Practice Relating to Rule 65. Perfidy
Section E. Simulation of an intention to negotiate under the white flag of truce
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) prohibits perfidy and states: “It is forbidden to feign a protected status to invite the confidence of the enemy (abuse of … white flag).”
The Summary Note also states that the “perfidious use of protected signs and signals” is a grave breach of the law of war and a war crime.
France’s LOAC Teaching Note (2000) provides: “The recourse to perfidy is prohibited, notably the abuse of the white flag.”
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) states:
Using a protective sign in order to deceive the enemy and attain an operational goal constitutes an act of perfidy. In some cases, this may be a war crime. It is notably prohibited to feign an intention to negotiate under the cover of the flag of parlementaires.
Moreover, the manual states: “The perfidious use of any protective sign provided for by international law constitutes a war crime.”
France’s Penal Code (1992), as amended in 2010, states in its section on war crimes related to international armed conflict: “Making improper use of the flag of truce … and thereby causing serious bodily harm to a combatant from the adverse party is a punishable offence.”