Practice Relating to Rule 142. Instruction in International Humanitarian Law within Armed Forces
Section B. Obligation of commanders to instruct the armed forces under their command
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands, referring to Article 87 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, states: “Commanders must first of all ensure that their people know the rules of the law of war.”
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands states: “Commanders must ensure that their people know the rules of the law of war.”
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands provides:
Commanding officers are responsible for ensuring that their subordinates know the humanitarian law of war and act in accordance with that law. Personnel training should include lessons on the humanitarian law of war. In view of the subject’s importance, lessons should be given by officers, who should themselves have been trained in the subject. The provision of adequate (instruction) material forms part of the commanding officers’ responsibility. The commanding officer should, finally, integrate the humanitarian law of war with military courses and exercises, to achieve action which consolidates the standard.
On the basis of an interview with high-ranking officers of the army of the Netherlands, the Report on the Practice of the Netherlands states that commanders are responsible for training in IHL.