Practice Relating to Rule 47. Attacks against Persons Hors de Combat
Section C. Quarter under unusual circumstances of combat
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) states:
Troops holding PWs [prisoners of war] may not kill them to preserve themselves, even in cases of extreme necessity; for instance, because they slow up their movements, require guards needed for other purposes, consume scarce supplies or appear certain to be set free by their own forces. If they cannot be held, they must be released unharmed.
Under Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, any “minor breach” of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 41(3), is a punishable offence.
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Ireland stated: “The word ‘feasible’ means that which is practicable or practically possible, taking into account all circumstances at the time, including humanitarian and military considerations.”