Practice Relating to Rule 145. Reprisals
Section A. Definition and purpose of reprisals
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) states:
Under customary law, reprisals are permitted to counter unlawful acts of warfare. They can only be taken if:
–they are intended to secure legitimate warfare;
–… they are carried out only against combatants and military objectives.
Reprisals are an unsatisfactory way of enforcing the law. They tend to be used as an excuse for illegal methods of warfare and carry a danger of escalation through repeated reprisals and counter reprisals.