Practice Relating to Rule 67. Inviolability of Parlementaires
Spain’s Field Regulations (1882) states: “The person of the parlementaire is inviolable.” It adds that in a combat situation, fire must not be stopped when a parlementaire approaches, until superior orders have been given to do so.
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides:
Parlementaires and persons accompanying them are inviolable. When entering an area controlled by the adverse party, the parlementaires and those accompanying them must not be taken prisoner or detained … and they must adopt appropriate measures for their return to take place in secure conditions. The presence of parlementaires and the beginning of negotiations is not in itself a sufficient reason to alter the course of operations.
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states:
Parlementaires and those who accompany them are inviolable. When a flag party enters the area controlled by the adverse party, it cannot be taken prisoner or detained. They must be treated according to the rules of military etiquette, and the necessary measures must be taken to ensure their safe return. The presence of a flag party and the start of negotiations do not necessarily constitute a reason to alter the course of operations in progress.
The manual also states: “Respect all persons … bearing … the white flag of truce”.
The manual further states with respect to parlementaires: “Flag parties, including drivers and interpreters, are inviolable, except if it is proved in a clear and incontestable manner that they have taken advantage of their privileged position to commit an act that is harmful to the adverse party.”
Spain’s Royal Ordinance for the Armed Forces (1978) provides that it is prohibited to attack or retain parlementaires.
Spain’s Military Criminal Code (1985) punishes any soldier who “offends in words or in deeds or unduly retains a parlementaire or the persons who accompany him”.
Spain’s Penal Code (1995) punishes “anyone who, during an armed conflict, … infringes on the inviolability of, or retains unduly, a parlementaire or any person who accompanies him”.
The Penal Code only refers to parlementaires protected under the 1899 Hague Convention (II).