Practice Relating to Rule 100. Fair Trial Guarantees
France’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975), as amended, provides that it is prohibited to “convict persons without a previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted tribunal affording judicial guarantees provided by law”.
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) provides: “Every person, whether combatant or non-combatant, shall benefit from the fundamental judicial guarantees.”
The Summary Note further states that “deprivation of the fundamental judicial guarantees” is a grave breach of the 1949 Geneva Convention III.
France’s LOAC Teaching Note (2000) states that “violations of the fundamental judicial guarantees” are grave breaches of the law of armed conflict.
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) states that one of the three main principles common to IHL and human rights is the “principle of inviolability” which guarantees to every human being the fundamental judicial guarantees.
The manual refers to common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and stipulates that the “passing of sentences … without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples” is prohibited.
France’s Code of Defence (2004), as amended in 2008, states: “Members of the military shall respect the right to a fair trial of those persons suspected of committing crimes or offences.”
The instructions given to the French armed forces for the conduct of Opération Mistral, simulating a military operation under the right of self-defence or a mandate of the UN Security Council, state: “Every person has the right to a fair trial by a regularly constituted tribunal respecting the fundamental judicial guarantees.”