Practice Relating to Rule 106. Conditions for Prisoner-of-War Status
Section B. Levée en masse
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) considers the population of a territory that spontaneously takes up arms against an invading army to be combatants, provided they are part of an organized force, commanded by a person responsible for the conduct of his or her subordinates, subject to an internal disciplinary system, and comply with the law of war.
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states that “inhabitants of a territory who spontaneously take up arms to resist invading forces” are lawful combatants. [Such inhabitants] “must also fulfil the following collective requirements to be considered lawful combatants”:
- organized forces;
- under a command responsible for the conduct of its subordinates;
- internal disciplinary system;
- compliance with the law of armed conflict.
The manual further states: “The civilian population has the right to spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, provided that they carry arms openly and respect the law of armed conflict.”