Practice Relating to Rule 15. The Principle of Precautions in Attack
Section B. Avoidance or minimization of incidental damage
France’s LOAC Teaching Note (1989) provides: “All precautions must be taken in order to avoid or minimize incidental injury and collateral damage.”
In 2008, in response to a parliamentary question, the Minister of Defence of France stated:
[France] is a party to the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which defines the major fundamental principles of protection of the civilian population against the effects of hostilities, in particular … the principle of … precaution in attack, which requires constant attention to reduce to a minimum any collateral damage. France considers this document is a fundamental pillar of international humanitarian law and wishes it to become universal as soon as possible, in order to allow for the requirements of humanity during armed conflicts to be better respected.
On Afghanistan, we remain seriously concerned about the intolerably high number of conflict-related civilian casualties. The large majority of them are caused by indiscriminate attacks by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other violent armed groups. We would also like to take note of the continued progress made by Afghan and international forces in minimizing civilian casualties.