Practice Relating to Rule 145. Reprisals
Section F. Limitation of reprisals by principles of humanity
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) states:
Under Additional Protocol I, reprisals are permitted only against military personnel. A state acceding to Additional Protocol I thereby accepts a limitation of its freedom to employ reprisals. The [Swedish International Humanitarian Law] Committee believes that this involves a considerable humanitarian advance.
The possibility just recounted – for a party to Additional Protocol I suffering a breach of international law to employ reprisals – is to be considered as a hypothetical case. The Committee strongly discourages such application in view of its manifestly inhuman effect.