. 
United Kingdom, Geneva Conventions Act, 1957, as amended in 1995, Section 1(1).

Under the UK ICC Act (2001), it is a punishable offence to commit a war crime as defined in Article 8(2)(a)(iv), (b)(xiii) and (e)(xii) of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
United Kingdom, ICC Act, 2001, Sections 50(1) and 51(1) (England and Wales) and Section 58(1) (Northern Ireland).

United States of America
The US Regulations Governing the Trials of Accused War Criminals in the Pacific Region I (1945) established military commissions which had jurisdiction over offences such as “wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages” and “devastation, destruction or damage of public or private property not justified by military necessity”. 
United States, Regulations Governing the Trials of Accused War Criminals in the Pacific Region I, 1945, Regulation 5.

The US Regulations Governing the Trials of Accused War Criminals in the Pacific Region II (1945) established military commissions which had jurisdiction over offences such as “wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages; or devastation not justified by military necessity”. 
United States, Regulations Governing the Trials of Accused War Criminals in the Pacific Region II, 1945, Regulation 2(b).

Under the US War Crimes Act (1996), grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, as well as violations of Article 23(g) of the 1907 Hague Regulations, are war crimes. 
United States, War Crimes Act, 1996, § 2441(c)(1) and (2).

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
“ …
“(b) OFFENSES.—The following offenses shall be triable by military commission under this chapter at any time without limitation:
“ …
“(16) DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW OF WAR.—Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally destroys property belonging to another person in violation of the law of war shall [be] punished 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, pp. 120 Stat. 2628 and 2629, § 950v(b)(16).

The US Military Commissions Act (2009) amends Chapter 47A of Title 10 of the United States Code as follows:
§ 950t. Crimes triable by military commission
“The following offenses shall be triable by military commission under this chapter at any time without limitation:
“ …
“(16) DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW OF WAR.—Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally destroys property belonging to another person in violation of the law of war shall [be] punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct. 
United States, Military Commissions Act, 2009, § 950t(16).

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:

4. Extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity or by the armed conflict and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.

21. Destroying, confiscating or seizing the property of the enemy or of the enemy combatant unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war. 
Uruguay, Law on Cooperation with the ICC, 2006, Article 26.2, 26.3.4 and 26.3.21.

Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan’s Criminal Code (1994) punishes “the meaningless destruction of towns and inhabited places”. 
Uzbekistan, Criminal Code, 1994, Article 152.

Vanuatu
Vanuatu’s Geneva Conventions Act (1982) provides:
Any grave breach of the Geneva Conventions that would, if committed in Vanuatu, be an offence under any provision of the Penal Code Act Cap. 135 or any other law shall be an offence under such provision of the Penal Code or any other law if committed outside Vanuatu. 
Vanuatu, Geneva Conventions Act, 1982, Section 4(1).

Venezuela
Venezuela’s Code of Military Justice (1998), as amended, punishes soldiers who “failing the obedience they owe to their superiors, burn or destroy buildings or other property”. 
Venezuela, Code of Military Justice, 1998, as amended, Article 474(17).

Venezuela’s Law on the State of Emergency (2001), which includes situations of internal and international armed conflict, states:
Having declared a state of emergency, the Executive will have the power to confiscate private objects and property that must be used to re-establish normality. A prior order by the President of the Republic or by the competent authority is necessary for every confiscation. 
Venezuela, Law on the State of Emergency, 2001, Article 24.

Viet Nam
Viet Nam’s Penal Code (1990) punishes “anyone who exceeds the limits of military necessity in performing a mission and thereby causes serious damage to property of the State, of social organizations or of citizens”. 
Viet Nam, Penal Code, 1990, Article 274.

Viet Nam’s Penal Code (1999) provides for the punishment of anyone “who, while performing duties, exceeds the limits of military necessity, thereby causing serious property loss to the State, organizations and/or citizens”. 
Viet Nam, Penal Code, 1999, § 339.1.

Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
Under the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Penal Code (1976), as amended in 2001, “property confiscation, … extensive unlawful and wanton destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity” are war crimes. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Penal Code, 1976, as amended in 2001, 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 [any of the 1949 Geneva] Conventions”. 
Zimbabwe, Geneva Conventions Act, 1981, as amended in 1996, Section 3(1).

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Canada
In 2013, in the Sapkota case, Canada’s Federal Court dismissed a request for review of a decision denying refugee protection to the applicant on grounds of complicity in crimes against humanity in Nepal between 1991 and 2009. While reviewing the submissions of the respondent, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the Court stated: “The Respondent notes that the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court … is endorsed in Canada as a source of customary law.” 
Canada, Federal Court, Sapkota case, Reasons for Judgment and Judgment, 15 July 2013, § 28.

France
In the Holstein case before a French Military Tribunal in 1947, some of the accused, members of various German units, were found guilty of war crimes for having destroyed by arson inhabited buildings. The Tribunal found that there was no necessity to set the houses on fire, as required by Article 23(g) of the 1907 Hague Regulations. The acts of arson committed were thus not justified by the laws and customs of war. 
France, Permanent Military Tribunal at Dijon, Holstein case, Judgment, 3 February 1947.

Germany
In the General Devastation case before a German court in 1947, a German officer who gave the order that on the approach of the Soviet army any valuable machinery in mills appropriated by Germany in occupied territories was to be destroyed was found guilty of a war crime when one of the factories in question was destroyed by fire. The court stated that “his conduct may be regarded as a war crime in the meaning of Article II(I)(b) of [the 1945 Allied] Control Council Law No. 10. In that paragraph acts of devastation which are not justified by military necessity, are described as war crimes.” 
Germany, Oberlandsgericht of Dresden, General Devastation case, Judgment, 21 March 1947. (Although it appeared that the fire in the factory was accidental, the accused was found guilty of aiding and abetting the factory’s destruction.)

In 2008, in the Kurdish Refugee case, Germany’s Higher Administrative Court for the Federal Land of Bavaria found that a Kurdish refugee claimant from Turkey was to be excluded from refugee protection inter alia because there were serious reasons for considering that he had committed war crimes during his involvement with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. The court held: “The unlawful and arbitrary destruction of property not justified by military necessity is a war crime according to Art. 8 para. 2 sub-para. a … [no.] iv of the [1998] Rome Statute.”  
Germany, Higher Administrative Court for the Federal Land of Bavaria, Kurdish Refugee case, Judgment, 21 October 2008, § 47.

Iraq
In its judgment in the Al-Anfal case in 2007, the Iraqi High Tribunal listed the following elements for the crime of destroying or confiscating the property of an adversary:
1. The perpetrator must destroy the given properties or confiscate them.
2. The properties must be confiscated by the hostile side.
3. These properties must be included in the protection from destruction or confiscation according to the International Law of Armed Conflict.
4. The perpetrator must be aware of factual circumstances which prove the ownership of these properties.
5. The lack of military necessity calling for destruction or confiscation of those properties.
6. The conduct must be carried out within a national armed dispute context correlated with it.
7. The perpetrator must be aware of factual conditions which prove the existence of armed dispute. 
Iraq, Iraqi High Tribunal, Al-Anfal case, Judgment, 24 June 2007, p. 597; see also pp. 883–884, based on a translation available at http://law.case.edu/grotian-moment-blog/anfal/opinion.asp (last accessed on 1 April 2010).

The elements of proof regarding the hostile side’s destruction or confiscation of properties as a crime of war are many, such as burning them down to ashes, deforming them or causing damages, looting the legitimate estate which was rendered legally, and an evidence that such properties were not used for hostile purposes.

Destroying or confiscating the properties occurred as a result of attack meaning any action accompanied by hostile military operations during armed conflicts as well as when this attack leads to destruction or confiscation of properties on the condition that the attack is premeditated, as it is the role of the court to prove that the accused, while committing his action, was expressing his intention directly to destroy those properties or confiscate them.

Another legal requirement to prove elements of the crime is that those properties must be included in protection from destruction or seizure according to the international law of armed conflict. The elements of proving this requirement is that there must be a proof that these properties were not used for hostile purposes. 
Iraq, Iraqi High Tribunal, Al-Anfal case, Judgment, 24 June 2007, pp. 597, 884 and 887, based on a translation available at http://law.case.edu/grotian-moment-blog/anfal/opinion.asp (last accessed on 1 April 2010).

Israel
In the Al-Nawar case before Israel’s High Court in 1985, Judge Shamgar held that Article 23(g) of the 1907 Hague Regulations “does not accord protection to property used for hostile purposes. Such property enjoys protection from arbitrary destruction, but it is still subject to the enemy’s right of appropriation as booty.” 
Israel, High Court, Al-Nawar case, Judgment, 11 August 1985.

Netherlands
In its judgment in the Wingten case in 1949, the Special Court of Cassation of the Netherlands found the accused, a member of the German security forces in occupied Netherlands, guilty of the war crime of “devastation not justified by military necessity” as contained in Article 6(b) of the 1945 IMT Charter, for the arson of several houses near Amsterdam. 
Netherlands, Special Court of Cassation, Wingten case, Judgment, 6 July 1949.

United States of America
In the List case (The Hostages Trial) before the US Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1948, the accused, high-ranking officers in the German army, were charged with war crimes, inter alia, for wanton destruction of cities, towns and villages and other acts of devastation for which there was no military necessity. In its judgment, the Tribunal stated:
Military necessity has been invoked by the defendants as justifying … the destruction of villages and towns in the occupied territory. Military necessity permits a belligerent, subject to the laws of war, to apply any amount and kind of force to compel the complete submission of the enemy with the least possible expenditure of time, life and money. In general, it sanctions measures by an occupant necessary to protect the safety of his forces and to facilitate the success of his operations … The destruction of property to be lawful must be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war. Destruction as an end in itself is a violation of International Law. There must be some reasonable connection between the destruction of property and the overcoming of the enemy forces. It is lawful to destroy railways, lines of communication or any other property that might be utilised by the enemy. Private homes and churches even may be destroyed if necessary for military operations. It does not admit of wanton devastation of a district or the wilful infliction of suffering upon its inhabitants for the sake of suffering alone.
There is evidence in the record that there was no military necessity for this destruction and devastation. An examination of the facts in retrospect can well sustain this conclusion. But we are obliged to judge the situation as it appeared to the defendant at the time. If the facts were such as would justify the action by the exercise of judgement, after giving consideration to all factors and existing possibilities, even though the conclusion reached may have been faulty, it cannot be said to be criminal. After giving careful consideration to all the evidence on the subject, we are convinced that the defendant cannot be held criminally responsible although when viewed in retrospect, the danger did not actually exist.

The Hague Regulations prohibited “The destruction or seizure of enemy property except in cases where this destruction or seizure is urgently required by the necessities of war.” … The Hague Regulations are mandatory provisions of International Law. The prohibitions therein contained control and are superior to military necessities of the most urgent nature except where the Regulations themselves specifically provide the contrary. The destruction of public and private property by retreating military forces which would give aid and comfort to the enemy, may constitute a situation coming within the exceptions contained in Article 23(g). We are not called upon to determine whether urgent military necessity for the devastation and destruction in the province of Finnmark actually existed. We are concerned with the question whether the defendant at the time of its occurrence acted within the limits of honest judgment on the basis of the conditions prevailing at the time. The course of a military operation by the enemy is loaded with uncertainties, such as the numerical strength of the enemy, the quality of his equipment, his fighting spirit, the efficiency and daring of his commanders, and the uncertainty of his intentions. These things when considered with his own military situation provided the facts or want thereof which furnished the basis for the defendant’s decision to carry out the “scorched earth” policy in Finnmark as a precautionary measure against an attack by superior forces. It is our considered opinion that the conditions as they appeared to the defendant at the time were sufficient, upon which he could honestly conclude that urgent military necessity warranted the decision made. This being true, the defendant may have erred in the exercise of his judgment but he was guilty of no criminal act. We find the defendant not guilty on this portion of the charge. 
United States, Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, List case (The Hostages Trial), Judgment, 19 February 1948.

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 and crimes against humanity against civilians in that they participated in atrocities such as wanton destruction of cities, towns and villages and devastation not justified by military necessity. The Tribunal stated: “Most of the prohibitions of both the Hague and Geneva Conventions, considered in substance, are clearly an expression of the accepted views of civilized nations.” The Tribunal found:
The devastation prohibited by the [1907 Hague Regulations] and the usages of war is that not warranted by military necessity. This rule is clear enough but the factual determination as to what constitutes military necessity is difficult. Defendants in this case were in many instances in retreat under arduous conditions wherein their commands were in serious danger of being cut off. Under such circumstances, a commander must necessarily make quick decisions to meet the particular situation of his command. A great deal of latitude must be accorded to him under such circumstances. What constitutes devastation beyond military necessity in these situations requires detailed proof of an operational and tactical nature. We do not feel that in this case the proof is ample to establish the guilt of any defendant herein on this charge. 
United States, Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Von Leeb case (The German High Command Trial), Judgment, 28 October 1948.

Venezuela
In 2001, in the Ballestas case, the Colombian government requested the preventive detention and extradition of a Colombian citizen belonging to the armed group known as the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army) for the crimes of rebellion, kidnapping, wrongful death, seizure and diversion of aircraft. The Chamber of Criminal Appeals of Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice held:
It is a firm and incontrovertible fact that political armed struggle must be governed by the laws of war. As a result, attacks against … private rights or the rights of individuals are absolutely unjustified, even where a political motive is claimed.
Thus: if such an attack against … private rights is carried out with such a violence and malicious intent that it causes unnecessary suffering, havoc and terror, it would [constitute the offence of] indiscriminate terrorism, namely [those acts] that are not selective when choosing their targets and expressly target the innocent.
Terrorism, and particularly indiscriminate terrorism, ignores the requirements of Humanitarian … law …
Terrorism takes many forms, as it can be committed through several means. One is the kidnapping [hijacking] of planes, which is one of the acts of which … José María Ballestas Tirado is accused (“extortive kidnapping”) in Colombia. 
Venezuela, Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Ballestas case, Judgment, 10 December 2001, p. 9.
[emphasis in original]
With regard to the offence of seizure and diversion of aircraft, the [1970] Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, of which Venezuela and Colombia are Contracting States considers it as an offence of extreme gravity for the international community and provides in Article 8 that [it must be] included in every extradition treaty: as a result it is included in the … Bolivarian Extradition Agreement of [18 July] 1911 [signed by Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru]. 
Venezuela, Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Ballestas case, Judgment, 10 December 2001, p. 11.

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China
According to the Report on the Practice of China, in the context of the Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), the Chinese population suffered greatly from the Japanese policy of devastation. The Japanese armed forces “destroyed the materials …, set houses on fire, destroyed the farming facilities, took away [livestock], burned the grain and damaged green crops in the fields”. 
Report on the Practice of China, 1997, Chapter 4.1, referring to Deng Xiaoping, The Economic Construction of the Area of Taihang Mountain, 2 July 1943, Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping, Vol. I, The People’s Press, p. 78.

Cuba
In 2010, in its second periodic report to the Committee against Torture, Cuba stated:
Article 44.1 of the Military [Criminal Code (1979)], which establishes the offence of violence against the civilian population in a region of military operations, provides that “Anyone who performs acts of violence against the civilian population in a region of military operations or illegally destroys or occupies property […] is liable to a penalty of one to eight years’ imprisonment.” Paragraph (2) of this article establishes that if such acts are performed repeatedly … or cause considerable material damage, the penalty shall be between eight and 20 years’ imprisonment or death.  
Cuba, Second periodic report to the Committee against Torture, 22 March 2011, UN Doc. CAT/C/CUB/2, submitted 18 January 2010, § 108.

In 2011, in a response to UN General Assembly Resolution 63/51 on the observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control, the representative of Cuba stated:
[I]n the war of occupation of Iraq by the United States, the harm caused [inter alia] to … property … has been devastating. This situation has been repeated, in the last few months, during the bombings carried out by NATO against the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. 
Cuba, Response by the representative of Cuba to UN General Assembly Resolution 63/51 on the observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control, 7 June 2011, p. 2.

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 warriors” (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.

Egypt
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Egypt restated the prohibition contained in Article 23(g) of the 1907 Hague Regulations “to destroy … the enemy’s property, unless such destruction … be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war”. 
Egypt, Written statement before the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 20 June 1995, p. 11, § 17.

Islamic Republic of Iran
According to the Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, on several occasions during the Iran–Iraq War, the Islamic Republic of Iran denounced the devastation of cities and residential areas as a war crime, notably in 1985 at the Disarmament Conference, as well as in various diplomatic correspondence. 
Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1997, Chapter 6.5.

Israel
In 2005, Israel’s Ministry of Justice stated:
4. Faced with the failure of the Palestinian leadership to comply with its obligations to fight terrorism, stop incitement and prevent the smuggling of weapons, Israel has been compelled to combat the ongoing threat to the lives of Israelis while upholding its obligations under international law. One such security measure is the demolition of structures that pose a real security risk to Israeli forces.
5. Terrorists often operate from within homes and civilian structures. When terrorists fire from within these buildings or activate roadside charges from orchards and fields, military necessity dictates the demolition of these locations. Under International Law, these locations are considered legitimate targets. Therefore, in the midst of combat, when dictated by operational necessity, Israeli security forces may lawfully destroy structures used by terrorists.
6. A further instance necessitating the demolition of buildings is the use made by terrorist groups of civilian buildings in order to conceal openings of tunnels used to smuggle arms, explosives and terrorists from Egypt into the Gaza Strip. Similarly, buildings in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip are used for the manufacturing and concealment of rockets, mortars, weapons and explosive devices to be used against Israel. The demolition of these structures is often the only way to combat this threat.
7. Israel’s security forces adhere to the rules of International Humanitarian Law and are subject to the scrutiny of Israel’s High Court of Justice in hundreds of petitions made annually by Palestinians and human rights organizations.
8. Israeli measures are not a form of “collective punishment” as some have claimed, as if the intention were to cause deliberate hardship to the population at large. While the security measures do unfortunately cause hardships to sectors of the Palestinian population, this is categorically not their intent. Wherever possible, even in the midst of military operations, Israel’s security forces go to great lengths to minimize the effects of security measures on the civilian population not involved in terrorism.
9. In this context, Israel adopts measures in order to ensure that only terrorists and the structures they use are targeted. Furthermore, though permissible under the laws of armed conflict, Israel refrains whenever possible from attacking terrorist targets from the air or with artillery, in order to minimize collateral damage, a policy which has cost the lives of many Israeli soldiers in ground operations.
10. Finally, another practice used when necessary, is the demolition of illegally constructed buildings, generally employed in cases where buildings interfere with plans for the construction of public facilities such as schools or roads; pose a safety threat to their inhabitants; or interfere with historic landmarks. It should be stressed that all demolitions are conducted in accordance with due process guarantees, after a fair hearing subject to judicial review with the right to appeal and without distinction on the basis of race or ethnic origin. Those affected by a demolition order are entitled by law to appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court. 
Israel, Demolition of Palestinian Structures Used for Terrorism, Legal Background, Ministry of Justice, 13 July 2005, §§ 4–10

In 2009, in a report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 (the “Gaza Operation”, also known as “Operation Cast Lead”), Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the operational order contained the following provision:
Destruction of property shall be allowed only for imperative operational necessity and provided that the damage for the property would be proportional to the military advantage gained by the destruction. The destruction of property for deterrence purposes is forbidden. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 226.

Jordan
In a memorandum entitled “International Law Providing Protection to the Environment in Times of Armed Conflict” submitted to the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly in 1992 prior to the adoption of Resolution 47/37, Jordan and the United States stated, inter alia:
It is a grave breach of international humanitarian law, and is a war crime, as set out in article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, to extensively destroy and appropriate property when not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. 
Jordan and United States, International Law Providing Protection to the Environment in Times of Armed Conflict, annexed to Letter dated 28 September 1992 to the Chairman of the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.6/47/3, 28 September 1992, § 1(e).

Somalia
In 1998, an ICRC publication entitled “Spared from the Spear” recorded traditional Somali practice in warfare as follows: “[T]he destruction by fire, or through any other means, of dwellings and their contents was regarded with strong disapproval.” 
Somalia, Spared from the Spear, 1998, p. 49.

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
In 2004, during a debate in the House of Commons, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, stated:
The construction of the barrier in the Occupied Territories is in violation of the Hague Regulation of 1907 and Article 53 of the 4th Geneva Convention, because the confiscation of Palestinian land and destruction of agriculture and buildings is not militarily necessary. The barrier could and should be built on or within the Green Line. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Statement by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 19 April 2004, Vol. 420, Debates, col. 334W.

In 2004, during a debate in the House of Commons, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, stated:
Let me be clear: destruction of property in the construction of the barrier in occupied territory is not justified by absolute military necessity and is therefore unlawful under the terms of the fourth Geneva Convention.

Where the barrier separates Palestinians from Palestinians, rather than Palestinians from Israelis, it does not appear to have taken a route decided solely on grounds of security, and the impact on the daily lives of Palestinian people has been dreadful. Palestinian farmers are being separated from their fields, children from their schools and the sick from hospitals. The Government believe that building a barrier on occupied land is illegal, that the humanitarian impact is unacceptable and that routing the barrier through Palestinian land is not necessary to protect Israeli security.
We continue to recognise Israel’s right to defend itself, but reiterate the need for Israel to act in accordance with international law. We call on Israel to reroute the barrier, away from the occupied territories. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Statement by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 20 July 2004, Vol. 424, Debates, col. 58WH.

The UK Government Strategy on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict (2010) states: “Civilian property must not be targeted.” 
United Kingdom, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Government Strategy on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, March 2010, p. 4.

United States of America
In a memorandum entitled “International Law Providing Protection to the Environment in Times of Armed Conflict” submitted to the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly in 1992 prior to the adoption of Resolution 47/37, Jordan and the United States stated, inter alia: “It is a grave breach of international humanitarian law, and is a war crime, as set out in article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, to extensively destroy and appropriate property when not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.” 
Jordan, International Law Providing Protection to the Environment in Times of Armed Conflict, annexed to Letter dated 28 September 1992 to the Chairman of the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.6/47/3, 28 September 1992, § 1(e).

In 1992, in its final report to Congress on the conduct of the Gulf War, the US Department of Defense stated:
On their departure, Iraqi forces set off previously placed explosive charges on Kuwait’s oil wells, a vengeful act of wanton destruction …
As a general principle, the law of war prohibits the intentional destruction of civilian objects not imperatively required by military necessity.

Specific Iraqi war crimes include: …
– Unnecessary destruction of Kuwaiti private and public property, in violation of Article 23(g), [1907 Hague Regulations] …
– In its indiscriminate Scud missile attacks, unnecessary destruction of Saudi Arabian and Israeli property, in violation of Article 23(g) [1907 Hague Regulations].
– In its intentional release of oil into the Persian Gulf and its sabotage of the Al-Burqan and Ar-Rumaylah oil fields in Kuwait, unnecessary destruction in violation of Articles 23(g) … [1907 Hague Regulations and] 53 and 147, GC [IV].  
United States, Department of Defense, Final Report to Congress on the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, 10 April 1992, Appendix O, The Role of the Law of War, ILM, Vol. 31, 1992, pp. 620, 622, 634 and 635; see also p. 633.

In 1992, in a report submitted pursuant to paragraph 5 of UN Security Council Resolution 771 (1992) on grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV committed in the former Yugoslavia, the United States mentioned several acts of wanton devastation and destruction of property. 
United States, Former Yugoslavia: Grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, annexed to Letter dated 22 September 1992 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/24583, 23 September 1992, pp. 8 and 9.

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UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, the UN General Assembly expressed deep concern about “the extensive destruction caused by the Israeli occupying forces, including the destruction of homes and properties, of religious, cultural and historical sites”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 58/99, 9 December 2003, preamble, voting record: 150-6-19-16.

In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN General Assembly expressed grave concern at “the confiscation of arable land, crops, livestock and other possessions” and strongly called upon the Government of Myanmar “to ensure that government forces do not engage in food and land requisition or the destruction of villages”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 60/233, 23 December 2005, §§ 2(a) and 3(o), adopted without a vote.

In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN General Assembly expressed grave concern at “the ongoing systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of Myanmar”, including “the confiscation of arable land, crops, livestock and other possessions”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/232, 22 December 2006, § 2(a), voting record: 82-25-45-40.

UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN Commission on Human Rights expressed its grave concern at “destruction of livelihoods and confiscations of land by the armed forces”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2003/12, 16 April 2003, § 3(c), adopted without a vote.

In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN Commission on Human Rights expressed its grave concern at “destruction of livelihoods and confiscations of land by the armed forces”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/61, 21 April 2004, § 3(d), adopted without a vote.

In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN Commission on Human Rights expressed its grave concern at “destruction of livelihoods and confiscations of land by the armed forces”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/10, 14 April 2005, § 3(f), adopted without a vote.

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International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (1999)
The Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003 adopted in 1999 by the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent proposed that all the parties to an armed conflict take effective measures to ensure that “strict orders are given to prevent all serious violations of international humanitarian law, including … wanton property destruction … and threats to carry out such actions”. 
27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 31 October–6 November 1999, Res. I, Annex 2, Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003, Actions proposed for final goal 1.1, § 1(b).

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International Criminal Court
In the Harun case before the ICC in 2007, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I, dealing with the situation in Darfur, Sudan, issued an arrest warrant for Ahmad Muhammad Harun (“Ahmad Harun”), minister of state for the interior of the Government of Sudan from in or about April 2003 until in or about September 2005 and minister of state for humanitarian affairs of the Government of Sudan since 2006. The decision was based, inter alia, on counts of destruction of property as war crimes. The Pre-Trial Chamber considered that there were reasonable grounds to believe that:
From on or about 15 August 2003 to on or about 31 August 2003, Ahmad Harun, as part of a group of persons acting with a common purpose, contributed to the destruction of property belonging to the primarily Fur population of the Kodoom villages and surrounding areas, including the burning of houses (articles 8(2)(e)(xii) and 25(3)(d) of the [1998 ICC] Statute);

On or about 15 August 2003, Ahmad Harun, as part of a group of persons acting with a common purpose, contributed to the destruction of property belonging to the primarily Fur population of Bindisi town and surrounding areas, including the burning of food storages, the mosque and dwellings in the area (articles 8(2)(e)(xii) and 25(3)(d) of the [1998 ICC] Statute);

Between August 2003 and March 2004, Ahmad Harun, as part of a group of persons acting with a common purpose, contributed to the destruction of property belonging to the primarily Fur population of Mukjar town and surrounding areas, including the burning of dwellings and the destruction of crops and farms (articles 8(2)(e)(xii) and 25(3)(d) of the [1998 ICC] Statute);

In or around December 2003, Ahmad Harun, as part of a group of persons acting with a common purpose, contributed to the destruction of property belonging to the primarily Fur population of Arawala town and surrounding areas, including the destruction of most of Arawala town (articles 8(2)(e)(xii) and 25(3)(d) of the [1998 ICC] Statute). 
ICC, Harun case, Warrant of Arrest, 27 April 2007, Counts 8, 19, 38 and 50.

In the Kushayb case before the ICC in 2007, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I, dealing with the situation in Darfur, Sudan, issued an arrest warrant for Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-al-Rahman (“Ali Kushayb”), a member of the Popular Defence Force (PDF) and a senior leader of the Militia/Janjaweed. The decision was based, inter alia, on counts of destruction of property as war crimes. The Pre-Trial Chamber considered that there were reasonable grounds to believe that:
From on or about 15 August 2003 to on or about 31 August 2003, Ali Kushayb, as part of a group of persons acting with a common purpose, contributed to the destruction of property belonging to the primarily Fur population of the Kodoom villages and surrounding areas, including the burning of houses (articles 8(2)(e)(xii) and 25(3)(d) of the [1998 ICC] Statute);

On or about 15 August 2003, Ali Kushayb, as part of a group of persons acting with a common purpose, contributed to the destruction of property belonging to the primarily Fur population of Bindisi town and surrounding areas, including the burning of food storages, the mosque and dwellings in the area (articles 8(2)(e)(xii) and 25(3)(d) of the [1998 ICC] Statute);

Between August 2003 and March 2004, Ali Kushayb, as part of a group of persons acting with a common purpose, contributed to the destruction of property belonging to the primarily Fur population of Mukjar town and surrounding areas, including the burning of dwellings and the destruction of crops and farms (articles 8(2)(e)(xii) and 25(3)(d) of the [1998 ICC] Statute);

In or around December 2003, Ali Kushayb, as part of a group of persons acting with a common purpose, contributed to the destruction of property belonging to the primarily Fur population of Arawala town and surrounding areas, including the destruction of most of Arawala town (articles 8(2)(e)(xii) and 25(3)(d) of the [1998 ICC] Statute). 
ICC, Kushayb case, Warrant of Arrest, 27 April 2007, Counts 8, 19, 38 and 50.

In the Katanga and Chui case before the ICC, the accused, respectively the alleged commander of the Front for Patriotic Resistance of Ituri (FRPI) and the alleged former leader of the Nationalist and Integrationist Front (FNI) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, were charged with jointly committing through other persons various crimes against humanity and war crimes under Articles 7 and 8 of the 1998 ICC Statute. In its decision on the confirmation of charges in 2008, the Pre-Trial Chamber considered the war crime of destroying the enemy’s property, pursuant to Article 8(2)(b)(xii) of the 1998 ICC Statute, stating:
309. The war crime provided for in article 8(2)(b)(xiii) of the [1998 ICC] Statute is defined as “destroying […] the enemy’s property unless such destruction […] be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.” According to the [2000 ICC] Elements of Crimes, in addition to establishing a nexus between the crime and an international armed conflict and the perpetrator’s awareness of the factual circumstances establishing the existence of such a conflict, this crime requires the following five elements: (i) “the perpetrator destroyed […] certain property”; (ii) “such property was property of a hostile party”; (iii) “such property was protected from that destruction […] under the international law of armed conflict”; (iv) “the perpetrator was aware of the factual circumstances that established the status of the property”; and (v) the destruction […] was not justified by military necessity.
310. This crime requires, first and foremost, the destruction, by action or omission, of property belonging to an “enemy” or “hostile” party to the conflict. In the view of the Chamber, this means that the property in question – whether moveable or immoveable, private or public – must belong to individuals or entities aligned with or with allegiance to a party to the conflict adverse or hostile to the perpetrator.
311. Article 8(2)(b)(xiii) of the Statute applies not only when the attack is specifically directed at a military objective but also when it targets and destroys civilian property. Thus, the provision includes scenarios in which the aim of the attack is to target only civilians or civilian objects and scenarios in which the attack is simultaneously aimed at both military objectives and civilians or civilian objects.
312. The Chamber recalls that the destroyed property must have been “protected from that destruction under the international law of armed conflict.” Military objectives are not covered by this provision, thus excluding the destruction during an attack of “those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definitive military advantage”, in accordance with article 52(2) AP I [the 1977 Additional Protocol I].
313. Likewise, in the view of the Chamber, the provision does not apply to incidental destruction of civilian property during an attack specifically directed at a military objective, as long as the destruction does not violate the proportionality rule provided for in article 51 AP I and in article 8(2)(b)(iv) of the Statute. In this regard, civilian property constitutes those objects not falling within the definition of “military objective” as provided for in article 52(2) AP I.
314. In the view of the Chamber, the destruction of the civilian properties constitutes a crime under the protection of international law of armed conflict. Article 147 GC IV [1949 Geneva Convention IV] provides that “extensive destruction and appropriation of property” constitutes a grave breach. Pursuant to the jurisprudence of the ICTY, in order to constitute a grave breach, destruction unjustified by military necessity must be extensive, unlawful, and wanton. The notion of “extensive” is evaluated according to the facts of the case; however, even a single act, such as the destruction of a hospital, may suffice to characterise an offence under this count. Furthermore, article 53 GC IV states that, “any destruction […] of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited […].” Moreover, international law imposes strict limitations on the measures that a party to the armed conflict may take in relation to the private and public property of an opposing party.
315. Article 30 of the Statute governs the subjective element of the war crime of destruction of property under article 8(2)(b)(xiii), requiring the perpetrator’s intent to destroy the property and knowledge that his action or omission will cause the destruction of the protected property. Thus, this offence encompasses, first and foremost, cases of dolus directus of the first degree.
316. In addition to the standard mens rea requirement provided in article 30 of the Statute, article 8(2)(b)(xiii)(4) of the Elements of Crimes also requires the perpetrator’s awareness of “the factual circumstances that established the status of the property.” Thus, it is not required that the perpetrator make the necessary value judgement in order to conclude that the property is in fact protected under the international law of armed conflict.
317. Finally, article 8(2)(b)(xiii) of the Statute and the Elements of Crimes exculpate the perpetrator’s destruction of enemy property where such destruction or seizure was justified by military necessity.
318. However, the Chamber notes that as neither Defence team raised this ground as a justification for the conduct charged, there is presently no need to elaborate on its scope beyond noting that it covers, inter alia, a situation in which: (i) the property destroyed constituted a military objective before having fallen into the hands of the attacking party; and (ii) having fallen into the hands of the attacking party, its destruction was still necessary for military reasons. However, this ground for justification can only be invoked “if the laws of armed conflict provide for it and only to the extent that these laws provide for it”. 
ICC, Katanga and Chui case, Decision on the confirmation of charges, 30 September 2008, §§ 309–318.
[footnotes in original omitted]

In 2012, the ICC Trial Chamber II acquitted Mr Ngudjolo Chui of all the charges against him. 
ICC, Ngudjolo Chui case, Judgment, 18 December 2012, Disposition.

International Criminal Court
In its decision on the confirmation of charges in the Mbarushimana case in 2011, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I stated:
171. In the view of the Chamber, the war crime of destruction of property may be carried out through acts such as setting fire to, pulling down, or otherwise damaging the adversaries’ property. As found by the Chamber in the Katanga case, the property in question may be moveable or immoveable, private or public, but must belong to individuals or entities aligned with, or having an allegiance to, a party to the conflict, adverse or hostile to the perpetrator.
172. In this respect, the Chamber recalls its previous findings that civilian property is also afforded protection under international humanitarian law. The crime of destruction of civilian property includes not only attacks specifically directed at a military objective, but also attacks that target and destroy only civilian property and attacks simultaneously aimed at both military and civilian objects. However, as underlined in the Katanga case, this crime does not encompass the incidental destruction of civilian property during an attack specifically directed at a military objective. The perpetrator will be exonerated if his/her conduct is justified by military necessity, notably when (i) the property destroyed constituted a military objective before falling into the hands of the attacking party and (ii) having fallen into the hands of the attacking party, its destruction was still necessary for military reasons. 
ICC, Mbarushimana case, Decision on the Confirmation of Charges, 16 December 2011, §§ 171–172.
[footnotes in original omitted]

The charges against Mr Mbarushimana related to alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Pre-Trial Chamber did not confirm the charges. 
ICC, Mbarushimana case, Decision on the Confirmation of Charges, 16 December 2011, § 340.
In its judgment of 30 May 2012, the ICC Appeals Chamber confirmed that decision and dismissed the appeal. 
ICC, Mbarushimana case, Judgment on Appeal, 30 May 2012.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In the Nikolić case before the ICTY in 1994, the accused was charged with grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions for having participated, “during a period of armed conflict or occupation, in the extensive appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly, including but not limited to private property of persons detained at Sušica Camp”. 
ICTY, Nikolić case, Initial Indictment, 4 November 1994, § 21.1.

In the Karadžić and Mladić case before the ICTY in 1995, the accused were charged, based on their responsibility as commanders, with grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, for having “individually and in concert with others planned, instigated, ordered or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation or execution of the extensive, wanton and unlawful destruction of Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat property, not justified by military necessity”. The indictment added: “The purpose of this unlawful destruction was to ensure that the inhabitants could not and would not return to their homes and communities.” The accused were also charged with grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions because Bosnian Serb military and police personnel, as well as other agents of the Bosnian Serb administration, under their direction had allegedly “systematically and wantonly appropriated and looted the real and personal property of Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat civilians. The appropriation of property was extensive and not justified by military necessity.” Both counts constituted violations of Article 2(d) of the 1993 ICTY Statute. 
ICTY, Karadžić and Mladić case, First Indictment, 24 July 1995, §§ 27, 29 and 41; see also §§ 42–43.

14. In the cities and villages of Bosnia and Herzegovina which had come under their command, the Bosnian Serb military personnel and police, along with other agents of the Bosnian Serb administration, committed various sorts of arbitrary large-scale appropriation of real and moveable property belonging to Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat civilians. Prior to their forced transfer, many detainees in the internment camps were forced to sign official Bosnian Serb documents by which they “voluntarily” gave up their titles of ownership and their possessions to the Bosnian Serb administration …
Elsewhere, in order to rule out any possibility of return by the dispossessed, Bosnian forces systematically destroyed buildings. 
ICTY, Karadžić and Mladić case, Review of the Indictments, 11 July 1996, §§ 1, 6, 14, 87–89 and Disposition.

In the Rajić case before the ICTY in 1995, the accused was charged with grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions for the extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly, as recognized by Article 2(d) of the 1993 ICTY Statute, and of violations of the laws and customs of war for the wanton destruction of a village not justified by military necessity, as recognized by Article 3(b) of the 1993 ICTY Statute. 
ICTY, Rajić case, Initial Indictment, 23 August 1995, §§ 12 and 13.

An amended indictment was issued in 2004. 
ICTY, Rajić case, Amended Indictment, 14 January 2004.

In the Blaškić case before the ICTY in 1997, the accused was charged with violations of the laws and customs of war (devastation not justified by military necessity), for “wanton destruction not justified by military necessity in … cities, towns and villages”, in violation of Article 3(b) of the 1993 ICTY Statute. He was also charged with grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions (extensive destruction of property), for having, in violation of Article 2(d) of the 1993 ICTY Statute, “planned, instigated, ordered or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation or execution of the wanton and extensive destruction, devastation … of Bosnian Muslim dwellings, buildings, businesses, civilian personal property and livestock”. 
ICTY, Blaškić case, Second Amended Indictment, 25 April 1997, §§ 8 and 10.

157. An Occupying Power is prohibited from destroying movable and non-movable property except where such destruction is made absolutely necessary by military operations. To constitute a grave breach, the destruction unjustified by military necessity must be extensive, unlawful and wanton. The notion of “extensive” is evaluated according to the facts of the case – a single act, such as the destruction of a hospital, may suffice to characterise an offence under this count.

183. Similar to the grave breach constituting part of Article 2(d) of the [1993 ICTY] Statute, the devastation of property is prohibited except where it may be justified by military necessity. So as to be punishable, the devastation must have been perpetrated intentionally or have been the foreseeable consequence of the acts of the accused. 
ICTY, Blaškić case, Judgment, 3 March 2000, §§ 157 and 183.

In the Kordić and Čerkez case before the ICTY in 1998, the accused were charged with grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions (extensive destruction of property), in violation of Article 2(d) of the 1993 ICTY Statute, as well as violations of the laws or customs of war (wanton destruction not justified by military necessity), in violation of Article 3(b) of the 1993 ICTY Statute, for having “caused, planned, instigated, ordered or committed, or aided and abetted the planning, preparation or execution of, the unlawful, wanton and extensive destruction [and] devastation … of Bosnian Muslim dwellings, buildings, businesses, civilian personal property and livestock, which was not justified by military necessity”. 
ICTY, Kordić and Čerkez case, First Amended Indictment, 30 September 1998, §§ 55 and 56; see also §§ 34, 37 and 39 (count of persecution as a crime against humanity, inter alia, through wanton and extensive destruction of Bosnian Muslim civilian property, with no military justification); see also Kordić and Čerkez case, Initial Indictment, 10 November 1995, § 32 (count of persecution as a crime against humanity, inter alia, through systematic and wanton destruction of Bosnian Muslim homes, personal property, livestock and businesses of Bosnian Muslims) and § 38 (counts of extensive destruction of property and wanton devastation not justified by military necessity).

The crime of extensive destruction of property as a grave breach comprises the following elements, either:
(i) Where the property destroyed is of a type accorded general protection under the Geneva Conventions of 1949, regardless of whether or not it is situated in occupied territory; and the perpetrator acted with the intent to destroy the property in question or in reckless disregard of the likelihood of its destruction; or
(ii) Where the property destroyed is accorded protection under the Geneva Conventions, on account of its location in occupied territory; and the destruction occurs on a large scale; and
(iii) the destruction is not justified by military necessity; and the perpetrator acted with the intent to destroy the property in question or in reckless disregard of the likelihood of its destruction. 
ICTY, Kordić and Čerkez case, Judgment, 26 February 2001, § 341.

While property situated on enemy territory is not protected under the Geneva Conventions, and is therefore not included in the crime of extensive destruction of property listed as a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions, the destruction of such property is criminalised under Article 3 of the [1993 ICTY] Statute. 
ICTY, Kordić and Čerkez case, Judgment, 26 February 2001, § 347.

The Naletilić and Martinović case before the ICTY in 2001 dealt with crimes surrounding the military offensive launched in May 1993 by the Army of the Republic of Croatia (HV) and the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) against the Bosnian Muslim population of Mostar (south-western Bosnia and Herzegovina), and the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ABiH). Naletilić was charged, inter alia, with grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions (extensive destruction of property, punishable under Article 2(d) of the 1993 ICTY Statute) and violations of the laws or customs of war (wanton destruction not justified by military necessity, punishable under Article 3(b) of the 1993 ICTY Statute) for having ordered the destruction of:
a. all Bosnian Muslim houses in the area of Sovici and Doljani, as well as the Sovici mosque, following its capture on 17 April 1993, and
b. the Bosnian Muslim houses of the village of Rastani, municipality of Mostar, on 23 September 1993.
i) the general requirements of Article 2 of the Statute are fulfilled;
ii) property was destroyed extensively;
iii) the extensive destruction regards property carrying general protection under the Geneva Conventions of 1949, or;
the extensive destruction not absolutely necessary by military operations regards property situated in occupied territory;
iv) the perpetrator acted with the intent to destroy this property or in reckless disregard of the likelihood of its destruction. 
ICTY, Naletilić and Martinović case, Judgment, 31 March 2003, § 577.

(i) the destruction of property occurs on a large scale;
(ii) the destruction is not justified by military necessity; and
(iii) the perpetrator acted with the intent to destroy the property in question or in reckless disregard of the likelihood of its destruction. 
ICTY, Naletilić and Martinović case, Judgment, 31 March 2003, § 579.

In the Slobodan Milošević case before the ICTY in 2002, the accused, a former president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, was charged, inter alia, with three counts of extensive destruction and appropriation of property as grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions (punishable under Article 2(d) of the 1993 ICTY Statute) 
ICTY, Slobodan Milošević case, Second Amended Indictment (Croatia), 23 October 2002, §§ 71–72 and 77–83, Counts 17 and 28; Slobodan Milošević case, Amended Indictment (Bosnia and Herzegovina), 22 November 2002, § 42, Count 19.
and three counts of wanton destruction of villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity, as violations of the laws or customs of war (punishable under Article 3(b) of the 1993 ICTY Statute). 
ICTY, Slobodan Milošević case, Second Amended Indictment (Croatia), 23 October 2002, §§ 71–72 and 77–83, Counts 17 and 28; Slobodan Milošević case, Amended Indictment (Bosnia and Herzegovina), 22 November 2002, § 42, Count 19.

In the Miodrag Jokić case before the ICTY in 2003, the accused, a senior officer in the Yugoslav navy, was charged with six counts of violations of the laws or customs of war, among them devastation not justified by military necessity as a violation of the laws or customs of war, punishable under Article 3(b) of the 1993 ICTY Statute, for his role in the shelling of Dubrovnik on 6 December 1991. Allegedly, forces under his command and control “unlawfully shelled areas in the Old Town of Dubrovnik, destroying six buildings in the Old Town in their entirety … In addition many more buildings suffered damage.” The accused was charged as an aider and abettor under Article 7(1) of the 1993 ICTY Statute and, alternatively, under Article 7(3) of the Statute for command responsibility. 
ICTY, Miodrag Jokić case, Second Amended Indictment, 27 August 2003, §§ 17–23, Count 4.

In the Hadžihasanović case before the ICTY in 2003, the accused, Hadžihasanović and Kubura, senior officers in the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ABiH), were charged, inter alia, with violations of the laws or customs of war (wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, not justified by military necessity), punishable under Article 3(b) of the 1993 ICTY Statute, for their alleged omissions as commanders. It was alleged that ABiH forces under their command and effective control:
[i]n the course of their combat activities with the HVO [Croatian Defence Council] and the HV [Army of the Republic of Croatia] in central Bosnia in 1993 … either plundered or plundered and unlawfully destroyed Bosnian Croat and Bosnian Serb dwellings, buildings and civilian personal property … not justified by military necessity. 
ICTY, Hadžihasanović case, Third Amended Indictment, 26 September 2003, §§ 44–45, Count 5.

The Chamber first notes that the Tribunal can only consider an offence that comes under customary international law at the time of its commission. With regard to international armed conflicts, the Chamber notes that the Tribunal’s case-law has established the customary character of the crime of wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages not justified by military necessity set out in Article 3(b) of the [1993 ICTY] Statute in the event of a case during the period from 1992 to 1994. The competence of the Chamber to consider a crime committed during an international armed conflict has therefore been established. 
ICTY, Hadžihasanović case, Decision on Motions for Acquittal Pursuant to Rule 98 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, 27 September 2004, § 95.

98. Referring now to the law applicable in non-international armed conflicts, the Chamber first observes that Article 4 of Additional Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 on the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts prohibits pillage and that Article 16 prohibits the damaging of places dedicated to religion or other specific purposes. There are however no provisions explicitly and generally prohibiting wanton destruction or unlawful attack on civilian property. In addition, the Commentary of the International Committee of the Red Cross states that Protocol II, unlike Protocol I, “does not protect civilian objects in general”. It would nevertheless be premature to conclude that Additional Protocol II is irrelevant for the protection of civilian property against wanton destruction and unlawful attack except for the cases envisaged in Articles 14 to 16.
Article 13, paragraph 1, of Protocol II states that the civilian population and individual civilians enjoy general protection against the dangers arising from military operations. The history of the diplomatic negotiations leading to the adoption of Protocol II demonstrates that, at the beginning of the negotiations, inserting a specific provision on the general protection of civilian property had been envisaged. That article was removed in order to simplify the proposed texts. However, the Commentary of the International Committee of the Red Cross on Article 13, states that securing general protection of the civilian population in conformity with this Article is “based on the general principles relating to the protection of the civilian population which apply irrespective of whether the conflict is an international or an internal one”. The principle of duplicity and the principle of proportionality are among these principles. These principles imply that attacks against dwellings, schools and other buildings occupied by civilians are prohibited unless the buildings have become legitimate military objectives. The protection of civilian property may therefore be the necessary corollary to the protection of the civilian population in certain cases. The Chamber also notes that the Preamble to Protocol II refers to the Martens Clause, recalling that “in cases not covered by the law in force, the human person remains under the protection of the principles of humanity and the dictates of the public conscience.”
99. In resolution 2444 (XXIII) of 19 December 1968 on the respect for human rights in armed conflicts and resolution 2675 (XXV) of 9 December 1970 on the basic principles for the protection of civilian populations in armed conflicts, the United Nations General Assembly affirmed the applicability of the principle of duplicity in all armed conflicts, whether international or non-international. Paragraph 2 of resolution 2675 (XXV) recognises that “[I]n the conduct of military operations during armed conflicts, a distinction must be made at all times between persons actively taking part in the hostilities and the civilian populations.” More specifically, paragraph 5 of the said resolution states that “[D]wellings or other installations that are used only by civilian populations should not be the object of military operations.”
100. In 1988, the former Yugoslavia adopted rules on the application of international laws of war by the armed forces of the SFRY. Article 7 of these rules explicitly state that the war operations must be directed exclusively against enemy armed forces and other military installations. Articles 4 and 6 of the said rules also state that this principle is applicable in both international and non-international armed conflicts. In the same spirit, Article 142 of the 1990 Penal Code of former Yugoslavia, in terms of its applicability, enumerates war crimes against the civilian population but makes no distinction between international and non-international armed conflicts. These crimes include the seizure and plunder of private property and the widespread destruction of property not justified by military necessity.
101. In the early 1990s the United Nations Security Council abstained from characterising armed conflicts as international or non-international on several occasions when it requested that the parties to the conflict in the former Yugoslavia respect international humanitarian law. For example, in resolution 771 (1992), the Security Council condemned the frequent and multiple violations of international humanitarian law within the territory of the former Yugoslavia among which were the wanton devastation and destruction of property.
102. The International Committee of the Red Cross took a position on the applicability of international humanitarian law in a non-international armed conflict by asking the parties to the armed conflict in Angola to respect this body of law in 1994. The International Committee of the Red Cross noted that international humanitarian law forbids the parties to attack civilian property and to carry out attacks which might cause excessive damage to that property.
103. The texts of the United Nations General Assembly resolutions and of the other documents referred to in paragraphs 99 to 101 seem to show that the principles proclaimed by the General Assembly were already constituted rules of customary law at that time. In fact, these principles are often considered as declaratory of customary law or as evidence of customary rules.
104. The Chamber finally notes that, in its advisory opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons of 8 July 1996, the International Court of Justice confirms the existence of cardinal principles in the texts constituting the fabric of humanitarian law, the first of which in respect of the distinction between combatants and non-combatants, seeks to protect the civilian population and civilian property. The opinion demonstrates that these principles are applicable to both international and non- international armed conflicts. The opinion of the International Court of Justice confirms the conclusion that the prohibition of wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages not justified by military necessity comes under international customary law. The Chamber therefore concludes that the wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages during a non- international armed conflict was prohibited by international customary law throughout the period relevant to the Indictment.
105. The question that finally arises is whether the prohibition of wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages could entail the individual criminal responsibility of a person in the period relevant to the Indictment in the context of a non-international armed conflict. In view of the general observations of the Appeals Chamber on the subject, this Chamber concludes that the response must be affirmative.
106. On the basis of what has been set out above, the Chamber concludes that it is competent to consider the offence of wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages not justified by military necessity pursuant to Article 3(b) of the [1993 ICTY] Statute in the event of international or non-international armed conflicts. 
ICTY, Hadžihasanović case, Decision on Motions for Acquittal Pursuant to Rule 98 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, 27 September 2004, §§ 98–106.

satisfied that the conventional prohibition on attacks on civilian objects in non-international armed conflicts has attained the status of customary international law and that this covers “wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages not justified by military necessity” in international and non- international armed conflict. The Appeals Chamber is further satisfied that violations of this provision entail, in customary international law, the individual criminal responsibility of the person breaching the rule.  
ICTY, Hadžihasanović case, Decision on Joint Defence Interlocutory Appeal of Trial Chamber Decision on Rule 98 bis Motions for Acquittal, 11 March 2005, § 30.

39. The Chamber is of the view that the crime of wanton destruction of towns and villages not justified by military necessity under Article 3(b) of the [1993 ICTY] Statute is constituted when: (i) the destruction of property occurs on a large scale; (ii) the destruction is not justified by military necessity, and (iii) the perpetrator acted with the intent to destroy the property in question or in reckless disregard of the likelihood of its destruction.
40. The Chamber considers that the mens rea element of the destruction is established when the perpetrator of the crime acted “consciously and with intent, i.e., with his mind on the act and its consequences, and willing them” or acted in reckless disregard of the likelihood of the destruction.
41. The Chamber notes that the offence stipulated in Article 3(b) of the Statute is similar to that stipulated by Article 2(d) of the Statute, namely wanton destruction of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully or wantonly on a large scale. That similarity was underscored in the Naletilić Trial Judgement where the Chamber considered that the offence of destruction of property within the meaning of Article 2(d) of the Statute is constituted when: (a) the general requirements of Article 2 of the Statute are fulfilled; (b) the property destroyed carries general protection under the Geneva Conventions; (c) the destruction is carried out on a large scale; (d) the destruction is not justified by military necessity, and (e) the perpetrator acted with the intent to destroy the property or the property was destroyed on account of his recklessness.
Consequently, if the general test for applying Articles 2 and 3 of the Statute with regard to the nature of the armed conflict is applied to crimes stipulated by Articles 2(d) and 3(b) of the Statute, respectively, the elements of the crimes of destruction under Articles 2(d) and 3(b) of the Statute are identical. It follows that, in the case where the armed conflict is internal in nature and bears a close relationship to the alleged offence, the crime of destruction may be punishable under Article 3(b) of the Statute.
42. Given the similarity between the offences stipulated in Articles 2(d) and 3(b) of the Statute, the Chamber considers that wanton destruction of towns and villages not justified by military necessity applies, in the same manner as the offence stipulated in Article 2(d) of the Statute, to movable and non-movable property.
43. It should be recalled that in order to establish that devastation is on a large scale, the Chamber in Strugar required a showing that many objects were damaged or destroyed but did not require that a town or village be destroyed in its entirety. According to the Judgement in Blaškić, the concept of “extensive” must be evaluated in relation to the facts of the case. One single act, such as the destruction of a hospital, may in fact suffice to characterise an offence as being large scale. The Chamber finds that destruction is large scale either when a large quantity of property has been destroyed or when the value of a single destroyed object is sufficiently great.
44. The question arises as to whether acts of partial destruction can constitute an offence punishable under Article 3(b) of the Statute. The Chamber takes note of national practice here and observes that many military manuals and national criminal codes prohibit the partial or total destruction of property when it is not justified by military necessity. The Chamber considers that, absent any indication to the contrary in the Statute and Tribunal case law, the partial destruction of property falls within the ambit of Article 3(b) of the Statute. Moreover, the Chamber is of the view that although the criteria for determining whether an offence is large scale must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, they will usually be met when the acts of partial destruction are committed on a large scale.
45. The protection offered by Article 3(b) of the Statute is, however, limited by the exception of military necessity. The Chamber finds that collateral damage to civilian property may be justified by military necessity and may be an exception to the principles of protection of civilian property. Relying primarily on the principles set out in Articles 57 and 58 of Additional Protocol I, the Chamber in Kupreškić held that the protection of civilians and civilian property provided by modern international law may cease entirely, or be reduced or suspended, when the target of a military attack is comprised of military objectives and belligerents cannot avoid causing collateral damage to civilians. These principles form part of customary international law.
46. The Chamber considers that wanton destruction need not be committed within the context of military action to constitute an offence punishable by Article 3 of the Statute. It is sufficient for the crimes stipulated by Article 3(b) of the Statute to be closely related to the hostilities.
47. The Chamber recalls that the crime of wanton destruction of towns and villages must satisfy the conditions for applying Article 3 of the Statute, particularly the condition regarding the gravity of the offence. That last condition is met when the crime of wanton destruction of towns and villages constitutes a breach of the rules protecting important values and involves grave consequences for the victim. The Chamber notes that one of the elements of the offence of destruction has to do with its severity, and considers that acts of destruction committed on a large scale undoubtedly have grave consequences for their victims. It follows that commission on a large scale is both an element of the crime of destruction and a condition for the applicability of Article 3 of the Statute.
48. The Chamber finds that the offence of wanton destruction of towns and villages is constituted when acts of destruction not justified by military necessity are committed deliberately and on a large scale. The criterion of large scale must be evaluated according to the facts of the case. 
ICTY, Hadžihasanović case, Judgment, 15 March 2006, §§ 39–48.

In the Babić case before the ICTY in 2003, the accused was charged with a crime against humanity (persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds, punishable under Articles 5(h) and 7(1) of the 1993 ICTY Statute) as well as with violations of the laws or customs of war, punishable under Articles 3 and 7(1) of the 1993 ICTY Statute. The Article 3 charges included wanton destruction of villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity for “[t]he deliberate destruction of homes, other public and private property, cultural institutions, historic monuments and sacred sites of the Croat and other non-Serb population” in the Krajina region of Croatia from August 1991 to at least February 1992. 
ICTY, Babić case, Initial Indictment, 17 November 2003, § 15(d) and 16, Count 4.

In the Strugar case before the ICTY in 2003, the accused, a commander in the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA), was charged, inter alia, with devastation not justified by military necessity, punishable under Article 3(b) of the 1993 ICTY Statute, for his role in conducting a military campaign against the Dubrovnik region of Croatia. 
ICTY, Strugar case, Third Amended Indictment, 10 December 2003, §§ 19–25, Count 4.

As regards Count 4 [a charge of devastation not justified by military necessity], punishable under Article 3(b) of the [1993 ICTY] Statute, the Chamber observes that the definition of devastation not justified by military necessity has been considered by the Trial Chamber in Kordic, where it was held that the elements of this crime are satisfied if: “(i) the destruction of property occurs on a large scale; (ii) the destruction is not justified by military necessity; and (iii) the perpetrator acted with the intent to destroy the property in question or in reckless disregard of the likelihood of its destruction.” 
ICTY, Strugar case, Rule 98 bis Decision, 21 June 2004, § 61.

290. Count 4 of the Indictment charges the Accused with devastation not justified by military necessity, punishable as a violation of the laws or customs of war under Article 3(b) of the [1993 ICTY] Statute.
291. Article 3(b) codifies two crimes: “wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity”. Only the latter is charged in the present case. From a linguistic point of view, the meaning of the two terms, “devastation” and “destruction,” is largely identical. Moreover, the two offences have been treated together by a number of instruments of international humanitarian law. At least in the context of this case, which is concerned with the destruction of buildings in the Old Town of Dubrovnik, the Chamber considers it appropriate to equate the two crimes, while recognising that in other contexts, e.g. laying waste to crops or forests, the crime of devastation may have a wider application.
292. While the crime of “devastation not justified by military necessity” has scarcely been dealt with in the Tribunal’s jurisprudence, the elements of the crime of “wanton destruction not justified by military necessity” were identified by the Trial Chamber in the Kordic case, and recently endorsed by the Appeals Chamber in that same case, as follows:
(i) the destruction of property occurs on a large scale;
(ii) the destruction is not justified by military necessity; and
(iii) the perpetrator acted with the intent to destroy the property in question or in reckless disregard of the likelihood of its destruction.
293. At least in the context of the present trial this definition appears equally applicable to devastation. The Chamber will adopt this definition, with appropriate adaptions to reflect “devastation,” for the crime of “devastation not justified by military necessity.” Both the Prosecution and the Defence submit that this should be done.
294. Turning to the first element, that is, that the devastation occurred on a “large scale”, the Chamber is of the view that while this element requires a showing that a considerable number of objects were damaged or destroyed, it does not require destruction in its entirety of a city, town or village. The Chamber will not pronounce on the question whether there is any identity between the term “large scale” in this context and the term “extensive” in the context of the crime of “extensive destruction of property” pursuant to Article 2(d) of the Statute. The facts of this case do not require it.
295. The second requirement is that the act is “not justified by military necessity”. The Chamber is of the view that military necessity may be usefully defined for present purposes with reference to the widely acknowledged definition of military objectives in Article 52 of Additional Protocol I as “those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage”. Whether a military advantage can be achieved must be decided, as the Trial Chamber in the Galic case held, from the perspective of the “person contemplating the attack, including the information available to the latter, that the object is being used to make an effective contribution to military action.” In other words, each case must be determined on its facts. Recalling its earlier finding that there were no military objectives in the Old Town on 6 December 1991, the Chamber is of the view that the question of proportionality in determining military necessity does not arise on the facts of this case.
296. According to the consistent case-law of the Tribunal the mens rea requirement for a crime under Article 3(b) is met when the perpetrator acted with either direct or indirect intent, the latter requiring knowledge that devastation was a probable consequence of his acts.
297. In sum, the elements of the crime of “devastation not justified by military necessity”, at least in the present context, may be stated as: (a) destruction or damage of property on a large scale; (b) the destruction or damage was not justified by military necessity; and (c) the perpetrator acted with the intent to destroy or damage the property or in the knowledge that such destruction or damage was a probable consequence of his acts. 
ICTY, Strugar case, Judgment, 31 January 2005, §§ 290–297.

In the Brđanin case before the ICTY in 2003, the accused, Radoslav Brđanin, who was a leading political figure in the Autonomous Region of Krajina (ARK), Bosnia and Herzegovina, and later a senior figure within the Government of the Republika Srpska, was charged, inter alia, with grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions (unlawful and wanton extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity, punishable under Article 2(d) of the 1993 ICTY Statute) and violations of the laws or customs of war (wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity, punishable under Article 3(b) of the 1993 ICTY Statute) for having between about 1 April 1992 and 31 December 1992:
62. … acting individually or in concert with others in the Bosnian Serb leadership, planned, instigated, ordered, committed, or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation, or execution of:
(1) the destruction or wilful damage to Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat property within ARK municipalities [as listed]…
(2) the unlawful wanton destruction or devastation of Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat villages and areas within ARK municipalities [as listed] …; and
(3) the destruction or wilful damage to Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat religious institutions, within ARK municipalities [as listed] …
63. During and after the attacks on these municipalities, Bosnian Serb forces systematically destroyed or damaged Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat cities, towns, villages and property, including homes, businesses and Muslim and Roman catholic sacred sites. Buildings were shelled, torched or dynamited …
64. … [the accused] knew or had reason to know that Bosnian Serb forces under his control were about to commit such acts or had done so, and he failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent such acts or to punish the perpetrators thereof. 
ICTY, Brđanin case, Sixth Amended Indictment, 9 December 2003, §§ 62–64, Counts 10 and 11.

586. Two types of property are protected under Article 2 (d) [of the 1993 ICTY Statute]:
1. real or personal property in occupied territory, belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organisations (except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations);
2. property that carries general protection under the Geneva Conventions of 1949 regardless of its location.
587. The destruction and appropriation must be extensive. However, a single incident, such as the destruction of a civilian hospital, may exceptionally suffice to constitute the crime.
588. The prohibition of destruction of property situated in occupied territory is subject to an important reservation. It does not apply in cases “where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations”.
589. With regards to the mens rea requirement for destruction of property the perpetrator must have acted with the intent to destroy the protected property or in reckless disregard of the likelihood of its destruction. 
ICTY, Brđanin case, Judgment, 1 September 2004, §§ 586–589.

592. Article 3 (b) of the [1993 ICTY] Statute is wide in scope, protecting all property in the territory involved in a war, including that located in enemy territory. The protection afforded under Article 3 (b) of the Statute is however, limited by the military necessity exception. The destruction or devastation of property in the territory involved in a war is prohibited except where it is justified by military necessity.
593. With respect to the mens rea requisite of destruction or devastation of property under Article 3 (b), the jurisprudence of this Tribunal is consistent. The destruction or devastation must have been either perpetrated intentionally, with the knowledge and will of the proscribed result, or in reckless disregard of the likelihood of the destruction or devastation. 
ICTY, Brđanin case, Judgment, 1 September 2004, §§ 592–593.

The Appeals Chamber concludes that the Trial Chamber did not err in finding [the accused] responsible beyond reasonable doubt for aiding and abetting the crimes of (1) wanton destruction of cities, towns, and villages or devastation not justified by military necessity; and (2) destruction or wilful damage done to religious institutions. However, the Appeals Chamber has set aside, proprio motu, his conviction for aiding and abetting the crime of wanton destruction of cities, towns and villages or devastation not justified by military necessity perpetrated in the municipality of Bosanska Krupa. 
ICTY, Brđanin case, Judgment on Appeal, 3 April 2007, § 351.

In the Ademi and Norac case before the ICTY in 2004, the accused were charged, inter alia, with the wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages as a violation of the laws or customs of war under Article 3 of the 1993 ICTY Statute. The consolidated indictment of 27 May 2004 stated:
34. From 9 September to on or about 17 September 1993, most Serb villages of the Medak Pocket were destroyed. Rahim Ademi and Mirko Norac, acting individually and/or in concert with others including Janko Bobetko, planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation or execution of the destruction of property of Serb civilians of the Medak Pocket . …
35. Alternatively, Rahim Ademi and Mirko Norac knew, or had reason to know, that Croatian forces under their command, direction and/or control, or subordinated to them, were committing the acts described in paragraph 34 above, or had done so. Rahim Ademi and Mirko Norac failed to take necessary and reasonable measures to prevent the commission of such acts or punish the perpetrators thereof. 
ICTY, Ademi and Norac case, Consolidated Indictment, 27 May 2004, §§ 34–35, Count 5.

In the Hadžić case before the ICTY in 2004, the accused was charged, inter alia, with violations of the laws or customs of war under Article 3(b) of the 1993 ICTY Statute (wanton destruction of villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity) for having
planned, instigated, ordered, committed, or otherwise aided and abetted the planning, preparation, or execution of the wanton destruction and plunder of the public and private property of the Croat and other non-Serb population, within the territory of the SAO SBWS [Serbian Autonomous District/Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem], although these actions were not justified by military necessity. This intentional and wanton destruction and plunder included the plunder and destruction of homes and religious and cultural buildings. 
ICTY, Hadžić case, Initial Indictment, 4 June 2004, § 40, Count 12.

In the Župljanin case before the ICTY in 2004, the accused, Stojan Župljanin – who, at the time of the alleged offences, was commander of the Regional Security Services Centre (CSB), Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and the most senior police officer in the Bosnian Serb-controlled Autonomous Region of Krajina (ARK), Bosnia and Herzegovina – was charged, inter alia, with wanton destruction or devastation of towns or villages not justified by military necessity, a violation of the laws or customs of war under Article 3(b) of the 1993 ICTY Statute, for having, between about 1 April 1992 and 31 December 1992, participated in a joint criminal enterprise (JCE):
44. … [The accused] acting individually or in concert with other participants in the JCE planned, instigated, ordered, committed, or aided and abetted in the planning, preparation, or execution of
(1) the unlawful wanton destruction or devastation of Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat villages in the municipalities identified

45. During and after the attacks on these municipalities, Bosnian Serb forces systematically destroyed or damaged Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat cities, towns, villages and property, including homes, businesses and Muslim and Roman Catholic sacred sites as listed. 
ICTY, Župljanin case, Second Amended Indictment, 6 October 2004, §§ 44–45, Count 11.

In the Orić case before the ICTY in 2005, the accused, appointed as commander of the Srebrenica Territorial Defence (TO) Headquarters in 1992, was charged, inter alia, with wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, not justified by military necessity, a violation of the laws or customs of war under Article 3(b) of the 1993 ICTY Statute, for his alleged role in events occurring in the Srebrenica enclave in 1992–1993. 
ICTY, Orić case, Third Amended Indictment, 30 June 2005, §§ 1–7, 19 and 27–37, Counts 3 and 5.

28. Between 10 June 1992 and 8 January 1993, units under the command and control of [the accused], engaged in various combat activities against VRS [Army of Republika Srpska] forces in Eastern Bosnia.
29. In the course of such combat activities, Bosnian Serb buildings, dwellings, and other property in predominantly Serb villages, were burnt and destroyed …

36. [The accused] from about June 1992 to August 1995, knew or had reason to know that his subordinates were about to commit such wanton destruction or had done so, in the specified villages and hamlets on or about the dates indicated above, and failed to take necessary and reasonable measures to prevent such acts or punish the perpetrators thereof. 
ICTY, Orić case, Third Amended Indictment, 30 June 2005, §§ 28–29 and 36, Count 3.

[The accused] implemented a strategy of wanton destruction to achieve his objectives. Accordingly, he did not make any or sufficient orders to prevent such wanton destruction. [He] failed to address the issue of wanton destruction at the debriefings of operations. He personally took part in the attacks in Fakovici … Bjelovac … and Kravica and Jezestica … [He] continuously failed to make any or sufficient orders to prevent wanton destruction. These acts and omissions, instigated the commission of the crimes and aided and abetted the perpetrators to commit such unlawful and wanton destruction not justified by military necessity. 
ICTY, Orić case, Third Amended Indictment, 30 June 2005, § 37, Count 5.

262. The charge of wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages not justified by military necessity is specifically enumerated in Article 3(b) of the [1993 ICTY] Statute, which in turn is based on Article 23 of the 1907 Hague Regulations. This provision was restated in Article 6(b) of the Nuremberg Charter and forms part of customary international law. The jurisprudence of the Tribunal also acknowledges that this crime constitutes a serious violation of international humanitarian law and entails individual criminal responsibility.

1. Legal Basis
580. Article 3 of the Statute is entitled “Violations of the laws or customs of war”. In subparagraph (b), this Article specifically prohibits wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.
This provision is based on the 1907 Hague Regulations, which prohibit the destruction (and seizure) of enemy property, unless “imperatively demanded by the necessities of war”. It was restated in Article 6(b) of the Nuremberg Charter and in Principle 6 of the Nuremberg Principles. There is no doubt that the crime described in Article 3(b) of the Statute, which narrows the scope of previous codifications, and thus, sets an even higher threshold, by requiring the destruction of cities, towns or villages, formed part of customary international law at the time it was allegedly committed.
2. Elements of the Crime
581. The following elements of the crime of “wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, not justified by military necessity” are adopted:
(i) The destruction of property occurred on a large scale;
(ii) The destruction was not justified by military necessity; and
(iii) The perpetrator acted with the intent to destroy the property in question.
582. The protection afforded under Article 3(b) of the Statute includes all property in the territory involved in the conflict, including that located in enemy territory and in territory not under effective occupation. Earlier in this Judgement, it was established that the provisions of Article 3(b) of the Statute apply to international and internal conflicts alike.
3. Destruction on a Large Scale
583. In order to constitute a violation of the laws or customs of war, the destruction must be both “serious” in relation to an individual object and cover a substantial range of a particular city, town or village. The requirement that the destruction be serious is therefore not met if, for instance, only the windows of a house were shattered. The sporadic or isolated destruction of a few houses of a settlement is equally insufficient to fulfil the qualifications of the crime in question.
584. Regarding the extent of the destruction, the Prosecution contends that the crime of wanton destruction is perpetrated with even the partial destruction of cities, towns or villages. It maintains that there is no requirement in international humanitarian law that any one of these settlements must be destroyed in its entirety. The Defence opposes this interpretation of Article 3(b) of the Statute, emphasising that the provision makes no reference to partial destruction. It submits that a provision should be read literally unless doing so would lead to absurdity or repugnance.
585. The Trial Chamber agrees with the Prosecution’s submission in so far as it would amount to an overtly narrow reading of the prohibition of wanton destruction to require proof of total destruction of a city, town or village. It will therefore consider, on a case by case basis, whether the extent of any proven destruction of a particular city, town or village can be regarded as substantial enough.
4. Destruction not Justified by Military Necessity
586. The Prosecution submits that the destruction of property was not justified by military necessity, and that none of the destroyed objects were legitimate targets. Rather, it occurred as the result of deliberate attack directed at civilian objects. The Defence disagrees and states that the attacks referred to in the Indictment constituted legitimate actions against military or otherwise strategic targets, with some of the destruction that may have been caused constituting “collateral damage”. It is for the Prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the destruction occurred without military necessity for it.
587. Article 52 of Additional Protocol I defines what constitutes a military objective:
Attacks shall be strictly limited to military objectives. In so far as objects are concerned, military objectives are limited to those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralisation, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage.
The Trial Chamber agrees with the Galić Trial Chamber that an object shall not be attacked when it would be unreasonable to believe, in the circumstances of the person contemplating the attack, including the information available to that person, that the object is being used to make an effective contribution to military action.
588. The Trial Chamber finds that “collateral damage” may occur in the course of combat, when, as a result of the destruction of objects which make an effective contribution to military action, other objects, such as adjacent buildings, are destroyed that do not fulfil this criterion. However, after the fighting has ceased, destruction can in principle no longer be justified by claiming “military necessity”. A different situation arises if a military attack is launched against a settlement from which previously, due to its location and its armed inhabitants, a serious danger emanated for the inhabitants of a neighbouring village who are now seeking to remove this danger through military action. It may be the case that, after such a settlement has been taken, destruction of houses occurs in order to prevent the inhabitants, including combatants, to return and resume the attacks. A submission that such destruction is covered by “military necessity” will be entertained on a case-by-case basis. Except for the rare occasions in which such preventive destruction could arguably fall within the scope of “military necessity”, the principle must be upheld that the destruction of civil settlements, as a rule, is punishable as a war crime.
5. Mens Rea
589. The Trial Chamber finds that the mental state required for an accused to be convicted of the crime under Article 3(b) of the Statute is intent to destroy the property in question, including a situation in which the perpetrator foresaw as more likely than not that the destruction could occur as a consequence of his conduct, and that he nevertheless accepted the risk by performing the act. 
ICTY, Orić case, Judgment, 30 June 2006, §§ 262 and 580–589.
[emphasis in original]
In the Boškoski and Tarčulovski case before the ICTY in 2005, the accused, Ljube Boškoski and Johan Tarčulovski, were charged, inter alia, with violations of the laws or customs of war (wanton destruction, punishable under Article 3(b) of the 1993 ICTY Statute), for their role in directing an unlawful attack on civilians and civilian objects in the village of Ljuboten. 
ICTY, Boškoski and Tarčulovski case, Amended Indictment, 2 November 2005, § 4.

[T]he police unit commanded by Johan Tarčulovski … intentionally set alight at least 14 houses. These incidents occurred during the general attack on the civilian population of Ljuboten. In addition to setting fire to houses, the police also damaged houses by use of hand grenades and small arms. As a result of these acts, 14 houses were seriously damaged or destroyed. 
ICTY, Boškoski and Tarčulovski case, Amended Indictment, 2 November 2005, § 24.

In the Čermak and Markač case before the ICTY in 2005, the accused were charged with crimes against humanity (persecution, deportation, inhumane acts and murder) and violations of the laws or customs of war (plunder, wanton destruction, murder and cruel treatment), for their alleged role in a campaign to permanently remove the Serb population from the Krajina region of Croatia. 
ICTY, Čermak and Markač case, Amended Indictment, 14 December 2005, § 9.

From at least July 1995 to about 15 November 1995, Ivan Cermak and Mladen Markac, acting individually and/or in concert with other members of the joint criminal enterprise, and various subordinates over whom the accused possessed effective control, planned, instigated, ordered, committed, and/or aided and abetted the planning, preparation and/or execution of the systematic destruction (including burning) of and substantial damage to villages, homes, outbuildings and/or barns belonging to the Krajina Serbs, the killing of their livestock and the spoiling of their wells. 
ICTY, Čermak and Markač case, Amended Indictment, 14 December 2005, § 46, Count 5.

In the Gotovina case before the ICTY in 2007, the accused were charged, inter alia, with violations of the laws or customs of war (wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity, punishable under Article 3(b) of the 1993 ICTY Statute) for having
planned, instigated, ordered, committed, and/or aided and abetted the planning, preparation and/or execution of the large scale destruction (including burning) of and substantial damage to villages, homes, outbuildings and/or barns owned or inhabited by the Krajina Serbs, the killing of their livestock and the spoiling of their wells. 
ICTY, Gotovina case, Joinder Indictment, 6 March 2007, § 52, Count 5.

In the Martić case before the ICTY in 2007, the accused was charged, inter alia, with the wanton destruction of villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity, as a violation of the laws or customs of war pursuant to Article 3(b) of the 1993 ICTY Statute. 
ICTY, Martić case, Amended Indictment, 14 July 2003, § 48, Count 12.

90. The following elements must be proven in relation to these violations:
1. the destruction of property has occurred on a large scale;
2. the destruction was not justified by military necessity; and
3. the perpetrator acted with the intent to destroy the property in question or in reckless disregard of the likelihood of its destruction.
91. The Trial Chamber considers that there is no material difference between the elements of the crimes of wanton destruction and devastation in the context of this case.
92. The element of destruction of property “on a large scale” requires that a considerable number of objects were destroyed. However, it is not required that a city, town or village has been destroyed in its entirety. The Trial Chamber will assess on a case-by-case basis whether the extent of any proven destruction of a particular village was of sufficient scale to meet this element.
93. The destruction or devastation of property is prohibited, except where justified by military necessity. The Trial Chamber considers that military necessity may justify the infliction of collateral damage to civilian objects and as such constitutes an exception to the principles of the protection of civilian objects. The protection of civilian objects may cease entirely or be reduced or suspended when belligerents cannot avoid causing collateral damage to civilian property even though the object of a military attack is comprised of military objectives. In order to establish that the destruction was not justified by military necessity, the Prosecution has to prove not only that the destruction occurred, but also when and how the destruction occurred. An assertion of military necessity or the absence thereof will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. In principle, destruction carried out before fighting begins or after fighting has ceased cannot be justified by claiming military necessity.
94. The mens rea of wanton destruction and devastation under Article 3(b) of the Statute is that the perpetrator acted with direct or indirect intent. 
ICTY, Martić case, Judgment, 12 June 2007, §§ 90–94.

In the Vojislav Šešelj case before the ICTY in 2007, the accused, a prominent political figure in the former Yugoslavia, was charged, inter alia, with “the wanton destruction of villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity as a violation of the laws or customs of war”, punishable under Article 3(b) of the 1993 ICTY Statute, for his role in the destruction of property of non-Serb populations in areas of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. 
ICTY, Vojislav Šešelj case, Second Amended Indictment, 25 June 2007, § 34, Count 13.

Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission
In its Civilians Claims (Eritrea’s Claim) partial award in 2004, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, in considering the rights of the belligerent State over the property of enemy nationals, stated:
124. … [T]he jus in bello gives belligerents substantial latitude to place freezes or other discriminatory controls on the property of nationals of the enemy State or otherwise to act in ways contrary to international law in time of peace. For example, under the jus in bello, the deliberate destruction of aliens’ property in combat operations may be perfectly legal, while similar conduct in peacetime would result in State responsibility.
125. The status of the property of nationals of an enemy belligerent under the jus in bello has evolved. Until the nineteenth century, no distinction was drawn between the private and public property of the enemy, and both were subject to expropriation by a belligerent. However, attitudes changed; as early as 1794, the Jay Treaty bound the United States and the United Kingdom not to confiscate the other’s nationals’ property even in wartime. This attitude came to prevail; the 1907 Hague Regulations reflect a determination to have war affect private citizens and their property as little as possible.
126. The modern jus in bello thus contains important protections of aliens’ property, beginning with the fundamental rules of discrimination and proportionality in combat operations, which protect both lives and property. Article 23, paragraph (g), of the Hague Regulations similarly forbids destruction or seizure of the enemy’s property unless “imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.” Article 33 of [the 1949] Geneva Convention IV prohibits pillage and reprisals against protected persons’ property, both in occupied territory and in the Parties’ territory. Article 38 of Geneva Convention IV is also relevant. It establishes that, except for measures of internment and assigned residence or other exceptional measures authorized by Article 27, “the situation of protected persons shall continue to be regulated, in principle, by the provisions governing aliens in time of peace.”
127. However, these safeguards operate in the context of another broad and sometimes competing body of belligerent rights to freeze or otherwise control or restrict the resources of enemy nationals so as to deny them to the enemy State. Throughout the twentieth century, important States including France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States have frozen “enemy” property, including property of civilians, sometimes vesting it for the vesting State’s benefit. … Such control measures have been judged necessary to deny the enemy access to economic resources otherwise potentially available to support its conduct of the war.
128. States have not consistently frozen and vested enemy private property. In practice, States vesting the assets of enemy nationals have done so under controlled conditions, and for reasons directly tied to higher State interests; commentators emphasize these limitations. The post-war disposition of controlled property has often been the subject of agreements between the former belligerents. These authorize the use of controlled or vested assets for post-war reparations or claims settlements, thereby maintaining at least the appearance of consent for the taking. This occurred both in the Versailles Treaty after World War I and in peace treaties after World War II.

135. Prohibiting real property ownership by aliens is not barred by general international law; many countries have such laws. …
136. Nevertheless, the Commission has serious reservations regarding the manner in which the prohibition on alien ownership was implemented. … Although requiring [alien] nationals to divest themselves of real property was not contrary to international law, [the belligerent State] acted arbitrarily, discriminatorily, and in breach of international law in drastically limiting the period available for sale.

144. International law did not prohibit … requiring that expellees settle their tax liabilities, but it required that this be done in a reasonable and principled way. …

151. … War gives belligerents broad powers to deal with the property of the nationals of their enemies, but these are not unlimited. In the Commission’s view, a belligerent is bound to ensure insofar as possible that the property of protected persons and of other enemy nationals are not despoiled and wasted. If private property of enemy nationals is to be frozen or otherwise impaired in wartime, it must be done by the State, and under conditions providing for the property’s protection and its eventual disposition by return to the owners or through post-war agreement. 
Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, Civilians Claims, Eritrea’s Claim, Partial Award, 17 December 2004, §§ 124–128, 135–136, 144 and 151.
[footnotes in original omitted]
In its Ports (Ethiopia’s Claim) final award in 2005, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, in considering the rights of a belligerent over the private property of enemy nationals, stated:
24. Subject to certain exceptions, a belligerent has broad rights in time of war to confiscate public property of the opposing belligerent found in its territory …
25. Separate rules apply in the case of property of nationals of an enemy belligerent. As the Commission has indicated previously, a belligerent may regulate or freeze the private property of another belligerent’s nationals, with a view to the property’s eventual return or other agreed disposition after hostilities end. McNair and Watts cite “the development of a practice recognized as valid in international law whereby private enemy property, while not being seized and the enemy owner deprived of title, is placed under the administrative control of the State so as to prevent its use for the benefit of the enemy.” A group of distinguished American jurists studying the handling of enemy property during World War II, concluded that:
Any United Nation during hostilities may sequester private property of Axis nationals found on its territory. Such property, or its proceeds in case of sale or liquidation, should be restored after the war to the original owner with appropriate adjustment for improvement and for damage or destruction due to use or negligence during sequestration.
26. The custodial character of controls on the property of enemy aliens is underscored by the titles countries give to the official exercising such authority: “Custodian of Enemy Property” under the British Trading with the Enemy Act, 1939, and the “Alien Property Custodian” in the United States. States’ custodial powers in relation to enemy nationals’ property extend to the power to sell the property. In British practice, for example, “the Custodian may be given a power to sell property vested in him, the purchase price in such circumstances remaining in his hands under the same conditions as the property for which it has been transferred.” Under Section 12, paragraph 4, of the U.S. Trading with the Enemy Act, the Alien Property Custodian is “vested with all of the powers of a common-law trustee in respect of all property … which shall come into his possession” pursuant to the Act. The Custodian could dispose of the property, by sale or otherwise, “if and when necessary to prevent waste and protect such property and to the end that the interests of the United States in such property and rights or of such person as may ultimately become entitled thereto, or to the proceeds thereof, may be preserved and safeguarded.”

30. … State practice indicates that a custodian of enemy property may lawfully sell perishable goods, or otherwise act to reduce losses to the property’s owner, provided that the proceeds of such sale or other disposition are then held for eventual return to the property owner or other agreed disposition. The 1945 U.S. Council on Foreign Relations study quoted above suggests that the sequestering belligerent has at least a duty of care in exercising such powers. 
Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, Ports, Ethiopia’s Claim, Final Award, 19 December 2005, §§ 24–26 and 30.
[footnotes in original omitted]
In its Loss of Property in Ethiopia Owned by Non-Residents (Eritrea’s Claim) partial award in 2005, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, in considering the situations in which belligerent control over enemy property would be lawful, stated:
23. … The confiscation of heavy vehicles for use by State agencies in a time of war, even if it were confined to vehicles owned by nationals of the opposing State, is not per se contrary to international law. …
24. As the Commission indicated in the Partial Award in Eritrea’s Civilians Claims, belligerents have “substantial latitude to place freezes or other discriminatory controls on the property of the nationals of the enemy State or otherwise to act in ways contrary to international law in time of peace.” However, as the Parties agreed in connection with their respective Civilians Claims, the basic international legal rules regulating expropriation nevertheless continue to apply. Where aliens’ property is taken for State purposes in wartime, the obligation to provide full compensation continues to operate, even if the payment of that compensation may be delayed by the interruption of economic relations between belligerents. …

29. The Commission acknowledges that the outbreak of a war will undoubtedly decrease business-related activities. Nevertheless, even though the operation of businesses owned by nationals of an opposing belligerent and the distribution to owners of business profits and of rental payments for real property may lawfully be suspended during the hostilities, confiscation of assets or other measures making a business property a res derelicta without compensation are not acceptable. …
31. … War gives belligerents broad powers to deal with the property of their enemy’s nationals, but these are not unlimited. As the Commission held in the Partial Award in Eritrea’s Civilians Claims, a belligerent is bound to ensure insofar as possible that the property of protected persons and of other enemy nationals are not despoiled and wasted. If private property of enemy nationals is to be frozen or otherwise impaired in wartime, it must be done by the State, and under conditions providing for the property’s protection and its eventual disposition by return to the owners or through post-war agreement. 
Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, Loss of Property in Ethiopia Owned by Non-Residents, Eritrea’s Claim, Partial Award, 19 December 2005, §§ 23–24, 29 and 31.
[footnotes in original omitted]
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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 destruction and seizure of property “without military necessity” are prohibited. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, §§ 206 and 207.

In a working paper on war crimes submitted in 1997 to the Preparatory Committee for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, the ICRC included “extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly”, when committed in an international armed conflict, in its 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(a)(viii).

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DRC Pledge of Commitment
In 2008, the armed groups party to the DRC Pledge of Commitment, “deeply deploring the insecurity that has prevailed for a long time in the province of North Kivu, causing massive displacements of populations and enormous suffering of civilians as well as massive violations of human rights”, undertook to strictly observe “rules of international humanitarian law and human rights law, notably … [to] return property to their owners, be they individuals or corporate entities.” 
Acte d’engagement signé par le CNDP-Mouvement Politico-Militaire, la PARECO/FAP, les Mai-Mai Kasindien, les Mai-Mai Kifuafua, les Mai-Mai Vurondo, les Mai-Mai Mongol, l’UJPS, les Mai-Mai Rwenzori et le Simba avec l’engagement solennel des Représentants de la Communauté Internationale, facilitateurs du présent acte d’engagement – les Nations-Unies, la Conférence Internationale sur la Région des Grands Lacs, les Etats-Unis d’Amérique, l’Union Africaine, l’Union Européenne et le Gouvernement (Pledge of Commitment signed by the CNDP-Mouvement Politico-Militaire, PARECO/FAP, Mai-Mai Kasindien, Mai-Mai Kifuafua, Mai-Mai Vurondo, Mai-Mai Mongol, UJPS, Mai-Mai Rwenzori and Simba with the solemn commitment of the representatives of the international community, facilitators of this pledge of commitment – the United Nations, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, the United States of America, the European Union and the Government), Goma, 23 January 2008, Preamble and Article III, §§ 1–5.