United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Practice Relating to Rule 36. Demilitarized Zones
Section B. Attacks on demilitarized zones
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
It is prohibited for the Parties to the conflict to extend their military operations to zones on which they have conferred by agreement the status of demilitarized zone, if such extension is contrary to the terms of this agreement.
With regard to internal armed conflict, the manual provides that (in addition to the prohibition on attacks against undefended localities “[t]he other rules on protective zones applicable in international armed conflicts may be applied by analogy to internal armed conflicts”.
In its chapter on enforcement of the law of armed conflict, the manual notes:
Additional Protocol I extends the definition of grave breaches to include the following:
b. any of the following acts, when committed wilfully, in violation of the relevant provisions of the protocol, and causing death or serious injury to body or health:
(4) making non-defended localities and demilitarized zones the object of attack.
The UK Geneva Conventions Act (1957), as amended in 1995, punishes
any person, whatever his nationality, who, whether in or outside the United Kingdom, commits, or aids, abets or procures the commission by any other person of, a grave breach of … [the 1977 Additional Protocol I].