Practice Relating to Rule 139. Respect for International Humanitarian Law
Colombia’s Basic Military Manual (1995) notes: “States must … respect and ensure respect for the norms [of IHL] in all circumstances.”
Colombia’s Instructors’ Manual (1999) states: “The States which have ratified … international conventions and treaties on the law of war must respect them and ensure their respect in all circumstances.”
Colombia’s Directive No. 10 (2007), whose objective is to prevent the killing of protected persons, states:
The state of Colombia is party to instruments of public international law which regulate international humanitarian law and thus is obliged to respect and apply international humanitarian law. This obligation applies to the members of the armed forces who are the obvious addressees of such humanitarian norms. Consequently, in carrying out the mission assigned to the armed forces by Article 217 of the Political Constitution [of Colombia], the armed forces must be strictly subjected to international humanitarian law.
In 2007, in the Constitutional Case No. C-291/07
, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated: “At the international level, the State obligation to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law is found in Article 1 common to the 1949 Geneva Conventions and has acquired customary status.”
(footnotes in original omitted)
The Court added that this obligation includes “the obligation to take all necessary legislative, administrative or judicial measures to adapt their domestic legal framework, when applicable, to the norms established under humanitarian law”.
A working paper prepared by the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in October 1996 for a meeting of experts on commissions and other bodies entrusted with proposing national measures for the application of IHL stated:
The Colombian Government reaffirms its inescapable commitment to respect and ensure respect for the rules of International Humanitarian Law, especially the norms of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and of their Additional Protocols of 1977 which are in force for Colombia.