Practice Relating to Rule 147. Reprisals against Protected Objects

Geneva Convention IV
Article 33, third paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides: “Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.” 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 33, third para.
Additional Protocol I
Article 52(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides: “Civilian objects shall not be the object of attack or of reprisals. Civilian objects are all objects which are not military objectives.” 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 52(1). Article 52 was adopted by 79 votes in favour, 0 against and 7 abstentions. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 168.
Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
Article 3(7) of the 1996 Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons provides: “It is prohibited in all circumstances to direct [mines, booby-traps and other devices], either in offence, defence or by way of reprisals, against … civilian objects”. 
Protocol on Prohibitions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices, as amended, to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, Geneva, 3 May 1996, Article 3(7).
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Paragraph 6 of the 1991 Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Articles 48–58 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of International Humanitarian Law between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Geneva, 27 November 1991, § 6.
Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Paragraph 2.5 of the 1992 Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Articles 48–58 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Agreement between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representatives of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 22 May 1992, § 2.5.
UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin
Section 5.6 of the 1999 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin states: “The United Nations force shall not engage in reprisals against civilians or civilian objects.” 
Observance by United Nations Forces of International Humanitarian Law, Secretary-General’s Bulletin, UN Secretariat, UN Doc. ST/SGB/1999/13, 6 August 1999, Section 5.6.
ILC Draft Articles on State Responsibility
Article 50(1) of the 2001 ILC Draft Articles on State Responsibility, dealing with “Obligations not affected by countermeasures”, states: “Countermeasures shall not affect: … (c) Obligations of a humanitarian character prohibiting reprisals.” 
Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, adopted by the International Law Commission, reprinted in Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its fifty-third session, 23 April–1 June and 2 July–10 August 2001, UN Doc. A/56/10, 2001, Article 50(1).
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969), in a chapter dealing with the “Protection of civilian persons in times of war”, which contains “provisions common to the territories of the belligerent parties and occupied territories”, states: “Measures of reprisal with respect to protected persons and their property remain equally prohibited.” 
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, § 4.012(3).
Argentina
Argentina’s Regulation for the Treatment of POWs (1985) states: “Reprisals against the property of innocent interned [civilians] are prohibited.” 
Argentina, Reglamento para el Tratamiento de los Prisioneros de Guerra de la Armada, Publicación R.A.-6-006, Armada Argentina, Dirección General del Personal Naval, 1ra. Edición, 1985, § 4.02(5).
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989), in a part dealing with the “Treatment given to protected persons”, which contains “provisions common to the territories of the belligerent parties and occupied territories”, refers, inter alia, to Article 33 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV and provides: “Remain absolutely prohibited: … measures of reprisal against protected persons and their objects”. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 4.29(5).
In a part dealing with “property of a civilian character”, the manual states: “Property of civilian character cannot be made the object of … reprisals.” 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 4.45.
Australia
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994), referring, inter alia, to Articles 51–56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, states: “Protected persons, such as … civilians … as well as protected buildings and facilities should not be the subject of reprisals.” 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 1212; see also Defence Force Manual, 1994, § 1311.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides: “Reprisals are prohibited against … civilian objects.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 920.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states: “Reprisals are prohibited against … civilian objects”. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 9.21; see also § 13.20.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983), citing several examples of jurisprudence and referring to Articles 4 and 33 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, states: “The persons protected by the Geneva Conventions (… civilians) may not be made the object of reprisals. Therefore, [reprisals] may be directed only against combatants, non-protected property and a restricted group of non-protected civilians.” 
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. 36.
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Soldiers, in the part containing exercises (questions and answers) for the training of soldiers, gives a negative response to the question as to whether civilian property may be destroyed in reprisal. 
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. 86.
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) states: “The following prohibitions must be respected: … to launch reprisals against protected persons and property.” It adds that reprisals “may only be used if: … they are carried out only against combatants and military objectives”. 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule III, pp. 12 and 13.
Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso’s Disciplinary Regulations (1994), in a provision entitled “Laws and customs of war” dealing with the duties of and prohibitions for combatants, states: “It is prohibited to soldiers in combat: … to take hostages, to engage in reprisals or collective punishments”. 
Burkina Faso, Règlement de Discipline Générale dans les Forces Armées, Décret No. 94-159/IPRES/DEF, Ministère de la Défense, 1994, Article 35(2).
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975) states: “It is prohibited to soldiers in combat: … to engage in reprisals or collective punishments.” 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline dans les Forces Armées, Décret No. 75/700, 6 November 1975, Article 32.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (2007) states: “It is prohibited to soldiers in combat … to take hostages, to engage in reprisals or collective punishments”. 
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), in a part dealing with targeting, provides: “Reprisals against civilians and civilian objects are prohibited.” It further provides: “civil defence buildings and materiel, as well as shelters provided for the civilian population, are considered ‘civilian objects’ and shall not be attacked or subjected to reprisals”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-10, §§ 39 and 95.
In a chapter entitled “Treatment of civilians in the hands of a party to the conflict or an occupying power” and, more specifically, in a section containing “provisions common to the territories of the parties to the conflict and to occupied territories”, the manual refers to the 1949 Geneva Convention IV and states: “The following are expressly prohibited: … the taking of reprisals against protected persons and their property”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 11-4, § 33.
In a part dealing with enforcement measures, the manual also states: “Reprisals against the following categories of persons and objects are prohibited: … f. civilian objects”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 15-2, § 15.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on targeting: “Reprisals against civilians and civilian objects are prohibited.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 430.
The manual further states: “Civil defence buildings and materiel, as well as shelters provided for the civilian population, are considered ‘civilian objects’ and shall not be attacked or subjected to reprisals.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 450.1.
In its chapter on the treatment of civilians in the hands of a party to the conflict or an occupying power and, more specifically, in a section entitled “Provisions common to the territories of the parties to the conflict and to occupied territories”, the manual states:
[The 1949 Geneva Convention IV] prohibits taking any measure, which will cause physical suffering to protected persons or will lead to their extermination. This prohibition applies not only to murder, torture, corporal punishment, mutilation or medical or scientific experiments not necessitated by the medical treatment of a protected person, but also to any other form of brutality, whether applied by civilians or by military personnel. The following are expressly prohibited:
d. the taking of reprisals against protected persons and their property. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1121.2.d.
In its chapter entitled “Preventative and enforcement measures and the role of protecting powers”, the manual further states:
4. Reprisals against the following categories of persons and objects are prohibited.
f. civilian objects;
5. Reprisals are permitted against combatants and against objects constituting military objectives. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1507.4.f and 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): “The following prohibitions must be respected: … launching reprisals against protected … objects”. 
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 III, Section I.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states that “reprisals are prohibited against … civilian … property”. 
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. 93.
Congo
The Congo’s Disciplinary Regulations (1986), in a provision entitled “International conventions, laws and customs of war”, states: “According to the conventions adhered to by the Congo … it is prohibited [to soldiers in combat]: … to take hostages, to engage in reprisals or collective punishments”. 
Congo, Décret No. 86/057 du 14 janvier 1986 portant Règlement du Service dans l’Armée Populaire Nationale, 1986, Article 32(2).
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book III, Volume 2 (Instruction of second-year trainee officers):
Customary law regarded measures of reprisal taken by a belligerent party as one of the lawful means intended to enforce the application of the law.
However, since these measures often led to an escalation of the violence and generally struck persons who were not the true culprits, the law of reprisals of belligerent parties has progressively been restricted. Thus, reprisal measures against protected persons and objects are the subject of an express prohibition in the four 1949 Geneva Conventions. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 38.
Croatia
Croatia’s LOAC Compendium (1991) provides for the prohibition of reprisals against “civilian persons and objects”. It further provides for the prohibition of taking reprisals against “specifically protected persons and objects”. 
Croatia, Compendium “Law of Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1991, p. 19.
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic’s Military Manual (1980), under a provision entitled “No theft or arson against civilian property”, states: “The Geneva Convention prohibits reprisals against civilians for acts of enemy soldiers.” 
Dominican Republic, La Conducta en Combate según las Leyes de la Guerra, Escuela Superior de las FF. AA. “General de Brigada Pablo Duarte”, Secretaría de Estado de las Fuerzas Armadas, May 1980, p. 10.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) provides: “Reprisals may be taken against enemy armed forces, enemy civilians other than those in occupied territory, and enemy property.” However, it also states: “Reprisals are forbidden to be taken against: … 3. Civilians in occupied territory.” 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 6.2.3.
The manual further provides: “Interned civilians … may not be subjected to collective punishment or acts of reprisal.” 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 11.9.
France
France’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975), as amended, states: “By virtue of international conventions regularly ratified or approved: … it is prohibited [to soldiers in combat] … to take hostages, to engage in reprisals or collective punishments”. 
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 10 bis (2).
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001), in the chapter dealing with means and methods of warfare, states: “The law of armed conflict prohibits … the methods of warfare which consist in the recourse: … to reprisals against non-military objectives.” It further refers, inter alia, to Articles 20 and 51–56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and states: “Reprisals are prohibited against … civilian property”. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, pp. 85 and 108.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992), in a chapter dealing with reprisals, referring to Article 33 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV and Articles 51 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, provides: “It is expressly prohibited by agreement to make reprisals against: … civilians … private property of civilians on occupied territory and of enemy foreigners on friendly territory.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 479.
Referring to Article 33 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV and Articles 20 and 51 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, the manual further states: “Reprisals against the civilian population and its property … are prohibited.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 507.
In a chapter entitled “Belligerent occupation”, the manual, referring to Article 33 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV and Articles 20 and 51 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, states: “Reprisals against civilians and their property are prohibited.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 535.
Germany
Germany’s IHL Manual (1996) provides: “Reprisals are expressly prohibited against … the private property of civilians in occupied territories”. 
Germany, ZDv 15/1, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Grundsätze, DSK VV230120023, Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, June 1996, § 320.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) provides for the prohibition of reprisals against “civilian persons and objects”. It further provides for the prohibition of taking reprisals against “specifically protected persons and objects”. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 35.
Indonesia
Indonesia’s Air Force Manual (1990) provides that a “reprisal is absolutely prohibited against protected persons and objects”. 
Indonesia, The Basics of International Humanitarian Law in Air Warfare, Indonesian Air Force, 1990, § 15(c).
Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991), providing for the prohibition of reprisals against, inter alia, “protected civilian persons” and “protected persons and property”, states: “The observance of international rules which expressly provide for the obligation to abide by them in any circumstances cannot be suspended by way of reprisals.” 
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, § 25.
Italy
Italy’s Combatant’s Manual (1998) instructs: “[D]o not engage in reprisals”. 
Italy, Manuale del Combattente, SME 1000/A/2, Stato Maggiore Esercito/Reparto Impiego delle Forze, Ufficio Dottrina, Addestramento e Regolamenti, 1998, § 250.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) states: “It is forbidden: … (e) to carry out reprisals against protected persons or property”. 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 4, p. 2.
In a chapter dealing with reprisals, the manual further provides that reprisals “are carried out only against combatants and military objectives … The Geneva Conventions and [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] prohibit reprisals against … civilians.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 4, p. 4.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) instructs soldiers not to take hostages and to refrain from all acts of revenge. 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 5-T, §§ 8 and 9.
Morocco
Morocco’s Disciplinary Regulations (1974), in a provision entitled “Laws and customs of war” dealing with the duties of and prohibitions for combatants, states: “It is prohibited to soldiers in combat: … to take hostages, to engage in reprisals or collective punishments.” 
Morocco, Règlement de Discipline Général dans les Forces Armées Royales, Dahir No. 1-74-383 du 15 rejeb 1394, 5 August 1974, Article 25(2).
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands, in the chapter dealing with reprisals and referring to, inter alia, Article 52 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, states: “No reprisals may be undertaken against civilian property.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. IV-6; see also p. V-5.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
In the history of warfare, reprisals carried out have often exceeded the set limits. This has led to the current prohibition, in the humanitarian law of war and specifically in AP I [1977 Additional Protocol I], of reprisals against several groups of people and objects.
The following are now forbidden as reprisals:
- attacks on civilian objects. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0424.
In its chapter on behaviour in battle, the manual states: “Civilian objects must not be the subject of reprisals.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0521.
In its chapter on the protection of the civilian population, the manual states that “reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited”. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0808.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992), in the chapter dealing with civilians and referring to Articles 32–34 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, states: “The following are … prohibited: … the taking of reprisals against protected persons and their property.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1116(2)(d).
In a chapter dealing with reprisals and referring to Article 52(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, the manual further states: “Reprisals against the following categories of persons and objects are prohibited … civilian objects”. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1606(2)(f).
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states that reprisals against “civilian objects” are prohibited. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 25.c.(2).(a); see also § 92.d.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states that reprisals against “civilian objects” are prohibited. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 29(c)(2)(a), p. 234; see also p. 398.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) states: “Reprisals against the persons and property of … protected civilians are prohibited.” 
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, § 34(e).
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Teaching Manual (2008) states:
Prohibited Acts against Persons not taking an Active Part in Armed Conflicts
- Specific Rules
- Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited. 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 1, pp. 17–18.
The manual also states:
Reprisals
- The LOAC [law of armed conflict] prohibits reprisals against the following:
- Civilians, civilian objects and the civilian population[.] 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 3, p. 194.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) lists among the persons against whom the taking of reprisals is prohibited “civilian persons and objects”. It refers, however, to Article 46 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I (relative to the prohibition of reprisals against the wounded, the sick and medical personnel protected under the 1949 Geneva Convention I). 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 3.3.c.(5)(b).
The manual also refers to Article 52 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I with regard to the prohibition of reprisals against cultural objects. In another provision, the manual, also referring to Article 52 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, states: “Property of a civilian character will not be made the object of attacks nor of reprisals.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 7.3.b.(1).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) lists “civilian property” among the objects against which the taking of reprisals is prohibited. 
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, § 3.3.c.(5); see also § 11.8.c.
The manual also states: “Civilian objects must not be targeted in … reprisals.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 7.3.b.(1).
The manual further states: “Any area, facility or object that does not fulfil any of the requirements … which would qualify it as a military objective, must be considered a civilian object and, as such, must not be made the object of … reprisals”. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 4.2.b.(2); see also §§ 1.3.b.(2) and 4.5.b.(2).(b).
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991), referring to Article 52 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, states:
The basic rule in Article 52 is that civilian objects and civilian property may not constitute objectives for attack or be subjected to reprisals. The article does not represent any new thinking: but is, rather, a clarification of humanitarian principles established in older conventions. 
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. 53.
While noting that the Swedish IHL Committee strongly discourages even this possibility in view of its manifestly inhuman effect, the manual states:
Under Additional Protocol I, reprisals are permitted only against military personnel. A state acceding to Additional Protocol I thereby accepts a limitation of its freedom to employ reprisals. The [Swedish International Humanitarian Law] Committee believes that this involves a considerable humanitarian advance. 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 3.5, p. 89.
Referring to Article 33 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, the manual further states:
Protected persons may not be punished for actions they have not themselves performed. Collective punishment of a whole group is also prohibited. Also, the occupying power may not … destroy civilian property in reprisal for some action directed against the occupying power. 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 6.1.3, p. 122.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) states: “The following prohibitions must be respected: … to launch reprisals against protected persons and property.” It adds that reprisals “may only be used if: … they are carried out only against combatants and military objectives”. 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule III, pp. 12 and 13.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Reprisals are prohibited against … civilian objects”. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.2.18.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958), in a chapter dealing with the “treatment of enemy alien civilians” and referring to Articles 32–34 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, states: “The following are prohibited: … the taking of reprisals against protected persons and their property”. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 42.
In a chapter dealing with “the occupation of enemy territory”, the manual, referring to Articles 33 and 34 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, states: “[The 1949 Geneva Convention IV] provides … that ‘Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited’.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 554.
In the chapter dealing with the “treatment of enemy property”, the manual further states:
The custom of war formerly permitted as an act of reprisal the destruction, by burning or otherwise, of a house whose inmates, though not possessing the rights of combatants, have fired on enemy troops. However, this practice is no longer lawful. [Article 33 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV] prohibits reprisals against protected persons and their property. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 596.
Moreover, the manual, in the part dealing with reprisals, states: “Reprisals against … civilian protected persons and their property in occupied territory and in the belligerent’s own territory, are … prohibited.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 644.
In a footnote relating to this provision, the manual, referring to Articles 4 and 33 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, notes: “The effect of this rule is that reprisals are unlawful against all persons except enemy combatants and those few classes of civilians who are not protected persons.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 644, footnote 2.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981), in a part dealing with the protection of civilians, states: “It is forbidden: … to carry out reprisals against protected persons or property”. 
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. 14, § 5(e).
The Pamphlet further states: “The Geneva Conventions and [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] prohibit reprisals against … enemy civilians in territory controlled by a belligerent”. 
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. 17, § 16.
However, the Pamphlet also states:
The United Kingdom reserves the right to take proportionate reprisals against an enemy’s civilian population or civilian objects where the enemy has attacked our own civilians or civilian objects in violation of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I]. 
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. 17, § 17.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states: “Additional Protocol I extends the categories of persons and objects against whom reprisals are prohibited to: … b. civilian objects”. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 16.19.
The manual also restates the interpretative declaration made by the UK upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 16.19.1.
The manual explains:
This means that reprisals taken in accordance with the statement are permissible by and against the United Kingdom. However, commanders and commanders-in-chief are not to take reprisal action on their own initiative. Requests for authority to take reprisal action must be submitted to the Ministry of Defence and require clearance at Cabinet level. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 16.19.2.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956), referring to Article 13 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III and Article 33 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, states: “Reprisals against the persons or property of prisoners of war, including the wounded and sick, and protected civilians are forbidden.” 
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, § 497(c).
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976), referring to Article 33 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, provides:
No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited. Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 10-7(b)(1).
The Pamphlet further provides:
Reprisals are forbidden, under all circumstances, against the persons or objects referenced above in accordance with the 1949 Geneva Conventions. At least some, and possibly all, of these prohibitions are regarded as customary law and are binding regardless of whether the adversary is a party to the Geneva Conventions. For definitions as to persons or objects protected under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, applicable articles of those documents must be consulted. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 10-7(b)(2).
United States of America
The US Air Force Commander’s Handbook (1980), under the heading “Persons and Things Not Subject to Reprisals”, lists a number of persons and objects protected under the 1949 Geneva Conventions against whom reprisals are prohibited. It adds, however:
A Protocol to the 1949 Geneva Conventions would expand this list to include all civilians and civilian property on land … The United States signed this Protocol in 1977, but has not yet ratified it. Consult the Staff Judge Advocate for further guidance. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-34, Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Armed Conflict, Judge Advocate General, US Department of the Air Force, 25 July 1980, § 8-4(c).
United States of America
The US Soldier’s Manual (1984), in the part which deals with the treatment of civilians and private property, states: “The Geneva Conventions forbid retaliating against civilians for the actions of enemy soldiers.” 
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. 23.
United States of America
The US Operational Law Handbook (1993) provides:
The following measures are expressly prohibited by the law of war and are not excusable on the basis of military necessity:
m. Reprisals against persons or property protected by the Geneva Conventions, to include the wounded, sick, or shipwrecked, prisoners of war, detained personnel, civilians [and] their property. 
United States, Operational Law Handbook, JA 422, Center for Law and Military Operations and International Law Division, The Judge Advocate General’s School, United States Army, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903-1781, 1993, p. Q-182.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) provides: “Reprisals may be taken against enemy armed forces, enemy civilians other than those in occupied territory, and enemy property.” It states, however: “Reprisals are forbidden to be taken against: 1. … interned civilians … 3. Civilians in occupied territory.” 
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, § 6.2.3.
United States of America
The Annotated Supplement to the US Naval Handbook (1997), referring to Article 33 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, states: “Also immune from reprisals under the Geneva Conventions are the property of such inhabitants [i.e. of occupied territory], enemy civilians in a belligerent’s own territory, and the property of such civilians.” 
United States, Annotated Supplement to the Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, prepared by the Oceans Law and Policy Department, Center for Naval Warfare Studies, Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, November 1997, § 6.2.3.1, footnote 43.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “Reprisals may be taken against … enemy property.” 
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, § 6.2.4.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) states: “The laws of war prohibit reprisals against the following persons and objects: … civilian persons and their property.” 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 31(1).
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War (1995) provides:
The Armed Forces of [the] Azerbaijan Republic, the appropriate authorities and governmental bodies, as an answer to the same actions of the adverse party to the conflict or to put an end to these all, don’t give opportunity to carry out any action which is considered to be [a] measure of pressure concerning civilian persons, medical organizations and their personnel, civilian objectives, civilian property … During military operations in the condition of final necessity the measures taken compulsorily by the Armed Forces of [the] Azerbaijan Republic can’t be considered as such measures of pressure. 
Azerbaijan, Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War, 1995, Article 16.
Colombia
Under Colombia’s Penal Code (2000), reprisals against protected persons and objects taken “in the event of and during armed conflict” are punishable offences. 
Colombia, Penal Code, 2000, Article 158.
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Italy
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, states: “Respect for rules adopted in order to comply with international conventions which expressly exclude reprisals cannot be suspended.” 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, as amended in 1992, Article 8.
Spain
Spain’s Penal Code (1995) provides:
[Shall be punished] whoever, in the event of an armed conflict: … attacks or makes the object of reprisals or the object of hostilities civilian objects of the adverse party, causing extensive destruction, provided that the said acts do not offer a definite military advantage in the circumstances of the case or that the said objects do not make an effective contribution to the adverse party’s military effort. 
Spain, Penal Code, 1995, Article 613(1)(b).
Spain
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:
d. … [M]aking … civilian objects of the adverse party the object of reprisals … , causing their destruction, provided that in the circumstances ruling at the time such property does not offer a definite military advantage nor makes an effective contribution to the military action of the adversary;
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)(d) and (2).
South Africa
In 1987, in the Petane case, the Cape Provincial Division of South Africa’s Supreme Court dismissed the accused’s claim that the 1977 Additional Protocol I reflected customary international law. The Court stated:
The accused has been indicted before this Court on three counts of terrorism, that is to say, contraventions of s 54(1) of the Internal Security Act 74 of 1982. He has also been indicted on three counts of attempted murder.
The accused’s position is stated to be that this Court has no jurisdiction to try him.
… The point in its early formulation was this. By the terms of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I to the [1949] Geneva Conventions the accused was entitled to be treated as a prisoner-of-war. A prisoner-of-war is entitled to have notice of an impending prosecution for an alleged offence given to the so-called “protecting power” appointed to watch over prisoners-of-war. Since, if such a notice were necessary, the trial could not proceed without it, Mr Donen suggested that the necessity or otherwise for giving such a notice should be determined before evidence was led. …
On 12 August 1949 there were concluded at Geneva in Switzerland four treaties known as the Geneva Conventions. …
South Africa was among the nations which concluded the treaties. … Except for the common art 3, which binds parties to observe a limited number of fundamental humanitarian principles in armed conflicts not of an international character, they apply to wars between States.
After the Second World War many conflicts arose which could not be characterised as international. It was therefore considered desirable by some States to extend and augment the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, so as to afford protection to victims of and combatants in conflicts which fell outside the ambit of these Conventions. The result of these endeavours was Protocol I and Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions, both of which came into force on 7 December 1978.
Protocol II relates to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts. Since the State of affairs which exists in South Africa has by Protocol I been characterised as an international armed conflict, Protocol II does not concern me at all.
The extension of the scope of art 2 of the Geneva Conventions was, at the time of its adoption, controversial. …
The article has remained controversial. More debate has raged about its field of operation than about any other articles in Protocol I. …
South Africa is one of the countries which has not acceded to Protocol I. Nevertheless, I am asked to decide, as I indicated earlier, as a preliminary point, whether Protocol I has become part of customary international law. If so, it is argued that it would have been incorporated into South African law. If it has been so incorporated it would have to be proved by one or other of the parties that the turmoil which existed at the time when the accused is alleged to have committed his offences was such that it could properly be described as an “armed conflict” conducted by “peoples” against a “ra[c]ist regime” in the exercise of their “right of self-determination”. Once all this has been shown it would have to be demonstrated to the Court that the accused conducted himself in such a manner as to become entitled to the benefits conferred by Protocol I on combatants, for example that, broadly speaking, he had, while he was launching an attack, distinguished himself from civilians and had not attacked civilian targets. …
… I am prepared to accept that where a rule of customary international law is recognised as such by international law it will be so recognised by our law.
To my way of thinking, the trouble with the first Protocol giving rise to State practice is that its terms have not been capable of being observed by all that many States. At the end of 1977 when the treaty first lay open for ratification there were few States which were involved in colonial domination or the occupation of other States and there were only two, South Africa and Israel, which were considered to fall within the third category of ra[c]ist regimes. Accordingly, the situation sought to be regulated by the first Protocol was one faced by few countries; too few countries in my view, to permit any general usage in dealing with armed conflicts of the kind envisaged by the Protocol to develop.
Mr Donen contended that the provisions of multilateral treaties can become customary international law under certain circumstances. I accept that this is so. There seems in principle to be no reason why treaty rules cannot acquire wider application than among the parties to the treaty.
Brownlie Principles of International Law 3rd ed at 13 agrees that non-parties to a treaty may by their conduct accept the provisions of a multilateral convention as representing general international law. …
I incline to the view that non-ratification of a treaty is strong evidence of non-acceptance.
It is interesting to note that the first Protocol makes extensive provision for the protection of civilians in armed conflict. …
In this sense, Protocol I may be described as an enlightened humanitarian document. If the strife in South Africa should deteriorate into an armed conflict we may all one day find it a cause for regret that the ideologically provocative tone of s 1(4) has made it impossible for the Government to accept its terms.
To my mind it can hardly be said that Protocol I has been greeted with acclaim by the States of the world. Their lack of enthusiasm must be due to the bizarre mixture of political and humanitarian objects sought to be realised by the Protocol. …
According to the International Review of the Red Cross (January/February 1987) No 256, as at December 1986, 66 States were parties to Protocol I and 60 to Protocol II, which, it will be remembered, deals with internal non-international armed conflicts. With the exception of France, which acceded only to Protocol II, not one of the world’s major powers has acceded to or ratified either of the Protocols. This position should be compared to the 165 States which are parties to the Geneva Conventions.
This approach of the world community to Protocol I is, on principle, far too half-hearted to justify an inference that its principles have been so widely accepted as to qualify them as rules of customary international law. The reasons for this are, I imagine, not far to seek. For those States which are contending with “peoples[’]” struggles for self-determination, adoption of the Protocol may prove awkward. For liberation movements who rely on strategies of urban terror for achieving their aims the terms of the Protocol, with its emphasis on the protection of civilians, may prove disastrously restrictive. I therefore do not find it altogether surprising that Mr Donen was unable to refer me to any statement in the published literature that Protocol I has attained the status o[f] customary international [law].
I have not been persuaded by the arguments which I have heard on behalf of the accused that the assessment of Professor Dugard, writing in the Annual Survey of South African Law (1983) at 66, that “it is argued with growing conviction that under contemporary international law members of SWAPO [South-West Africa People’s Organisation] and the ANC [African National Congress] are members of liberation movements entitled to prisoner-of-war status, in terms of a new customary rule spawned by the 1977 Protocols”, is correct. On what I have heard in argument I disagree with his assessment that there is growing support for the view that the Protocols reflect a new rule of customary international law. No writer has been cited who supports this proposition. Here and there someone says that it may one day come about. I am not sure that the provisions relating to the field of application of Protocol I are capable of ever becoming a rule of customary international law, but I need not decide that point today.
For the reasons which I have given I have concluded that the provisions of Protocol I have not been accepted in customary international law. They accordingly form no part of South African law.
This conclusion has made it unnecessary for me to give a decision on the question of whether rules of customary international law which conflict with the statutory or common law of this country will be enforced by its courts.
In the result, the preliminary point is dismissed. The trial must proceed. 
South Africa, Supreme Court, Petane case, Judgment, 3 November 1987, pp. 2–8.
South Africa
In 2010, in the Boeremag case, South Africa’s North Gauteng High Court stated:
In Petane, … Conradie J found that the provisions of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I are not part of customary international law, and therefore are also not part of South African law.
Referring to the fact that in December 1986 only 66 of the 165 States party to the Geneva Conventions had ratified Protocol I, the Court [in Petane] stated:
This approach of the world community to Protocol I is, on principle, far too half-hearted to justify an inference that its principles have been so widely accepted as to qualify them as rules of customary international law. The reasons for this are, I imagine, not far to seek. For those States which are contending with “peoples[’]” struggles for self-determination, adoption of the Protocol may prove awkward. For liberation movements who rely on strategies of urban terror for achieving their aims the terms of the Protocol, with its emphasis on the protection of civilians, may prove disastrously restrictive. I therefore do not find it altogether surprising that Mr Donen was unable to refer me to any statement in the published literature that Protocol I has attained the status of customary international law.
Important changes with respect to certain aspects applicable at the time of Petane have taken place. The ANC [African National Congress] has become South Africa’s ruling party and in 1995 ratified Protocol I. The total number of States that have ratified it, is now … 162.
This last aspect forms the basis on which the First Respondent [the State] and the applicants agree that Protocol I forms part of customary international law as well as of South African law. As requested, this position is accepted for the purposes of the decision, without deciding on the matter.
Despite these changes, it remains debatable whether the provisions of Protocol I have become a part of South African law in this way.
The consensus of both parties to the conflict is required. See Petane … and Article 96 of Protocol I. …
Parliament’s failure to incorporate Protocol I into legislation in accordance with Article 231(4) of the Constitution in fact points to the contrary, and is indicative that the requirements of usus and/or opinio juris have not been met. See Petane. 
South Africa, North Gauteng High Court, Boeremag case, Judgment, 26 August 2010, pp. 21–22.
[footnotes in original omitted]
The Court also held:
If the [1977 Additional Protocol I] applies in South Africa as customary international law, the two requirements that form the basis of customary law must be met. It is arguable that the requirement of usus has been met by the vast number of States that have acceded or ratified it. By ratifying Protocol I the Republic of South Africa has indicated its intention to apply the Protocol, thereby fulfilling the requirement of opinio juris. 
South Africa, North Gauteng High Court, Boeremag case, Judgment, 26 August 2010, p. 66.
Australia
During the Second Reading Speech of the Geneva Conventions Amendment Bill 1990, the purpose of which was to amend the Geneva Conventions Act 1957 so as to enable Australia to ratify the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Australia’s Attorney-General stated:
He [the shadow Attorney-General] called in particular for a reservation on the prohibition on reprisals contained in the protocol. A reservation on reprisals would not be accepted by some countries. A reservation would operate reciprocally between Australia and a future enemy also party to the protocol. If we did that, it would reduce the level of protection afforded by the protocol to Australian civilians and civilian objects.
None of the 99 countries which have become party to the protocol have seen the need to make such a reservation – not one of them. The prohibition on reprisals in the protocol is not a total prohibition. Reprisals are prohibited against civilians, cultural objects and places of worship, objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, the environment, dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations containing dangerous forces. The prohibition on reprisals represents an important development in protection of civilians against the horrors of modern warfare. 
Australia, House of Representatives, Attorney-General, Geneva Conventions Amendment Bill 1990: Second Reading Speech, Hansard, 12 February 1991.
Australia
In 1991, in briefing notes prepared for a debate on the Geneva Convention Amendment Bill in Australia’s House of Representatives, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade expressed the view that:
The extension in [the 1977 Additional Protocol I of the prohibition of reprisals] is to civilian, cultural and other non-military objects. It was felt that an Australian reservation on this point, while leaving the way open for us to use such reprisals, would not only allow Australia to be portrayed as barbaric but also leave such Australian objects open to attack in enemy reprisals, in return for very little military advantage. This is now a settled Australian Defence Force view. 
Australia, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Minute on the Geneva Protocols, File 1710/10/3/1, 13 February 1991, § 5.
Australia
The Report on the Practice of Australia expressly names open towns, undefended areas, demilitarized zones and humanitarian corridors among the protected objects against which reprisals are prohibited. 
Report on the Practice of Australia, 1998, Chapter 2.9.
Bulgaria
At the CDDH, Bulgaria stated that “his delegation favoured [an] amendment which sought to prohibit reprisals against civilian objects”. 
Bulgaria, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIV, CDDH/III/SR.16, 10 February 1975, p. 134, § 31.
Canada
At the CDDH, the representative of Canada, with respect to paragraph 4 of draft Article 46 (which became Article 51 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I), stated:
His delegation did not wish an unenforceable provision to be adopted, disrespect for which would lead to disrespect for the whole Protocol. His delegation could accept a prohibition on reprisals against civilians or the civilian population, but not on reprisals against civilian objects. 
Canada, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIV, CDDH/III/SR.7, 13 March 1974, p. 55, § 38.
Canada
At the CDDH, Canada, reverting to a proposed amendment on the prohibition of reprisals against protected objects (sponsored by Egypt, Democratic Yemen, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mauritania, Morocco, Qatar, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates and Yemen), 
Egypt, Democratic Yemen, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mauritania, Morocco, Qatar, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates and Yemen, New proposal concerning Article 47 of the draft Additional Protocol I submitted to the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/III/63, 19 March 1974, p. 211.
stated:
If it attempted to provide for a total prohibition of reprisals, the Committee would be drawing up a theoretically ideal document at the humanitarian level, but that such a prohibition would be based on the assumption that the Party or State in question would not retaliate, and it was doubtful whether such would be the case; there had been in fact abuses, not only on the pretext of reprisals, but also on the pretext of the law of war. The question was whether an attempt should be made to curb the victim’s desire for vengeance by formulating a rule, or whether that aspect could be left undecided. He thought it was better to lay down a rule. 
Canada, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIV, CDDH/III/SR.7, 13 March 1974, p. 55, § 38.
Canada
In 1986, in a memorandum on Canada’s attitude to possible reservations with regard to the 1977 Additional Protocol I, the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted:
Under [the 1949 Geneva Conventions] … reprisals directed against the enemy civilian population or property in enemy controlled areas are permissible. [The 1977 Additional Protocol I] goes beyond the Geneva Conventions and prohibits reprisals directed against … civilian property under all circumstances. 
Canada, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Memorandum on Ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Reprisals Reservation, Operational Considerations, Doc. 3440-13-2 (D Law/I), 14 March 1986, § 2.
Colombia
At the CDDH, following the adoption of Article 20 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Colombia stated that it “was opposed to any kind of reprisals”. 
Colombia, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.37, 24 May 1977, § 34.
Egypt
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Egypt stated: “Reprisals are prohibited against … civilians … The prohibition applies in respect of all weapons. In consequence, they (i.e. protected persons and objects) can never become targets of any attack, including nuclear attacks.” 
Egypt, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 20 June 1995, § 46.
Egypt
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocols I and II, Egypt stated:
The Arab Republic of Egypt, while declaring its commitment to respecting all the provisions of Additional Protocols I and II, wishes to emphasize, on the basis of reciprocity, that it upholds the right to react against any violation by any party of the obligations imposed by Additional Protocols I and II with all means admissible under international law in order to prevent any further violation. 
Egypt, Declaration made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocols I and II, 9 October 1992, § 3.
Egypt
In its written comments on other written statements submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Egypt stated:
Reprisals are prohibited against protected persons and objects according to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their additional Protocols. This prohibition of reprisal is absolute and applies to the use of all weapons. In consequence, the protected persons and objects can never become targets of any attack, including nuclear attacks. The provisions of the Conventions and the Protocols carrying this prohibition of reprisals against protected persons and objects are considered declaratory of customary law. 
Egypt, Written comments submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, September 1995, § 43.
Finland
At the CDDH, Finland stated:
The main intention of paragraph 4 [of draft Article 46 which became Article 51 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I] was to extend the protection to the civilian population as a whole. That was desirable, but it was not sufficient. Civilian objects should also be protected from reprisals everywhere, even in the field of hostilities. 
Finland, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIV, CDDH/III/SR.7, 13 March 1974, p. 54, § 29.
Finland
At the CDDH, Finland, with regard to amendments made by other States concerning the prohibition of reprisals, stated that it “accepted [those amendments] which would prohibit reprisals against civilian objects”. 
Finland, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIV, CDDH/III/SR.15, 7 February 1975, p. 118, § 7.
France
At the CDDH, France made a proposal for a draft article on reprisals within the 1977 Additional Protocol I – which it later withdrew – which read, inter alia, as follows: “3. … The measures may not involve any actions prohibited by the Geneva Conventions of 1949.” 
France, Draft Article 74 bis Additional Protocol I submitted to the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/I/221/Rev.1, 22 April 1976, p. 324.
German Democratic Republic
At the CDDH, during discussions on amendments made by other States concerning the prohibition of reprisals against civilian objects, the German Democratic Republic stated that it “supported … the amendments concerning reprisals”. 
German Democratic Republic, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIV, CDDH/III/SR.16, 10 February 1975, p. 130, § 19.
Germany
In 1990, during a parliamentary debate on the ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocols, a member of the German Parliament called the prohibition of reprisals as contained in the 1977 Additional Protocol I “newly introduced rules”. 
Germany, Lower House of Parliament, Speech by Günter Verheugen, Member of Parliament, 20 September 1990, Plenarprotokoll 11/226, p. 17919.
Germany
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Germany stated:
Te Federal Republic of Germany will react against serious and systematic violations of the obligations imposed by Additional Protocol I and in particular its Articles 51 and 52 with all means admissible under international law in order to prevent any further violation. 
Germany, Declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 14 February 1991, § 6.
Iraq
On the basis of a reply by Iraq’s Ministry of Defence to a questionnaire, the Report on the Practice of Iraq states that reprisals “must not be directed, in any way, against … civilian objects, but [have] to be confined to purely military targets”. 
Report on the Practice of Iraq, 1998, Reply by the Ministry of Defence to a questionnaire, July 1997, Chapter 2.9.
Islamic Republic of Iran
According to the Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, during the Iran–Iraq War, Iranian authorities, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Parliament, condemned Iraqi attacks on civilian objects, which the Islamic Republic of Iran always regarded as war crimes. The report points out that the Islamic Republic of Iran always insisted that war must be limited to battlefronts and that it had no intention of attacking civilian objects. When Iraq accused the Islamic Republic of Iran of bombarding civilian targets, Iranian military communiqués denied these allegations and claimed that Iranian attacks were limited to military or economic facilities. 
Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Israel
According to the Report on the Practice of Israel, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) do not condone nor conduct reprisals against persons or objects protected by the 1949 Geneva Conventions. 
Report on the Practice of Israel, 1997, Chapter 2.9.
Italy
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Italy stated:
Italy will react to serious and systematic violations by an enemy of the obligations imposed by Additional Protocol I and in particular its Articles 51 and 52 with all means admissible under international law in order to prevent any further violation. 
Italy, Declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 27 February 1986, § 10.
Jordan
According to the Report on the Practice of Jordan: “The prohibition of belligerent reprisals against protected persons and property is viewed as customary law … In practice, Jordan never resorted to attacks by way of reprisal.” 
Report on the Practice of Jordan, 1997, Chapter 2.9.
Netherlands
At the CDDH, the Netherlands introduced an amendment to draft Additional Protocol I which read “attacks against civilian objects by way of reprisals are prohibited” on behalf of its sponsors (Austria, Egypt, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, USSR). 
Austria, Egypt, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines and USSR, New proposal concerning Article 47 draft Additional Protocol I submitted to the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/III/57, 19 March 1974, p. 210.
The Netherlands stated:
In fact, reprisals could rarely be confined to civilian objects alone and the infliction of suffering on the civilian population would be virtually inevitable … The sponsors of the amendment were in favour of extending [the prohibition of reprisals against civilians] to a complete ban on all reprisals against the civilian population and civilian objects alike. 
Netherlands, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIV, CDDH/III/SR.14, 6 February 1975, pp. 113–114, § 26.
Netherlands
At the CDDH, the Netherlands, during discussions on the protection of civilian objects, stated that “reprisals on civilian populations were prohibited by international law”. 
Netherlands, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIV, CDDH/III/SR.16, 10 February 1975, p. 128, § 8.
Philippines
The Report on the Practice of the Philippines states: “Reprisals are generally prohibited.” 
Report on the Practice of the Philippines, 1997, Chapter 2.9.
Poland
At the CDDH, Poland made a proposal for a draft article on reprisals within the 1977 Additional Protocol I – which it later withdrew – which read, inter alia, as follows: “Insert a new article after [draft] Article 70 worded as follows: ‘Measures of reprisal against persons and objects protected by the Conventions and by the present Protocol are prohibited’.” 
Poland, Proposal on a new Article 70 bis Additional Protocol I submitted to the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/III/103, 1 October 1974, p. 313.
Poland
At the CDDH, Poland, referring to an amendment on the prohibition of attacks against civilian objects by way of reprisals sponsored by other States, stated that it supported the amendment and pointed out that “it was impossible to carry out reprisals against civilian objects without injuring civilians”. 
Poland, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIV, CDDH/III/SR.16, 10 February 1975, p. 129, § 15.
Solomon Islands
In 1994, in its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons (WHO) case, Solomon Islands, referring to Articles 20, 51(6), 52(1), 53, 54(4), 55(2) and 56(4) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, stated:
During hostilities, it is forbidden to resort to reprisals against … civilian populations, property and various categories of civilian property which are subject to special protection … The prohibition applies in respect of all weapons, including nuclear weapons. This rule had previously been established in a general manner by Art. 60(5) of the 1969 Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties … A similar provision is set forth in paragraph 7 of the UN General Assembly resolution 2675 (XXV) … The prohibition of reprisals in these situations appears also in Principle 1, paragraph 6 of UN General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV) on friendly relations. Even if, in that case, it relates to jus ad (or contra) bellum rather than jus in bello, it is nonetheless applicable to the second. It follows from the above that reprisals can, in no circumstances, be lawful against this category of targets. 
Solomon Islands, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons (WHO) case, 9 June 1994, § 3.75.
South Africa
South Africa’s Prohibition or Restriction of Certain Conventional Weapons Act (2008) states:
Mines, booby-traps or other devices
6. (1) No person may use or direct any mine, booby-trap or other device –
(d) either in offence, defence or by way of reprisals, against the civilian population or against individual civilians or civilian objects. 
South Africa, Prohibition or Restriction of Certain Conventional Weapons Act, 2008, Section 6(1)(d).
Sweden
At the CDDH, Sweden, with respect to amendments made by other States concerning the prohibition of attacks against civilian objects by way of reprisals, stated that it was “in favour of such a ban”. 
Sweden, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIV, CDDH/III/SR.15, 7 February 1975, p. 125, § 39.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
Means and methods of warfare
Even in war not everything is allowed. Various means and methods are prohibited, including … Reprisals against the civilian population or against non-military objectives[.] 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, p. 29.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
At the CDDH, the United Kingdom, with respect to an amendment concerning the protection of civilian objects, stated:
The amendment proposed no ban on reprisals, the intention being to leave intact the existing ban on reprisals against civilian objects in occupied territory which were contained in the [1907 Hague Regulations] and [the 1949 Geneva Convention IV], and to retain the right of reprisal against such objects in enemy territory subject to the existing restraints in customary law, which were considerable. His delegation shared the misgivings expressed by the representative of Canada concerning the proposed ban on reprisals and agreed that such bans would have to be conditional on the improvement of the means of enforcement and supervision of the provisions on protection of the civilian population … If a ban was introduced, it should not, in his view, be absolute but qualified, so that the right should be retained, subject to strict legal restraint on its exercise, in the circumstances where a Party to the conflict was subjected to persistent attacks on its own civilians and civilian objects which did not cease despite repeated protests. In such circumstances a Party to the conflict would undoubtedly take reprisal measures. 
United Kingdom, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIV, CDDH/III/SR.16, 10 February 1975, pp. 139–140, §§ 57–58.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, the United Kingdom stated:
To be lawful, a belligerent reprisal must meet two conditions. First, it must not be directed against persons or objects against which the taking of reprisals is specifically prohibited … The Geneva Conventions of 1949 prohibit the taking of reprisals against persons or objects protected by the Conventions … The Conventions do not preclude the taking of reprisals against … civilian objects in enemy territory. Additional Protocol I prohibits the taking of reprisals against … civilian objects (Article 52(1)) … The application of these provisions would have a greater effect on the retaliatory use of nuclear weapons. Again, however, these provisions are correctly regarded as innovative and thus as inapplicable to the use of nuclear weapons. 
United Kingdom, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 16 June 1995, pp. 58–59.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, the United Kingdom stated:
The obligations of Articles 51 and 55 are accepted on the basis that any adverse party against which the United Kingdom might be engaged will itself scrupulously observe those obligations. If an adverse party makes serious and deliberate attacks, in violation of Article 51 or Article 52 against the civilian population or civilians or against civilian objects, or, in violation of Articles 53, 54 and 55, on objects or items protected by those Articles, the United Kingdom will regard itself as entitled to take measures otherwise prohibited by the Articles in question to the extent that it considers such measures necessary for the sole purpose of compelling the adverse party to cease committing violations under those Articles, but only after formal warning to the adverse party requiring cessation of the violations has been disregarded and then only after a decision taken at the highest level of government. Any measures thus taken by the United Kingdom will not be disproportionate to the violations giving rise thereto and will not involve any action prohibited by the Geneva Conventions of 1949 nor will such measures be continued after the violations have ceased. The United Kingdom will notify the Protecting Powers of any such formal warning given to an adverse party, and if that warning has been disregarded, of any measures taken as a result. 
United Kingdom, Reservations and declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 28 January 1998, § (m).
United States of America
In 1987, in submitting the 1977 Additional Protocol II to the US Senate for advice and consent to ratification, the US President announced his decision not to ratify the 1977 Additional Protocol I, stating, inter alia, that the Additional Protocol I “fails to improve substantially the compliance and verification mechanisms of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and eliminates an important sanction against violations of those Conventions”. 
United States, Message from the US President transmitting the 1977 Additional Protocol II to the US Senate for advice and consent to ratification, Treaty Doc. 100-2, 29 January 1987.
United States of America
In 1987, the Deputy Legal Adviser of the US Department of State affirmed that the United States did not support “the prohibition on reprisals in article 51 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and subsequent articles” and did not consider it part of customary law. 
United States, Remarks of Michael J. Matheson, Deputy Legal Adviser, US Department of State, The Sixth Annual American Red Cross-Washington College of Law Conference on International Humanitarian Law: A Workshop on Customary International Law and the 1977 Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, American Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 2, 1987, p. 426.
United States of America
According to an army lawyer who participated in the review of the 1977 Additional Protocol I by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff:
Article 51, paragraph 6, and article 52, paragraph 1, of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] prohibit reprisals against the civilian population or civilian objects of en enemy nation, respectively. These provisions are not a codification of customary international law, but, in fact, a reversal of that law. The military review considered whether surrender of these rights would advance the law of war, or threaten the continued respect for the rule of law in war. It was concluded that removal of this legal right placed any further respect for the rule of law by certain nations in jeopardy …
The American review recognized the historic pattern for abuse of U.S. and allied prisoners of war by their enemies, and concluded that a broad reservation to the prohibition of reprisals contained in articles 51 and 52 of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] was essential as a legitimate enforcement mechanism in order to ensure respect for the law of war. 
W. Hays Parks, Air War and the Law of War, Air Force Law Review, Vol. 32, No. 1, 1990, pp. 94 and 97.
United States of America
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, the United States stated:
Various provisions of Additional Protocol I contain prohibitions on reprisals against specific types of persons or objects, including … civilian objects (Article 52(1)) … These are among the new rules established by the Protocol that … do not apply to nuclear weapons. 
United States, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 20 June 1995, p. 31.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
At the CDDH, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia stated: “Reprisals against civilian objects … should be prohibited.” 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIV, CDDH/III/SR.16, 10 February 1975, p. 127, § 5.
UN General Assembly
In 2001, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts, to which the 2001 ILC Draft Articles on State Responsibility, and thus Article 50(1)(c) stating that “[c]ountermeasures shall not affect … obligations of a humanitarian character prohibiting reprisals”, were annexed. In the resolution, the General Assembly took note of the Draft Articles and commended them to the attention of governments “without prejudice to the question of their future adoption or other appropriate action”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 56/83, 12 December 2001, § 3 and Annex, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992)
In 1994, in its final report on grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of IHL committed in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992), referring to Article 52(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, stated: “Reprisals against the following categories of persons and objects are specifically prohibited: … (f) Civilian objects.” 
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992), Final report, UN Doc. S/1994/674, 27 May 1994, § 65.
The Commission further stated:
In international armed conflicts to which the four Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol I apply, lawful reprisals … must be directed exclusively against combatants or other military objectives subject to the limitations contained in the Geneva Conventions, Protocol I and customary international law of armed conflicts. In international armed conflicts where Additional Protocol I does not apply, reprisals may be directed against a much wider category of persons and objects, but subject to the limitations of customary international law of armed conflicts. 
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992), Final report, UN Doc. S/1994/674, 27 May 1994, § 66.
No data.
Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention
The Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention in 2001 adopted a declaration calling upon “the Occupying Power [in the conflict between Israel and Palestinians] to refrain from perpetrating any other violation of [the 1949 Geneva Convention IV], in particular reprisals against protected persons and their property”. 
Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, Geneva, 5 December 2001, Declaration, § 14.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In its judgment in the Kupreškić case in 2000, the ICTY Trial Chamber stated: “Reprisals against civilian objects are outlawed by Article 52(1) of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I].” 
ICTY, Kupreškić case, Judgment, 14 January 2000, § 527.
No data.
No data.