Practice Relating to Rule 80. Booby-Traps
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983), under the heading “Mines and traps (booby traps)”, states that they “must only be used against military objectives”. It further states:
Traps looking like portable inoffensive objects are prohibited.
It is also prohibited to attach traps to or associate them with:
1) internationally recognized protective emblems, signs or signals;
2) sick, wounded or dead persons;
3) burial sites;
4) medical material, medical installations, etc.;
5) children’s toys, children’s food and children’s clothes;
6) food or drink;
7) kitchen utensils or appliances except in military establishments.
Belgium’s Law on Arms and Ammunition (1933), as amended to 2006, provides: “[The following] arms shall be considered as prohibited: … booby-traps … or similar devices.”
The Law further provides:
3. … The use, stockpiling, acquisition and transfer of … booby-traps … or similar devices by the State or public administrations is prohibited.
4. The foregoing prohibition does not apply to the use, stockpiling, sale, acquisition and transfer of such weapons for the purpose of contributing to the training and knowledge maintenance of specialists and military officers taking part in operations aimed at risk minimization in mined areas, demining, or effective destruction of the said weapons.
5. The State or public administrations are required to destroy the existing stockpiles of … booby-traps … or similar devices within three years.
Belgium’s Law Regulating Economic and Individual Activities with Weapons (2006) provides:
For the purposes of the present law and its implementing decrees, “antipersonnel landmines and booby-traps or similar devices” are considered as … any devices placed on, under or near a surface area, and designed or adapted to be exploded or detonated by the mere presence, proximity or contact of a person, whether or not equipped with an anti-handling device intended to protect the mine and which is part of, linked to, attached to or placed under the mine and that activate when an attempt is made to tamper with or otherwise intentionally disturb the mine.
The Law further provides: “[The following] arms shall be considered as prohibited: … booby-traps … or similar devices.”
Upon acceptance of the 1996 Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, Belgium declared: “[T]he provisions of Protocol II as amended which by their contents or nature may be applied also in peacetime, shall be observed at all times.”