Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
Practice Relating to Rule 70. Weapons of a Nature to Cause Superfluous Injury or Unnecessary Suffering
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) prohibits the use of weapons and material that cause unnecessary suffering. A commentary on this prohibition states that it concerns weapons causing “suffering disproportionate to the military objective achieved” and gives the example of dum-dum bullets.
Under the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Penal Code (1976), as amended in 2001, the use of, or the order to use, “means or methods of combat prohibited under the rules of international law, during a war or an armed conflict” is a war crime. The commentary on this provision states: “The following weapons and means of combat are considered to be prohibited: … weapons, ammunition and materials that cause unnecessary suffering.”
In the plenary session of the CDDH, the representative of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia deplored the fact that the Ad Hoc Committee on Conventional Weapons established by the CDDH had not been able to “specify which were the weapons which caused superfluous injury”. He further stated that his delegation “was convinced that the question of prohibition and restriction of such weapons and methods or means of warfare came under humanitarian law and not under disarmament negotiations”.
In 1991, in a document entitled “Examples of violations of the rules of international law committed by the so-called armed forces of Slovenia”, the Ministry of Defence of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia stated:
The nature of the injuries of some of the members of the Yugoslav People’s Army show that forbidden means have been used in the armed conflict, before all ammunition suitable to inflict disproportionate and needless injuries, that reduce the chances of the injured to survive.
In that respect, the injuries of [a] soldier … are characteristic. He was hit in the tip of his right forearm and the round had crumbled and split the forearm bone, the tissue and thus blew the fist of the injured to bits. In the riddled channel and the surrounding tissue, pieces of a fragmented round were found. All that implies for the use of the so-called soft-nosed bullet.