Practice Relating to Rule 53. Starvation as a Method of Warfare
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states: “Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited.”
The manual also provides that “starvation of civilians as a method of combat is forbidden” in non-international armed conflicts.
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on land warfare:
Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited. Therefore, it is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population whatever the motive.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflicts, the manual states: “Starvation of civilians as a method of combat is forbidden.”
Canada’s Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act (2000) provides that the war crimes defined in Article 8(2) of the 1998 ICC Statute are “crimes according to customary international law” and, as such, indictable offences under the Act.
In 2013, in the Sapkota case
, Canada’s Federal Court dismissed a request for review of a decision denying refugee protection to the applicant on grounds of complicity in crimes against humanity in Nepal between 1991 and 2009. While reviewing the submissions of the respondent, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the Court stated: “The Respondent notes that the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
… is endorsed in Canada as a source of customary law.”