Practice Relating to Rule 145. Reprisals
Section D. Order at the highest authority of government
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987), in its introductory remarks, states:
In case an adversary should not respect these international rules [“rules of international public law in times of armed conflict”], only the Conseil fédéral
[Federal Council] would be competent to decide which measures would be opportune, especially possible reprisals, or to give the necessary instructions to the command of the army.
In a provision dealing with reprisals, the manual further states: “Only the Conseil fédéral
[Federal Council] is competent to order possible reprisals.”