Practice Relating to Rule 151. Individual Responsibility
Hungary’s Criminal Code (1978), as amended in 1998, under the title “Crimes against humanity”, provides for the punishment of a list of certain acts including genocide and war crimes, such as: “Violence against the civilian population” (Article 158); “War-time looting” (Article 159); “Wanton warfare” (Article 160); “Use of weapons prohibited by international treaty” (Article 160/A); “Battlefield looting” (Article 161); “Violence against a war emissary” (Article 163); and “Misuse of the red cross” (Article 164). Punishment is provided for some of them when committed “in an operational or occupied area” or “violating the rules of the international law of warfare”.
Hungary’s Order of the Minister of Defence on the Adoption of Service Regulations (2005) states that soldiers shall observe “laws pertaining to the service and other internal provision, including regulations regarding warfare and humanitarian rules”.
The Order further states:
10. Soldiers shall respect international regulations on the conduct of warfare and the protection of victims of war, provisions on protection of citizens, assets, environment and nature, as well as the integrity and inviolability of medical organizations and personnel and religious personnel using distinctive signs regulated in international treaties. The appendix of the Service Regulations … contains the most important regulations of the treaties.
19. Soldiers during foreign service on operational territory:
a) shall be acquainted with and enforce the relevant bilateral and multilateral international agreements, the rules of international humanitarian law (see appendix to this Order), laws and customs of the Host State, the regulations regarding armed missions of international organizations, provisions of operational rules binding on Hungarian corps, as well, issued by the operator headquarters, and the content of the prospectus and the job description;
b) as a superior he shall ensure that his subordinates are acquainted with these regulations to the degree necessary to their tasks and status.
In 1993, during a debate in the UN Security Council following the unanimous vote on Resolution 827 (1993) establishing the ICTY, Hungary noted:
This is the first time that the United Nations established an international criminal jurisdiction to prosecute persons who commit grave violations of international humanitarian law … We note … the importance of the fact that the jurisdiction of the [ICTY] covers the whole range of international humanitarian law and the entire duration of the conflict throughout the territory of former Yugoslavia.
In 1996, during a debate in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on the report of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography on refugees, displaced persons, and reconstruction in certain countries in the former Yugoslavia, Hungary declared:
Those who committed war crimes or crimes against humankind should be prosecuted and held responsible for their acts before an international court, namely the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.