Practice Relating to Rule 147. Reprisals against Protected Objects
Section F. Works and installations containing dangerous forces
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) provides: “No reprisals may be taken against the works or installations [containing dangerous forces].”
Referring, inter alia
, to Articles 51–56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, the manual further provides: “Protected buildings and facilities … should not be the subject of reprisals.”
According to Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994), “protected buildings and facilities … should not be the subject of reprisals”.
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
G. P. I [1977 Additional Protocol I] extends the categories of persons and objects against whom reprisals are prohibited to [include] … works or installations containing dangerous forces, namely dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
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.