Practice Relating to Rule 102. Individual Criminal Responsibility
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) forbids collective punishment against prisoners of war, civilians in general and in occupied territories, whether in international or internal armed conflicts.
The manual also provides that, in non-international armed conflict: “No accused persons shall be convicted of an offence except on the basis of individual penal responsibility.”
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001), in its chapter on the treatment of civilians in the hands of a party to the conflict or an occupying power and, more specifically, in a section entitled “Provisions common to the territories of the parties to the conflict and to occupied territories”, states:
[The 1949 Geneva Convention IV] prohibits taking any measure, which will cause physical suffering to protected persons or will lead to their extermination … The following are expressly prohibited:
a. the punishment of a protected person for an offence not committed by that person.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflicts, the manual states: “As a minimum, accused persons: … b. shall not be convicted of an offence except on the basis of individual penal responsibility”.