Practice relating to Rule 66. Non-Hostile Contacts between the Parties to the Conflict

Hague Regulations (1899)
Article 33 of the 1899 Hague Regulations stipulates: “The chief to whom a parlementaire is sent is not obliged to receive him in all circumstances.” 
Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to Convention (II) with Respect to the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 29 July 1899, Article 33.
Hague Regulations (1907)
Article 33 of the 1907 Hague Regulations stipulates: “The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not in all cases obliged to receive him.” 
Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 18 October 1907, Article 33.
Brussels Declaration
Article 44 of the 1874 Brussels Declaration provides:
The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not in all cases and under all conditions obliged to receive him … He may likewise declare beforehand that he will not receive parlementaires during a certain period. 
Project of an International Declaration concerning the Laws and Customs of War, Brussels, 27 August 1874, Article 44.
Oxford Manual
Article 29 of the 1880 Oxford Manual states: “The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not in all cases obliged to receive him.” 
The Laws of War on Land, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 September 1880, Article 29.
Oxford Manual of Naval War
Article 45 of the 1913 Oxford Manual of Naval War provides: “The commanding officer to whom a cartel ship is sent is not obliged to receive it under all circumstances.” 
The Laws of Naval War Governing the Relations between Belligerents, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 August 1913, Article 45.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) provides: “The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not obliged to receive him at all times.” 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 6.002.
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) provides: “The chief to whom a parlementaire is sent is not obliged to receive him in all circumstances.” It also states that it is prohibited for commanders to decide a priori that they will not receive parlementaires. 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 40.
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Officers (1994) states that the parlementaire “does not necessarily have to be received by the adverse party”. 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Manuel d’Instruction pour Officiers, Etat-Major Général, Division Opérations, 1994, Part I, Title II, p. 25.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states: “There is no obligation upon the adverse party to receive a parlementaire.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 14-1, § 5.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter entitled “Communications and contact between opposing forces”:
There is no obligation upon the adverse party to receive a parlementaire. The adverse party does not have to cease combat. The belligerent may not fire upon the parlementaire, white flag or party. The parlementaire and those who are in his or her party are entitled to complete inviolability, so long as they do nothing to abuse this protection, or to take advantage of their protected position. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1402.3.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers):
II.4. The white flag (the flag of truce)
The white flag signifies “I want to enter into communication or negotiate with you”, and not necessarily “I want to surrender”. How does one use the white flag? The party which uses the white flag must cease firing. As soon as it has done so, the other side must do the same. Enemy forces then can in certain cases show their surrender in an evident manner, by throwing away their weapons and raising their arms. A surrender is generally accepted and the enemy is treated consequently, but there is no obligation to receive a delegation of parlementaires. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 42–43.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not in all cases obliged to receive him.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 226.
Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) provides a parlementaire must be received, unless particular circumstances do not permit it. However, it can be declared that no parlementaires will be received for a certain period of time. Such a policy may also be adopted as a reprisal measure. 
Italy, Manuale di diritto umanitario, Introduzione e Volume I, Usi e convenzioni di Guerra, SMD-G-014, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, Vol. I, §§ 54 and 55.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) provides: “There is no obligation to receive a flag party and it may be sent back.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 4, p. 4.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides: “A commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not obliged to receive him.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. IV-4.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “The commanding officer to whom a parlementaire is sent is under no obligation to receive him.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0419.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “There is no obligation upon the adverse Party to receive a parlementaire.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 406(3).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War provides: “The force commander (of the other side) is not obliged to receive the parlementaire.” 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 24.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states:
Refusal to enter into negotiations with the enemy does not violate international humanitarian law, however in any case the commander shall ensure the inviolability of the parlementaire and the persons who accompany him. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 67.
Spain
Spain’s Field Regulations (1882) states that a commander may refuse to receive a parlementaire only if it would result in an immediate and manifest prejudice to operations or if it appears to be a dilatory manoeuvre. 
Spain, El Reglamento para el Servicio de Campaña, 4 January 1882, § 903.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not obliged to receive him in every case.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 2.6.c.(1).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “Commanders to whom parlementaires are sent are not obliged to receive them.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 2.6.c.(1); see also § 7.5.c.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) states: “The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not obliged to receive him.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 14.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) states:
The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not obliged to receive him in every case. There may be a movement in progress the success of which depends on secrecy, or owing to the state of the defences, it may be considered undesirable to allow an envoy to approach a besieged locality. In direct contrast, however, to a former rule, it is now no longer permissible – except in cases of reprisals for abuses of the flag of truce – for a belligerent to declare beforehand, even for a stated period, that he will not receive parlementaires. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 398.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) provides: “There is no obligation to receive a flag party which may be sent back.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 4, p. 16, § 10.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not obliged to receive him in every case. However, it is no longer permissible for a belligerent to declare beforehand, even for a stated period, that he will not receive parlementaires. However, the commander is entitled to take all steps necessary to protect the safety of his position or unit and to prevent the parlementaire from taking advantage of his visit to secure information. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 10.8.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) provides: “The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not in all cases obliged to receive him.” 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 463.
The manual adds:
The present rule is that a belligerent may not declare beforehand, even for a specified period – except in case of reprisal for abuses of the flag of truce – that he will not receive parlementaires. An unnecessary repetition of visits need not be allowed. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 464.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) provides:
The party to the conflict to which a parlementaire is sent is not obliged to receive him in any case.
It is forbidden for the parties to the conflict to announce [beforehand] that they will not receive a parlementaire …
It is allowed to refuse to receive a parlementaire in order for him not to see or find out something about movements or regrouping of troops or the like. It is also allowed to refuse to receive a parlementaire as a measure of reprisals, if the party that sends the parlementaire had previously abused the flag of parlementaires. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 125.
Italy
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, stipulates: “The commander of the operating force is not obliged to receive a parlementaire in all circumstances.” 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, as amended in 1992, Article 68.
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Hague Peace Conference (1899)
The Report of the Second Commission of the 1899 Hague Peace Conference stated that Article 33 of the 1899 Hague Regulations “deals with the right that every belligerent has … to refuse to receive a parlementaire … All these rules conform to the necessities and customs of war.” The Second Commission also took the position that “the principles of the law of nations do not permit a belligerent ever to declare, even for a limited time, that he will not receive flags of truce”. 
James B. Scott (ed.), The Reports of the Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1917, p. 147.
According to Levie, this would mean that, “while a commander may refuse, in a specific case, to receive a parlementaire, perhaps because he believes that it is merely an attempt to gain time, he may not state it as a general policy”. 
Howard S. Levie (ed.), The Code of International Armed Conflict, Vol. I, Oceana Publications Inc., London/Rome/New York, 1986, p. 155.
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ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that: “The commander is not in all circumstances obliged to receive a bearer of flag of truce or similar persons.” 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 540.
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