Practice Relating to Rule 142. Instruction in International Humanitarian Law within Armed Forces

Additional Protocol I
Article 87(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides:
In order to prevent and suppress breaches, High Contracting Parties and the Parties to the conflict shall require that, commensurate with their level of responsibility, commanders ensure that members of the armed forces under their command are aware of their obligations under the Conventions and this Protocol. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 87(2). Article 87 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR. 45, 30 May 1977, p. 307.
No data.
Australia
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) provides: “Military commanders of all Services and at all levels bear responsibility for ensuring that forces under their control comply with LOAC.” 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 1204.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states: “Military commanders of all Services and at all levels bear responsibility for ensuring that forces under their control comply with LOAC.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 1304.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Training Manual (1994) states that one of the tasks of the legal adviser of the armed forces is to “supervise the organisation of instruction in subordinate units, and to ensure that the levels of understanding are obtained”. 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict Training, DI(G) OPS 33-1, 24 January 1994, § 17.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states: “Military commanders of all Services and at all levels bear responsibility for ensuring that forces under their control comply with LOAC.” 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 13.6.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s LOAC Teaching Directive (1996) states:
Each commander is responsible for ensuring that the personnel placed under his authority have sufficient knowledge of their obligations [under the law of armed conflict] and that they have … received appropriate instruction and training. 
Belgium, Directive sur l’enseignement du droit des conflits armés et des règles d’engagement au sein des Forces Armées belges, Ordre Général J/185, Forces Armées, Etat-Major Général, Division Opérations, 8 February 1996, Section 1.
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Soldiers states: “Every soldier must know the essential rules of the law of war … and their meaning in order to be able to apply them. The command must ensure this knowledge by means of an appropriate instruction.” 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Dossier d’Instruction pour Soldat, à l’attention des officiers instructeurs, JS3, Etat-Major Général, Forces Armées belges, undated, p. 1.
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) states:
Each military commander is responsible for respect for the law of war within his sphere of command. Within his unit, he is in particular responsible for the instruction of the law of war in order to induce his troops to adopt a behaviour in conformity with the law and above all vis-à-vis specifically protected persons and objects.
The manual adds: “The military commander must take all measures so that: the subordinates know their obligations arising from the law of war and respect them.” 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule II, pp. 14 and 15.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “The commander must … ensure that … his subordinates know their obligations under the law of war.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 43; see also Part I bis, pp. 66 and 97.
The Regulations further states: “It is the responsibility of the commander to incorporate the law of war into the various military training programmes.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 97; see also Part I bis, pp. 42, 66, 29, 49, 72 and 98, and Part I, p. vi.
The Regulations also states: “Since respect for the law of war is linked to discipline, the instruction of the law of war must be an integral part of military training.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 66.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975) states:
The military commander must incorporate in his programmes the legal problems that shall permit all members of the Armed Forces not only to realistically complete their knowledge of the international law of war, but also to solve, in time of peace, problems he will face in case of armed conflict. This instruction, in addition to military training, must be the object of instruction sessions in all military units and schools. 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline dans les Forces Armées, Décret No. 75/700, 6 November 1975, Article 35.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) states: “In the Armed Forces, every Commander is responsible for the instruction of his soldiers and their behaviour in action.” 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 15, § 14.
The manual further states: “Instruction in the Law of War constitutes an essential part of the activity of commanding.” 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 133; see also p. 86, § 13.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states that “instruction in the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law … constitutes an essential part of the activity of the command”. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 219, § 531; see also p. 285.
The manual also states:
In the Armed Forces, every commander is responsible for the instruction of his men …
For this reason, the laws of armed conflict and international humanitarian law provide a code of conduct for the Defence Forces; a guide on how to behave in combat. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 90, § 351.4; see also p. 175.
The manual adds:
It is important that future officers of the staff of military headquarters are trained in [ensuring that] … the formulation of orders and the conduct of armed operations are in accordance with the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 255.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (2007) states:
Article 35. Responsibility and instruction
Within the framework of the rules of this chapter, the soldiers of the Cameroonian Defence Forces must make themselves thoroughly familiar with their responsibility as regards respect for international humanitarian law and the law of armed conflicts …
Thus, respect for the rules of international law must be a natural duty for the Cameroonian soldier. If, in a particular situation, he is in doubt as regards the rules of international law, he must ask his superior for a decision; if that is impossible to him, he acts in accordance with his conscience.
Consequently, the military command must incorporate in its programmes the legal problems that will permit all members of the Defence Forces not only to complete in a realistic way their knowledge in the area of the Law of Armed Conflicts and International Humanitarian Law, but also to solve, already in time of peace, problems of international law such as they will arise in the case of armed conflict. This instruction, complementary to military training, must be the object of instruction sessions in all units, instruction centres and military schools. 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline générale dans les forces de défense, Décret N° 2007/199, Président de la République, 7 July 2007, Article 35.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides: “Commanders have a responsibility to ensure that forces under their command are aware of their responsibilities related to the LOAC and that they behave in a manner consistent with the LOAC.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 15-1, § 7.
The manual further notes: “In order to prevent and suppress breaches, commanders are responsible for ensuring that members of the armed forces under their command are aware of their obligations under the LOAC.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 16-7, § 50.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) states: “A military unit that obeys the Law of Armed Conflict is one that demonstrates discipline and leadership. This requires training. The responsibility for this training rests with leaders at all levels.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Introduction, § 15.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter entitled “Preventative and enforcement measures and the role of protecting powers”:
Commanders have a responsibility to ensure that forces under their command are aware of their responsibilities related to the LOAC and that they behave in a manner consistent with the LOAC. Commanders may be held personally and criminally liable in respect of illegal acts committed by those under their command, especially if they knew or should have known that such acts were being committed or were likely to be committed. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1504.
In its chapter on “War crimes, individual criminal liability and command responsibility”, the manual states: “In order to prevent and suppress breaches, commanders are responsible for ensuring that members of the armed forces under their command are aware of their obligations under the LOAC.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1621.2.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) states:
15. A military unit that obeys the Law of Armed Conflict is one that demonstrates discipline and leadership. This requires training. The responsibility for this training rests with leaders at all levels.
The responsibility for training all members of the CF [Canadian Forces] on the Code of Conduct rests with leaders at all levels. Although the office of the Judge Advocate General is the office of primary interest (OPI) as the subject matter expert for the development of the Code of Conduct, the actual training of members of the CF must be organized and conducted through the chain of command. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Introduction, § 15 and Lesson Plan, Introduction.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 2 (Instruction for group and patrol leaders):
INTRODUCTION
Each military commander is responsible for respect for the law of war within his sphere of command. Within his unit, he is in particular responsible for the instruction of the law of war in order to induce his troops to adopt a behaviour in conformity with the law and above all vis-à-vis specifically protected persons and objects.
II. RESPONSIBILITY OF INDIVIDUAL SOLDIERS
The law of war is about order and discipline. It must therefore be respected and applied under all circumstances.
Every military commander must therefore take all measures necessary to ensure that:
- his subordinates are familiar with their obligations under the law of war and respect them;
- measures to prevent violations of the law of war are disseminated.
III. INSTRUCTION IN THE LAW OF WAR
Every military commander is fully responsible for ensuring that the law of war is appropriately taught within his sphere of authority. This is an essential part of a military commander’s activity. 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 2: Formation pour l’obtention du certificat technique No. 2 (Chef de Groupe), du certificat Inter-Armé (CIA), du certificat d’aptitude de Chef de Patrouille (CACP), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter IV, Introduction–Section III.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states:
The troop commander … must ensure that … [h]is subordinates know their obligations under the law of war.
The main aim in teaching the law of war is to ensure full respect for the law of war by all members of the armed forces regardless of their rank, time, location or social status.
- This teaching must be incorporated into the military training programmes.
Each commander is fully responsible for ensuring that the law of war is appropriately taught in his unit. 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 76; see also p. 80.
Colombia
Colombia’s Directive on IHL (1993) states:
The Ministry of National Defence gives instructions aimed at intensifying the development of capacity-building programmes of the members of the public force, on themes referring to respect for Human Rights and the application of the rules of International Humanitarian Law, with the view to prevent and correct conduct which violates those rules …
The General Command of the Military Forces and the Directorate of the National Police [g]ive the commanders of the public force the necessary instructions for each force to intensify, develop and complete, in the corresponding courses of training and capacity-building of their personnel, the relevant studies on respect for Human Rights and ensure the obligatory application of International Humanitarian Law. 
Colombia, Normas de Derecho Internacional Humanitario, Directiva Permanente No. 017, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, 17 August 1993, Sections IV.(A) and IV.(B)(1).
Colombia
Colombia’s Soldiers’ Manual (1999) states that it is useful for commanders, especially officers in charge of the instruction of troops, to be able to “count on an efficient instrument of practical and daily use to educate and train Colombian soldiers”. 
Colombia, Derechos Humanos & Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Guía de Conducta para el Soldado e Infante de Marina, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Oficina de Derechos Humanos, Fuerzas Militares de Colombia, Santafé de Bogotá, 1999, p. i.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book III, Volume 2 (Instruction of second-year trainee officers):
I.3.2. Obligation to control knowledge
“In order to prevent and suppress breaches, High Contracting Parties and Parties to the conflict shall require that, commensurate with their level of responsibility, commanders ensure that members of the armed forces under their command are aware of their obligations under the [1949 Geneva] Conventions and [the 1977 Additional] Protocol [I].”
III.3. Responsibility of the commander
Commanders have the duty to:
- ensure that the personnel under their command are instructed on the rules of the law of armed conflicts;
- ensure that their orders are executed by their subordinates with respect for the law;
Members of the armed forces holding command functions have the duty:
- to show, by the interest they manifest and by the importance they give to training in times of peace and, of course, by their behaviour in combat, that they respect the law …
- to integrate legal problems in practical exercises. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 36 and 39–40.
Croatia
Croatia’s Commanders’ Manual (1992) states: “The commander himself ensures that his subordinates are aware of their obligations under the law of war and respect them.” It adds that “the commander is responsible for proper law of war training” and that “the superior is the normal instructor of his subordinates also for law of war training”. 
Croatia, Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflicts – Commanders’ Manual, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, §§ 19, 21 and 23.
France
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) provides: “The commander must ensure that subordinates know their obligations [under IHL] and respect them. He is … responsible for their instruction.” 
France, Fiche de Synthèse sur les Règles Applicables dans les Conflits Armés, Note No. 432/DEF/EMA/OL.2/NP, Général de Corps d’Armée Voinot (pour l’Amiral Lanxade, Chef d’Etat-major des Armées), 1992, § 5.1.
France
France’s LOAC Teaching Note (2000) states: “The commander … must ensure that members of the armed forces know their rights, but also their obligations under the law of armed conflicts. As such, he is responsible for their instruction.” 
France, Fiche didactique relative au droit des conflits armés, Directive of the Ministry of Defence, 4 January 2000, annexed to the Directive No. 147 of the Ministry of Defence of 4 January 2000, p. 7.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001), referring to respect for IHL, provides: “The commander … must ensure that the members of the armed forces know their rights and discharge the corresponding obligations. As such, he is responsible for their instruction.” 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 14.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “The superior has to ensure that his subordinates are aware of their duties and rights under international law.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 138.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) provides that it is the “responsibility of every commander … [to] ensure knowledge of [the law of war]”. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 40.
The manual further provides that, in order to ensure respect for the law of war, every commander shall organize training on the law of war for all members of the armed forces. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 41.
Italy
Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) states: “The commander himself ensures that his subordinates are aware of their obligations under the law of war and respect them.” It further states that “the commander is responsible for proper training” and that “the superior is the normal instructor of his subordinates also for law of war training”. 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, §§ 19, 21 and 23.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) states: “The commander himself shall ensure that his subordinates know their obligations arising from the law of war and respect them.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 4-O, § 19; see also Presentation, pp. 9 and 69, § 1.
The manual further provides that “the commander is responsible for proper law of war training” and that “the superior is the normal instructor of his subordinates also for law of war training”. 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 4-O, §§ 21 and 23.
In addition, the manual states: “The aim of instruction is: … to ensure true respect for this law of war by all combatants.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 4-O, § I.
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009) states: “Military commanders must ensure that members of the armed forces under their command are fully aware of their obligations under the [1949] Geneva Conventions and the [1977] Additional Protocol [I].” 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 173.
Nepal
Nepal’s IHL and IHRL Integration Order (2008) states:
Since Nepal has ratified the Geneva Convention of 1949, it is our obligation that during peace or armed conflict, the provisions of the convention be disseminated in military education and training, [that] awareness of military personnel [be] raised, and [for] commanders to ensure that their subordinates are made knowledgeable in this field. 
Nepal, IHL and IHRL Integration Order for the Nepalese Army, Chief of the Army Staff, Army Headquarters Kathmandu, File Ref. 14644/9/A/064/65/22/874, 22 February 2008, § 4.
Netherlands
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.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. IX-7.
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands states: “Commanders must ensure that their people know the rules of the law of war.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-44.
Netherlands
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. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1106.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1995) states:
It is incumbent upon a commanding officer to ensure that the forces under his command behave in a manner consistent with the laws and customs of war … and it is part of his responsibility to ensure that the troops under his command are aware of their obligations. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1603.2; see also § 1710.1, footnote 68.
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994) recalls: “Commanders are … enjoined to ensure that members of the armed forces under their command are aware of their obligations under the [1949 Geneva] conventions and the [1977 Additional Protocols I and II]”. 
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, p. 30, § 3.
In addition, the manual states:
Every commander … holds full responsibility for proper law of war training within his sphere of authority and it is his duty to determine the needs of his subordinate which shall be integrated into the normal exercise of military activities. 
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, p. 41, § 8.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “The commander is responsible for the appropriate instruction of international humanitarian law.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 20, p. 419; see also § 25(b)(1)(a), p. 227.
The manual also states: “The commander must personally make sure that his subordinates know the obligations stemming from international humanitarian law”. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 19, p. 419; see also § 25(b)(1)(a), p. 227.
Philippines
The Joint Circular on Adherence to IHL and Human Rights (1991) of the Philippines provides:
Commanders shall ensure that all participants in security/police operations shall be briefed and de-briefed before and after every operation to insure proper behavior of personnel and understanding of their mission.
The Circular adds:
Commanders shall ensure that … pertinent provisions of … the Geneva Conventions and United Nations declarations on Humanitarian Law and Human Rights … are understood by every member of the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] and PNP [Philippine National Police] personnel. 
Philippines, Implementation Guidelines for Presidential Memorandum Order No. 393, dated 9 September 1991, Directing the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippines National Police to Reaffirm their Adherence to the Principles of Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in the Conduct of Security/Police Operations, Joint Circular Number 2-91, Department of National Defense, Department of Interior and Local Government, 1991, § 3(b) and (d).
Philippines
The Philippines’ AFP Standing Rules of Engagement (2005) states:
2. Purpose:
a. This document promulgates the Standing Rules of Engagement for the Armed Forces of the Philippines [AFP].
c. … it will provide a common basis for training and planning capabilities. Thus, this document is also authorized for distribution to commanders at all levels and is to be used as fundamental guidance for training and directing their forces.
6. Policy:
d. AFP units will comply with the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) during military operations, no matter how the conflict may be characterized under international law, and will comply with its principles and spirit during all other operations. 
Philippines, AFP Standing Rules of Engagement, Armed Forces of the Philippines, General Headquarters, Office of the Chief of Staff, 1 December 2005, §§ 2(a) and (c) and 6(d).
Philippines
The Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (2006) provides:
While not in combat:
1. Have a strong and effective military values’ education among your troops. The guide on how to prevent HR/IHL [Human Rights/International Humanitarian Law] violations is only the immediate and temporary solution to the problem. The best solution is the character-building among soldiers.
2. Include IHL/HR education in your TI&Es [Troop Information and Education]. Spend time for HR/IHL issues/questions and discussions in your TI&Es. Most HR violations are results of ignorance of the law.
8. Inform the troops that a child taken in custody by government forces in an area of armed conflict should be informed of his/her constitutional rights and shall be treated humanely. Some of [these] basic rights are “the right to remain silent”, “the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty”, “the right to be notified of the charge,” “right to counsel”, “right to presence of parents or guardian”, and the “right to confront and cross examine witnesses.”
During combat operation:
2. Always remind your men to respect human rights. Before you start the combat operations, always remind your men to respect HR of the civilian populace and the enemy. Respecting HR does not make you less a fighter and a soldier. 
Philippines, Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, A Practical Guide for Internal Security Operations, 2006, pp. 54–55, §§ 1–2 and 8, and p. 56, § 2.
Commanders shall ensure that all participants in security operations shall be briefed and debriefed before and after every operation to insure proper behavior of personnel and understanding of their mission as well as to assess the overall impact of the operation to [the] AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] goals and objectives. 
Philippines, Human Rights-Based Intelligence Operations, Rules of Behavior for Military Intelligence personnel, HR-BIO (2011), Armed Forces of the Philippines, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, 2011, p. 17.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states:
In their service activities commanding officers shall be guided by generally accepted principles and rules of international humanitarian law that oblige them:
a) in peace time:
- to organize and be personally involved in the dissemination of international humanitarian law amongst the subordinated personnel; to ensure that it is studied within the process of training and education of servicemen drawing their attention to the fact that the legislation of the Russian Federation provides for criminal responsibility for some breaches of international humanitarian law;
- to constantly maintain law and order and stern military discipline thus ensuring that the subordinates strictly observe the rules of international humanitarian law in the event of armed conflict;
- to invite the commander’s assistant on legal matters acting as the legal adviser in the event of armed conflict to take part in organizing combat training;
- to supervise the training of medical personnel and legal service officers related to studying and carrying out the rules of international humanitarian law;
b) in the event of armed conflict:
- to set an example in the respect of international humanitarian law rules;
- to ensure knowledge and strict respect of international humanitarian law by the subordinated personnel;
- to repress violations of international humanitarian law by the subordinated personnel, if any, call to account the offenders and report to the superior commander. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 10.
Russian Federation
The Internal Service Regulations of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (2007) provides:
General Obligations of Commanders (Superiors)
77. … A commander (superior) must organize legal instruction of the subordinate members of the Armed Forces in the course of combat training with a view to their assimilating the established legal minimum and IHL rules. In the course of carrying out combat missions by a military unit, the commander (superior) guided by requirements of field manuals, must take measures aimed at respecting IHL rules and bring to disciplinary responsibility those guilty of breaching them. In the event of discovering constituent elements of criminal offence in the actions (omissions) of his subordinates, the commander of the unit shall institute criminal proceedings, in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.
A commander (superior), when considering issues pertaining to IHL rules, shall rely on the assistance of a legal adviser when necessary.
83. A commander (superior) must improve his personal professional level of training and methods of management of a unit:
- know the normative legal acts of the Russian Federation within the limits of the legal minimum and IHL rules and act in strict compliance therewith, and to demand that his subordinates respect them. 
Russian Federation, Internal Service Regulations of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (Ustav vnutrennei sluzhbi vooruzhennikh sil Rossiskoi Federacii), approved by Decree No. 1495 of the President of the Russian Federation, 10 November 2007, §§ 77 and 83.
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s Military Regulation 187 (1991) provides that it is a duty of the commander to teach the principles and rules of the laws of war. 
Republic of Korea, Military Regulation 187, 1 January 1991, Article 6.6.1.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) states:
IHL principles are the best mankind can get in armed conflict situations …
Irrespective of rank, all members of the [Republic of Sierra Leone armed forces] must adhere to these rules religiously to avert prosecution for war crimes at the newly instituted Court Martial. The production of this manual is in part fulfilment of Government’s obligation to instruct its armed forces and civilian population alike in the provisions of international humanitarian law.
As this is the focal point of this training manual, all commanders are enjoined to integrate IHL training in their training curriculum on a regular basis so that it becomes second nature to their officers and men. 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, “Introduction” (unnumbered page).
South Africa
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) states:
93. Articles 86 and 87 of Additional Protocol 1 (1977) to the Geneva Conventions (1949) clearly stipulate the responsibilities of military commanders in relation to the LOAC. In essence it stipulates that the inclusion of LOAC during training as well as its application during armed conflict (operations) is and remains a command responsibility. These responsibilities include:
a. Overall Responsibility in Military Operations (General Command Responsibility)
i. The commander of all forces engaged in military operations has the general responsibility for ensuring respect for the LOAC.
ii. General command responsibility extends to all land, sea, air areas of military operations and movement and location.
iii. General command responsibility covers the whole command chain as well as the various evacuation channels.
iv. General command responsibility extends to the civilian field in so far LOAC requires this, particularly with regard to co-operation with civilian authorities.
v. Appropriate guidance (e.g. rules of engagement) shall be given to subordinates with regard to specific circumstances:
(1) to assure uniform action and behaviour; and
(2) to prepare subordinate commanders (particularly those with independent missions) to take themselves the measures required by the situation.
b. Responsibility of Every Commander
i. Respect for the LOAC is a matter of order and discipline. As with order and discipline, LOAC must be respected and enforced in all circumstances.
ii. The commander him/herself must ensure that:
(1) his subordinates are aware of their obligations under LOAC …
Law of Armed Conflict Training. As a command activity every commander holds full responsibility for proper training in LOAC within his/her sphere of authority. The overall aim of LAOC training is to ensure respect for LOAC by all members of the armed forces, irrespective of their function, time, location and situation. It remains incumbent on commanders to ensure that LOAC is included in the programmes for military instruction. This will ensure that the required competences, mindset and responsibilities for LOAC are established with their subordinates. 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 93.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Teaching Manual (2008) states:
5.2 Command Responsibility
General Command Responsibilities
[1977] Additional Protocol I article 87 places the following responsibilities on commanders with respect to members of the armed forces under their command and other persons under their control:
- To disseminate knowledge of the LOAC and to ensure members under their command are aware of their obligations under the LOAC.
This responsibility placed upon commanders by Additional Protocol I article 87[] is a personal responsibility. This means that[:]
- The commanders themselves must ensure that their subordinates are aware of their obligations under the LOAC and the necessary measures are taken to prevent violations of the LOAC;
- They can be held personally accountable and liable if all members of the armed forces under their command are not aware of their obligations under the LOAC, do not respect the LOAC and if all necessary measures are not taken to prevent violations of the LOAC.
Command Responsibilities Regarding Training
The LOAC provides that instruction in LOAC must be included in military training and that every commander holds full responsibility for the proper implementation of LOAC training within his sphere of responsibility. ([1949] Geneva Conventions I to IV common article 1, [1977] Additional Protocol I article 1 and the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the event of Armed Conflict dated 14 May 1954 article 4.)
The overall aim of LOAC training is to ensure full respect for the LOAC by all members of the armed forces, irrespective of their function, time, location and situation.
The LOAC must be included in all the military instruction programmes. Every commander holds full responsibility for proper LOAC training within his sphere of authority. LOAC training is therefore an essential part of command activities. (Geneva Convention I article 47, Geneva Convention II article 48, Geneva Convention III article 127, Geneva Convention IV article 144, Additional Protocol I articles 83 and 87 and the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the event of Armed Conflict dated 14 May 1954 article 25.)
It is accepted that it is not possible to teach everything to everybody. The trainer must only teach what the trainees need to know for their function. Every commander must determine what his subordinates need to know on their respective levels.
It is of the utmost importance that LOAC training be fully integrated into normal military training and activities. Integrated training requires no additional time or special material, but it does allow for the active participation of the trainees. LOAC training must be integrated from basic training to ensure the instinctive and automatic correct responses in terms of the LOAC with trainees. Lectures should only be given as an introductory measure, to cover specific technical aspects and to train specialist staff. Emphasis must be placed on practical application of the principles in the conduct of combat.
Members must be trained by their own superior officers, as:
- Members look up to them for guidance;
- It enhances the relationship of mutual trust;
- It assists commanders to meet their responsibilities regarding training in the [LOAC]; and
- It ensures that members regard the LOAC as also being their responsibility as integrally part of their task as a soldier, and not a separate “legal subject” for the lawyers to be concerned about.
Main problems that commanders need to solve are:
- Adequate training before entering into the operational theatre.
Conclusion
Commanders have personal responsibilities in terms of the LOAC to:
- Disseminate knowledge of the LOAC and to ensure members under their command are aware of their obligations under the LOAC;
Military commanders have an obligation to ensure that legal advisers are, at all times, available to advise them at the appropriate levels on the application of the LOAC and the appropriate instruction to be given to the armed forces on the subject.
The LOAC places a duty on a commander to include LOAC instruction in military training within his sphere of responsibility and to ensure that all members under his command are adequately trained in the LOAC. 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 5, pp. 239, 242–243 and 246–247.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) states: “The commander himself ensures that his subordinates are aware of their obligations under the law of war and respect them.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 10.8.c.(1); see also § 2.2.b.
The manual also states that “the commander is responsible for proper law of war training” and that “the superior is the normal instructor of his subordinates also for law of war training”. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 10.8.c.(2); see also § 11.4.b.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states:
[T]he armed forces … are responsible, through their commanders-in-chief, for the detailed implementation of [instruction in] the law of armed conflict and for incorporating the study of this body of law into its military training programmes to ensure that combatants in particular and also medical and religious personnel are familiar with the principles and rules it contains. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 10.2.b.(2).
The manual also states:
Commanders must ensure that their subordinates are aware of their obligations under the law of armed conflict, by means of an effective training programme that takes into account the level of knowledge required of each subordinate commensurate with their level of responsibility. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 2.2.b.
The manual further states:
- The law of armed conflict should be included in programmes of military instruction and training.
- Each commander is fully responsible for providing appropriate instruction in the law of armed conflict in his respective area of authority.
- Instruction in the law of armed conflict is therefore an essential part of command activities. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 10.3.c; see also § 11.4.b.
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) provides: “There is … a clear responsibility for a senior commander to check his subordinates’ knowledge of the Conventions.” 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 4.2, p. 94.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) states: “Commanders must inform the troops of their obligations under the Conventions.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 196.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
4 Respect for and implementation of the legal rules in all types of operation are a command task and an integral part of individual discipline.
7 Responsible and lawful behaviour requires knowledge of the rules in force. Ignorance of the law does not protect against punishment. Superiors are therefore responsible for providing sufficient and realistic training to their subordinates.
248 Superiors are also responsible for training their subordinates and periodically testing their knowledge, especially prior to operations to which the law of armed conflict could apply. 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance on the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, §§ 4, 7 and 248. The German language version of § 248 notes: “Superiors are especially also insbesondere auch responsible …”.
[emphasis in original]
Tajikistan
Tajikistan’s Manual of Internal Service of the Armed Forces (2001) states:
91. … The commander of the regiment (separate battalion) is obliged to:
– … take control over the compliance with and respect for the norms of the Law of Armed Conflict by his subordinate military personnel.
96. The commander of the regiment (separate battalion) is obliged to:
– conduct training for the officers of staff of the regiment (separate battalion) on compliance with the norms of the Law of Armed Conflict and to include the mastering of those norms in the programmes of the combat training of the regiment (separate battalion). …
98. The second-in-command of the regiment (separate battalion) responsible for educational work is obliged to … organize and conduct training for … the military personnel about the norms of the Law of Armed Conflict and to control compliance with them during … combat training exercises. 
Tajikistan, Manual of Internal Service of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Tajikistan, endorsed by the Decree of the Madjilsi Namoyandagon of Madjlisi Oli [Parliament] of the Republic of Tajikistan No. 273 of 4 April 2001 and promulgated by the Order of the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Tajikistan No. 3 of 2 May 2001, §§ 91, 96 and 98.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) provides:
Each military commander is responsible for respect for the law of war within his sphere of command. Within his unit, he is in particular responsible for the instruction of the law of war in order to induce his troops to adopt a behaviour in conformity with the law and above all vis-à-vis specifically protected persons and objects.
The manual adds: “The military commander must take all measures so that: the subordinates know their obligations arising from the law of war and respect them.” 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule II, pp. 14 and 15.
Uganda
Uganda’s LOAC Dissemination Directive (2006) provides:
[The Chief of Defence Forces] directs as follows:
That all commanding officers (COs) of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces take all necessary and reasonable steps to ensure that the law of armed conflict as defined in the Geneva Conventions Act (Chapter 363) is disseminated to all members of the Uganda People’s [Defence] Forces (UPDF) at all levels in units under their command, and, in particular, that the study thereof is included in all programmes of military instruction. 
Uganda, Chief of Defence Forces Directive: Dissemination of the Law of Armed Conflict, Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), Chief of Defence Forces, 5 May 2006.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
1.5.1. In the performance of their duties, commanders and commanding officers shall be guided by the rules of international humanitarian law that oblige them:
In peacetime:
- to organize and participate in the dissemination of knowledge of international humanitarian law amongst their subordinates;
- to ensure the learning of the law of armed conflict within the process of training and education of servicemen;
- to bring to the attention of subordinates that grave breaches of international humanitarian law shall be criminally punished according to Ukrainian legislation;
- to uphold legal order and high military discipline that should guarantee strict adherence to the rules of international humanitarian law in case of an armed conflict by all servicemen;
- to ensure that all servicemen possess identity cards (military IDs), identification discs (distinctive medallions), medical or religious personnel identity cards … ;
- to supervise training of medical personnel and military (civilian) members of legal service as to studying international humanitarian law.
1.6.2. The assistant unit commander responsible for legal work (legal counsellor of the military unit) shall, in times of peace:
- coordinate the work aimed at studying the rules and demands of international humanitarian law within the structures of military administration, large commands, units, military bases, institutions of military education, other agencies and institutions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine;
- to provide necessary methodological assistance to officers who teach laws of war;
- to hold classes on international humanitarian law with various categories of servicemen;
- to organize case studies and tests to evaluate the level of knowledge of laws of war by various categories of servicemen;
- to report to the command cases of unsatisfactory knowledge of the laws of armed conflict by the personnel and reasons for that;
- to inform and consult servicemen concerning the performance of their duties related to the application of the rules and requirements of the laws of war.
1.6.3. During command and staff exercises, the assistant unit commander responsible for legal work (legal counsellor of the military unit) – deputy commander of the exercise for legal issues (legal advisor) shall:
- take part in the preparation of the command and staff exercises documentation regarding rules of engagement;
- monitor compliance with the rules of international humanitarian law by the trainees and make proposals regarding further complication of the situation as to the application of the laws of war;
- report to the commander his/her conclusions as to the level of compliance with the rules and principles of international humanitarian law during the exercise. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, §§ 1.5.1 and 1.6.2–1.6.3.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
Whilst ignorance of the law is not generally accepted as a defence, the first step to enforcement of the law of armed conflict must be to ensure as wide a knowledge of its terms as possible both within the armed forces and outside. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 16.2.1.
The manual further states:
Parties to a conflict are obliged to instruct military commanders to prevent breaches of the law of armed conflict and ensure that their subordinates know of their obligations under that law. This provision is based on the principle that an effective disciplinary system to prevent breaches is the best way of ensuring compliance with the law of armed conflict. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 16.38.
United States of America
The US Instructor’s Guide (1985) states that, as a commander, “you must ensure your troops receive instruction in the law of war. You should ensure that they know and follow the applicable rules of engagement.” 
United States, Instructor’s Guide – The Law of War, Headquarters Department of the Army, Washington, April 1985, p. 19.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) provides: “Officers in command of operational units are encouraged to utilize this publication as a training aid for assigned personnel.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), Preface, p. 21
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “Officers in command of operational units are encouraged to utilize this publication as a training aid for assigned personnel.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, p. 19.
United States of America
The US Manual on Detainee Operations (2008) states:
When U.S. forces conduct detainee operations governed by the [1949] Geneva Conventions, they must possess the text of the applicable conventions and be specially instructed as to their provisions … Pursuant to this obligation, JFCs [joint force commanders] are responsible to ensure … related training to enhance compliance with applicable law and policy. 
United States, Manual on Detainee Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 30 May 2008, p. x.
The manual also states:
The DFC [Detention Facility Commander] is the commander responsible for the execution of all detention facility operations … A DFC’s responsibilities normally include the following:
f. Ensuring that all personnel are properly trained on the rules for use of force (RUF), the law of land warfare, including the [1949] Geneva Conventions and all other applicable laws and policies, and that all personnel have an effective knowledge of the detention facility standard operating procedure (SOP). 
United States, Manual on Detainee Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 30 May 2008, pp. II-4–II-5.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Order No. 637 on the Application of IHL Norms within the Armed Forces(2005), issued by the Minister of Defence, states:
With the aim to implement provisions of the international treaties related to IHL within the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan, I [order that] Deputies of the Minister of Defence, commanders of the Armed Forces and different troops, chiefs of departments, independent sectors and services, commanders of divisions, formations and military units of the Ministry of Defence, chiefs of directions, institutions, organizations and military educational institutions shall ensure the following:
- learning by military servicemen of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan provisions related to IHL norms, contained in the Constitution and laws of Azerbaijan, military regulations of the Armed Forces, orders and directives of the Minister of Defence;
- respect for IHL norms by the military servicemen of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan during implementation of the demands of the management directives related to provision of combat regulations and combat actions;
- requirements of IHL norms are taken into consideration while elaboration of orders, directives and other service documents related to holding of exercises, trainings and other events. 
Azerbaijan, Order No. 637 on the Application of IHL Norms within the Armed Forces, 2005, § 1.
Belarus
Belarus’s Order on Study and Dissemination of IHL (1997) provides that the Vice-Ministers of Defence as well as commanders must, within the framework of the training of commanders, guarantee the study of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the 1977 Additional Protocols and Belarusian regulations on the application of IHL and that they must take into account these instruments and documents during military training. 
Belarus, Order on Study and Dissemination of IHL, 1997, Article 5.
Spain
Spain’s Royal Ordinance for the Armed Forces (1978) provides that a soldier “shall know the rights and duties incumbent on him and the penal laws affecting him, which shall be read out and periodically explained at unit level with a view to guiding his conduct and preventing him from committing faults or offences”. 
Spain, Royal Ordinance for the Armed Forces, 1978, Article 57.
Spain
Spain’s Royal Decree Establishing the Spanish IHL Commission (2007) states that this Commission is to “[p]rovide advice on … training of the armed forces in international humanitarian law”. 
Spain, Royal Decree Establishing the Spanish IHL Commission, 2007, Article 2(1)(e).
South Africa
South Africa’s Defence Act (2002) provides:
[The Chief of Defence Force] is responsible for the training of members of the Defence Force to act in accordance with the Constitution and the law, including customary international law and international agreements binding on the Republic. 
South Africa, Defence Act, 2002 § 14(i).
Israel
In its judgment in Physicians for Human Rights v. Commander of the IDF Forces in the West Bank in 2002, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated:
The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] shall once again instruct the combat forces, down to the level of the lone soldier in the field, of this commitment by our forces based on law and morality – and, according to the state, even on utilitarian considerations – through concrete instructions which will prevent, to the extent possible, and even in severe situations, incidents which are inconsistent with the rules of humanitarian law. 
Israel, High Court of Justice, Physicians for Human Rights v. Commander of the IDF Forces in the West Bank, Judgment, 8 April 2002.
South Africa
In 1987, in the Petane case, the Cape Provincial Division of South Africa’s Supreme Court dismissed the accused’s claim that the 1977 Additional Protocol I reflected customary international law. The Court stated:
The accused has been indicted before this Court on three counts of terrorism, that is to say, contraventions of s 54(1) of the Internal Security Act 74 of 1982. He has also been indicted on three counts of attempted murder.
The accused’s position is stated to be that this Court has no jurisdiction to try him.
… The point in its early formulation was this. By the terms of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I to the [1949] Geneva Conventions the accused was entitled to be treated as a prisoner-of-war. A prisoner-of-war is entitled to have notice of an impending prosecution for an alleged offence given to the so-called “protecting power” appointed to watch over prisoners-of-war. Since, if such a notice were necessary, the trial could not proceed without it, Mr Donen suggested that the necessity or otherwise for giving such a notice should be determined before evidence was led. …
On 12 August 1949 there were concluded at Geneva in Switzerland four treaties known as the Geneva Conventions. …
South Africa was among the nations which concluded the treaties. … Except for the common art 3, which binds parties to observe a limited number of fundamental humanitarian principles in armed conflicts not of an international character, they apply to wars between States.
After the Second World War many conflicts arose which could not be characterised as international. It was therefore considered desirable by some States to extend and augment the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, so as to afford protection to victims of and combatants in conflicts which fell outside the ambit of these Conventions. The result of these endeavours was Protocol I and Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions, both of which came into force on 7 December 1978.
Protocol II relates to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts. Since the State of affairs which exists in South Africa has by Protocol I been characterised as an international armed conflict, Protocol II does not concern me at all.
The extension of the scope of art 2 of the Geneva Conventions was, at the time of its adoption, controversial. …
The article has remained controversial. More debate has raged about its field of operation than about any other articles in Protocol I. …
South Africa is one of the countries which has not acceded to Protocol I. Nevertheless, I am asked to decide, as I indicated earlier, as a preliminary point, whether Protocol I has become part of customary international law. If so, it is argued that it would have been incorporated into South African law. If it has been so incorporated it would have to be proved by one or other of the parties that the turmoil which existed at the time when the accused is alleged to have committed his offences was such that it could properly be described as an “armed conflict” conducted by “peoples” against a “ra[c]ist regime” in the exercise of their “right of self-determination”. Once all this has been shown it would have to be demonstrated to the Court that the accused conducted himself in such a manner as to become entitled to the benefits conferred by Protocol I on combatants, for example that, broadly speaking, he had, while he was launching an attack, distinguished himself from civilians and had not attacked civilian targets. …
… I am prepared to accept that where a rule of customary international law is recognised as such by international law it will be so recognised by our law.
To my way of thinking, the trouble with the first Protocol giving rise to State practice is that its terms have not been capable of being observed by all that many States. At the end of 1977 when the treaty first lay open for ratification there were few States which were involved in colonial domination or the occupation of other States and there were only two, South Africa and Israel, which were considered to fall within the third category of ra[c]ist regimes. Accordingly, the situation sought to be regulated by the first Protocol was one faced by few countries; too few countries in my view, to permit any general usage in dealing with armed conflicts of the kind envisaged by the Protocol to develop.
Mr Donen contended that the provisions of multilateral treaties can become customary international law under certain circumstances. I accept that this is so. There seems in principle to be no reason why treaty rules cannot acquire wider application than among the parties to the treaty.
Brownlie Principles of International Law 3rd ed at 13 agrees that non-parties to a treaty may by their conduct accept the provisions of a multilateral convention as representing general international law. …
I incline to the view that non-ratification of a treaty is strong evidence of non-acceptance.
It is interesting to note that the first Protocol makes extensive provision for the protection of civilians in armed conflict. …
In this sense, Protocol I may be described as an enlightened humanitarian document. If the strife in South Africa should deteriorate into an armed conflict we may all one day find it a cause for regret that the ideologically provocative tone of s 1(4) has made it impossible for the Government to accept its terms.
To my mind it can hardly be said that Protocol I has been greeted with acclaim by the States of the world. Their lack of enthusiasm must be due to the bizarre mixture of political and humanitarian objects sought to be realised by the Protocol. …
According to the International Review of the Red Cross (January/February 1987) No 256, as at December 1986, 66 States were parties to Protocol I and 60 to Protocol II, which, it will be remembered, deals with internal non-international armed conflicts. With the exception of France, which acceded only to Protocol II, not one of the world’s major powers has acceded to or ratified either of the Protocols. This position should be compared to the 165 States which are parties to the Geneva Conventions.
This approach of the world community to Protocol I is, on principle, far too half-hearted to justify an inference that its principles have been so widely accepted as to qualify them as rules of customary international law. The reasons for this are, I imagine, not far to seek. For those States which are contending with “peoples[’]” struggles for self-determination, adoption of the Protocol may prove awkward. For liberation movements who rely on strategies of urban terror for achieving their aims the terms of the Protocol, with its emphasis on the protection of civilians, may prove disastrously restrictive. I therefore do not find it altogether surprising that Mr Donen was unable to refer me to any statement in the published literature that Protocol I has attained the status o[f] customary international [law].
I have not been persuaded by the arguments which I have heard on behalf of the accused that the assessment of Professor Dugard, writing in the Annual Survey of South African Law (1983) at 66, that “it is argued with growing conviction that under contemporary international law members of SWAPO [South-West Africa People’s Organisation] and the ANC [African National Congress] are members of liberation movements entitled to prisoner-of-war status, in terms of a new customary rule spawned by the 1977 Protocols”, is correct. On what I have heard in argument I disagree with his assessment that there is growing support for the view that the Protocols reflect a new rule of customary international law. No writer has been cited who supports this proposition. Here and there someone says that it may one day come about. I am not sure that the provisions relating to the field of application of Protocol I are capable of ever becoming a rule of customary international law, but I need not decide that point today.
For the reasons which I have given I have concluded that the provisions of Protocol I have not been accepted in customary international law. They accordingly form no part of South African law.
This conclusion has made it unnecessary for me to give a decision on the question of whether rules of customary international law which conflict with the statutory or common law of this country will be enforced by its courts.
In the result, the preliminary point is dismissed. The trial must proceed. 
South Africa, Supreme Court, Petane case, Judgment, 3 November 1987, pp. 2–8.
South Africa
In 2010, in the Boeremag case, South Africa’s North Gauteng High Court stated:
In Petane, … Conradie J found that the provisions of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I are not part of customary international law, and therefore are also not part of South African law.
Referring to the fact that in December 1986 only 66 of the 165 States party to the Geneva Conventions had ratified Protocol I, the Court [in Petane] stated:
This approach of the world community to Protocol I is, on principle, far too half-hearted to justify an inference that its principles have been so widely accepted as to qualify them as rules of customary international law. The reasons for this are, I imagine, not far to seek. For those States which are contending with “peoples[’]” struggles for self-determination, adoption of the Protocol may prove awkward. For liberation movements who rely on strategies of urban terror for achieving their aims the terms of the Protocol, with its emphasis on the protection of civilians, may prove disastrously restrictive. I therefore do not find it altogether surprising that Mr Donen was unable to refer me to any statement in the published literature that Protocol I has attained the status of customary international law.
Important changes with respect to certain aspects applicable at the time of Petane have taken place. The ANC [African National Congress] has become South Africa’s ruling party and in 1995 ratified Protocol I. The total number of States that have ratified it, is now … 162.
This last aspect forms the basis on which the First Respondent [the State] and the applicants agree that Protocol I forms part of customary international law as well as of South African law. As requested, this position is accepted for the purposes of the decision, without deciding on the matter.
Despite these changes, it remains debatable whether the provisions of Protocol I have become a part of South African law in this way.
The consensus of both parties to the conflict is required. See Petane … and Article 96 of Protocol I. …
Parliament’s failure to incorporate Protocol I into legislation in accordance with Article 231(4) of the Constitution in fact points to the contrary, and is indicative that the requirements of usus and/or opinio juris have not been met. See Petane. 
South Africa, North Gauteng High Court, Boeremag case, Judgment, 26 August 2010, pp. 21–22.
[footnotes in original omitted]
The Court also held:
If the [1977 Additional Protocol I] applies in South Africa as customary international law, the two requirements that form the basis of customary law must be met. It is arguable that the requirement of usus has been met by the vast number of States that have acceded or ratified it. By ratifying Protocol I the Republic of South Africa has indicated its intention to apply the Protocol, thereby fulfilling the requirement of opinio juris. 
South Africa, North Gauteng High Court, Boeremag case, Judgment, 26 August 2010, p. 66.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
According to the Report on the Practice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is the opinio juris of Bosnia and Herzegovina that “commanders of units and each individual member of armed forces are responsible for the implementation of the international law of war”. 
Report on the Practice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2000, Chapter 1.6.
Burundi
In 2008, at the opening of the Seminar on Human Rights and IHL for the High Command of the National Defence Force, a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defence and Former Combatants stated:
The commanders … must understand and master this law [IHL] so they can teach it to their subordinates.
[W]ithin a national political context directed at the reconciliation of the Burundian people, the contribution of any serviceman shall be to carry out the missions assigned to him in strict respect for the laws and regulations. He must constantly have in mind the respect for persons and their objects. It’s a matter of honour, dignity and discipline which all commanders shall understand and make their subordinates understand. 
Burundi, Statement by the Ministry of National Defence and Former Combatants at the opening of the Seminar on Human Rights and IHL for the High Command of the National Defence Force, Bujumbura, 2 April 2008, pp. 4–5.
Canada
The 1997 Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Deployment of Canadian Forces to Somalia stated:
Training is one of the fundamental elements of preparing troops for operations … It is therefore to be expected that commanders at all levels of the chain of command, even the highest, pay particular attention to the training of a contingent, both to supervise and assess the preparations and, through their presence, to demonstrate their personal interest in and commitment to the operation that their troops are about to undertake.
In its findings with respect to this statement, the Commission noted:
Leaders at all levels of the chain of command, with the notable exception of the Brigade Commander during the initial stages of training, failed to provide adequate supervision of the training preparations undertaken by the CAR for Operation Cordon. 
Canada, Commission of Inquiry into the Deployment of Canadian Forces to Somalia, Dishonoured Legacy: The Lessons of the Somalia Affair. Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Deployment of Canadian Forces to Somalia, Public Works and Government Services Canada – Publishing, Ottawa, 1997, pp. 592–593; see also p. ES-28.
Regarding the Rules of Engagement (ROE) established with respect to the Somalia mission, the Commission further noted:
The … briefing provided by LCol Watkin on December 10th [1992] included information on the ROE … The officers were then supposed to pass the information on to their subordinates. However, there were no efforts made to ensure that this information was properly understood before being passed down the chain of command to the troops, nor even that it was in fact passed down … While the need to systematically reinforce the ROE training once in theatre was recognized by senior commanders who testified before us, this did not translate into effective ROE training throughout the deployment period. Maj Pommet showed great concern for the understanding of the ROE by his commando and took steps to train his soldiers, but he did so on his own initiative. On several occasions he verified his troops’ knowledge of the ROE by presenting them with scenarios and asking them to respond. Although there may have been some discussion and briefings on the ROE, there was no organized and structured scenario-based training done in theatre. In our view, and notwithstanding the obvious need for it, the leaders failed to ensure that all of the soldiers had a comprehensive understanding of the use of force in Somalia through accessible and systematic training. 
Canada, Commission of Inquiry into the Deployment of Canadian Forces to Somalia, Dishonoured Legacy: The Lessons of the Somalia Affair. Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Deployment of Canadian Forces to Somalia, Public Works and Government Services Canada – Publishing, Ottawa, 1997, pp. 616–617.
Canada
The Commission of Inquiry into the Deployment of Canadian Forces to Somalia, in its recommendations with respect to training of the armed forces, stated:
We recommend that: … Canadian Forces doctrine recognize the personal supervision of training by commanders, including the most senior, as an irreducible responsibility and an essential expression of good leadership. Canadian Forces should also recognize that training provides the best opportunity, short of operations, for commanders to assess the attitude of troops and gauge the readiness of a unit and affords a unique occasion for commanders to impress upon their troops, through their presence, the standards expected of them, as well as their own commitment to the mission on which the troops are about to be sent. 
Canada, Commission of Inquiry into the Deployment of Canadian Forces to Somalia, Dishonoured Legacy: The Lessons of the Somalia Affair. Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Deployment of Canadian Forces to Somalia, Public Works and Government Services Canada – Publishing, Ottawa, 1997, p. 631, Recommendation No. 21(18).
Israel
An Order of the Israeli Chief of Staff requires that “all operational directive or order which precedes action by the soldiers has to include a directive requiring that the provisions of the Conventions be taught to the soldiers”. The Order refers to the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property. 
Israel, IDF Order of the Chief of Staff No. 33.0133, Discipline – Conduct in accordance with the international conventions to which the State of Israel is a party, 20 July 1982, § 10.
Mexico
In 2004, in its fourth periodic report to the Committee against Torture, Mexico stated:
The Ministry of Defence runs the following training courses on combating torture for its staff:
(b) International humanitarian law: the course is held in the army and air-force study centre. Its main aim is to train commanders and officers so that they can give training and advice on the subject in the units, offices and facilities where they work. One course has been held, and 3 commanders and 15 officers from the Mexican army and air force have been trained. 
Mexico, Fourth periodic report of Mexico to the Committee against Torture, 28 February 2005, UN Doc. CRC/C/55/Add.12, submitted 20 December 2004, § 197(b).
Netherlands
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. 
Report on the Practice of the Netherlands, 1997, Interview with two high-ranking officers of the Royal Netherlands Army staff, both legal advisors, Chapter 6.6.
United States of America
The 1979 version of the US Department of Defense (DoD) Directive on the Law of War Program provided:
The Secretaries of the Military Departments shall develop internal policies and procedures consistent with this Directive in support of the DoD law of war program in order to:
(1) Provide publications, instructions, and training so that the principles and rules of the law of war will be known to members of their respective Departments, the extent of such knowledge to be commensurate with each individual’s duties and responsibilities. 
United States, Department of Defense Directive on the Law of War Program No. 5100.77, 10 July 1979, Section E(2)(e)(1).
United States of America
In 1991, in response to an ICRC memorandum on the applicability of IHL in the Gulf region, the US Department of the Army stated: “[IHL] training is a command responsibility.” 
United States, Letter from the Department of the Army to the legal adviser of the US Army deployed in the Gulf region, 11 January 1991, § 8(S), Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 6.6.
United States of America
The 1998 version of the US Department of Defense Directive on the Law of War Program provided that the Secretaries of the Military Departments shall “provide directives, publications, instructions, and training so that the principles and rules of the law of war will be known to members of their respective Departments, the extent of such knowledge to be commensurate with each individual’s duties and responsibilities”. Furthermore, they shall “ensure that programs are implemented in their respective Military Departments to prevent violations of the law of war, emphasizing any types of violations that have been reported”. 
United States, Department of Defense Directive on the Law of War Program No. 5100.77, 9 December 1998, Sections 5(5)(1) and (2).
United States of America
In May 2004, Major General Antonio M. Taguba completed his report of an investigation, ordered by the Commander Coalition Forces Land Component Command, into allegations of detainee abuse and maltreatment by members of the 800th Military Police Brigade at Abu Ghraib Prison (Baghdad Central Confinement Facility (BCCF)).The report stated:
I find that there was no clear emphasis by BG Karpinski [Commander of the 800th MP Brigade] to ensure that the 800th MP Brigade Staff, Commanders, and Soldiers were trained to standard in detainee operations and proficiency or that serious accountability lapses that occurred over a significant period of time, particularly at Abu Ghraib (BCCF), were corrected … Following the abuse of several detainees at Camp Bucca in May 2003, I could find no evidence that BG Karpinski ever directed corrective training for her soldiers or ensured that MP Soldiers throughout Iraq clearly understood the requirements of the Geneva Conventions relating to the treatment of detainees.
General Taguba’s recommendations included:
That BG Janis L. Karpinski, Commander, 800th MP Brigade, be Relieved from Command and given a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand for the following acts which have been previously referred to in the aforementioned findings [including]:
•Failing to ensure that MP Soldiers in the 800th MP Brigade knew, understood, and adhered to the protections afforded to detainees in the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.
That COL Thomas M. Pappas, Commander, 205th MI Brigade, be given a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand and Investigated UP Procedure 15, AR 381-10, US Army Intelligence Activities for the following acts which have been previously referred to in the aforementioned findings [including]:
•Failing to ensure that Soldiers under his direct command knew, understood, and followed the protections afforded to detainees in the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.
That LTC (P) Jerry L. Phillabaum, Commander, 320th MP Battalion, be Relieved from Command, be given a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand, and be removed from the Colonel/O-6 Promotion List for the following acts which have been previously referred to in the aforementioned findings [including]:
•Failing to ensure that Soldiers under his direct command knew and understood the protections afforded to detainees in the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.
That LTC Steven L. Jordan, Former Director, Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center and Liaison Officer to 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, be relieved from duty and be given a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand for the following acts which have been previously referred to in the aforementioned findings [including]:
•Failing to ensure that Soldiers under his direct control knew, understood, and followed the protections afforded to detainees in the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.  
United States, Department of Defense, Commander Coalition Forces Land Component Command, Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade (Taguba Report), May 2004.
Zimbabwe
According to the Report on the Practice of Zimbabwe, an official of the armed forces of Zimbabwe stated that he was of the view that “Zimbabwe accepts the practice that commanders [should] ensure that their [subordinates] are aware of their obligations”. 
Report on the Practice of Zimbabwe, 1998, Chapter 6.7.
No data.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (Rapporteur)
In 1995, the Rapporteur of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on the conflict in Chechnya noted that the Russian federal command, after having originally adopted a policy of trying to brand the Chechen as the cruel enemy, was apparently trying to make amends by strengthening discipline. It was to be achieved “by directives and recommendations to officers to explain the rules of international law to their soldiers”. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Opinion on procedure on Russia’s request for membership of the Council of Europe, Doc. 7384, 15 September 1995, § 67.
Inter-Parliamentary Conference (1993)
In a resolution adopted in 1993, the 90th Inter-Parliamentary Conference called on “all States to remind military commanders that they are required to make their subordinates aware of obligations under international humanitarian law [and] to make every effort to ensure that no violations are committed”. 
90th Inter-Parliamentary Conference, Canberra, 13–18 September 1993, Resolution on Respect for International Humanitarian Law and Support for Humanitarian Action in Armed Conflicts, § 2(e).
No data.
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that: “The commander himself must ensure that: a) his subordinates are aware of their obligations under the law of war”. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 270.
Delegates also teach that:
275. … Every commander holds full responsibility for proper law of war training within his sphere of authority. Thus, law of war training is an essential part of command activity …
282. The superior is the normal instructor of his subordinates, also for law of war training. Thus, every commander must be acquainted with those parts of the law of war that are relevant for him and to those under his command …
292. Commanders shall issue instructions and organize appropriate training for specific circumstances, such as:
a) commando and other small units with independent missions;
b) combat in unusual environment;
c) warfare between dissimilar forces (e.g. a modern high technology force opposing a more or less organized group fighting with primitive weapons). 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, §§ 275, 282 and 292.
ICRC
In a communication to the press in 2002, the ICRC called upon the parties to the conflict in Colombia to respect IHL and stated: “Commanders must supervise their men so as to ensure that their conduct towards civilians complies at all times with the … rules and principles [of IHL].” 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 02/16, Colombia: ICRC calls on all parties to conflict to respect international humanitarian law, 21 February 2002.
No data.