Practice Relating to Rule 15. The Principle of Precautions in Attack
Section C. Feasibility of precautions in attack
At the CDDH, the representative of Switzerland was critical of the wording of Article 57 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I because it lacked clarity, specifically the words “those who plan or decide upon an attack” in the chapeau of Article 57(2). He stated that this
ambiguous wording might well place a burden or responsibility on junior military personnel which ought normally to be borne by those of higher rank. The obligations set out in [Article 57 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I] could concern the high commands only – the higher grades of the military hierarchy, and it was thus that Switzerland would interpret that provision.
In its declaration made upon signature and in a reservation made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Switzerland specified that Article 57(2) applied only to the ranks of commanding officers at the battalion or group level and those of higher ranks.
In 2005, Switzerland withdrew its reservations to Articles 57 and 58 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I.